Thursday, January 03, 2019

One year to the next

It’s a new year, and it seems that most people won’t miss 2018. This appears to be a common feeling for Americans, including many of the people I know in real life. It figures, too, among the Americans I know: A mere 31% saying they’re satisfied with the direction of the USA, so a bit of negativity of about last year makes sense. Even so, it’s never all bad all the time.

The question is, what do we do about a bad year? There are many things we can do to improve the world or ourselves, and those are things I’ll be talking about this year—like always. But last year taught me a few things that will be very useful this year.

I had a rough year last year because of issues related to my Health Journey, as I detailed on this blog. But, as I said the other day, the year ended very well. This shows that a year can end up good, even when it wasn’t all good. I know now that things can get better, that sometimes what improves outweighs what hasn’t, and—yet again—I was reminded how important it is to acknowledge and celebrate small victories.

As I worked to try and meet my blogging goal for last year, I used techniques that Roger Green uses: Posts planned, written, and even scheduled for publication in advance. I’ve done some or all of those things in the past, as I did with our trip to Australia last year, but I did it more often in 2018.

In 2018, I had certain posts that related to specific things that happened at specific times, like the December Solstice, so I wrote those in advance. Other ones I set to post when I knew I wouldn’t be able to, like, for example, on Christmas Day, because we were leaving early in the morning, and the one for New Year’s, because we had a houseful of family, and I knew I wouldn’t have a chance to post anything at midnight.

I learned that I could’ve done a lot more of that. Even when I was least able to blog last year, I sometimes pre-wrote posts when I felt well, then published them when I didn’t (which means those low periods would have been worse otherwise). If I had done more of that this past year, I wouldn’t have had to push so hard at the end of the year. Moreover, since every year has bad patches (in my case, usually because I get busy with stuff), pre-writing posts can help keep me on track toward my annual goal.

As it happens, most of the posts I published in the last few months of 2018 were written just before I published them (which makes my output the last three months of the year sound a bit more impressive—to me, anyway…). However, there weren’t any posts I wouldn’t have published if I’d been on target all year long—I didn’t have fillers. I posted more Christmas commercials this year than in past years, but each one of them required me to research things about the advertiser, so they definitely weren’t fillers. Even so, I’m unlikely to share quite as many commercials this year, especially now that I’ve seen that many of those companies I shared for the first time this year have taken down the videos of their ads. Live and learn.

So last year showed me that things can get better, they can also be better than seemed likely earlier in the year, and I saw that there’s value in planning and being organised. Took me long enough to learn those lessons, but I did.

It’s never all bad all the time.

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