Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015

New Year wishes for good fortune, prosperity and happiness are cascading down my Facebook newsfeed this morning. And, so, I return those sentiments as I muse about the year past and the upcoming one.

First, I note, without self-critique or judgment, that it’s been about 2½ months since my last posting to The Amarillo Independent blog site, which is now my personal blog. I chalk up my absence in part to the rigors of retirement — or semi-retirement. Those rigors include a 5,000-mile road trip that took us to Massachusetts to celebrate Thanksgiving with my contribution of kids-grandkids to our extended family; and a return paralleling the Appalachians to see my brother and sister-in-law in South Carolina. Blogging along the way would have, on one hand, taken time away from the activities during the journey; then, blogging would have helped document more of the trip, some of which is a bit of a blur. In addition, I am chary about any posting that indicates we are on the road lest we make our home vulnerable to miscreants. And, I hope that I will have future conflicts about whether to post while traveling because I hope to increase traveling.

I am, however, dealing with another conflict. Writing to blog or post elsewhere reflect an engagement in current or civic affairs. Some days I ask myself, “why bother?”

Clearly, the struggle suggests I feel something to contribute to the discussion; but, it also indicates that I am not sure what I contribute matters or makes a difference. And, even if I could “make a difference,” why should I care? One of my main goals these days is to keep my blood pressure down in order to protect my heart and my eyesight. Getting riled up about what happens in the political realm does nothing to contribute to my equanimity or to my overall health. Nor do the intemperate remarks that sometimes surface through political and religious discussions.

But staying engaged is important. Keeping up and staying mentally active is healthy. It may keep senility at bay. And, staying engaged and contributing to the civic dialogue supports one of my core values of United States citizenship.

If I post, I’ll tweet it and post it to the Independent and personal Facebook pages.

Meanwhile, I repeat, I hope those who see this have a wonderful 2015 — and many more great years to come.