Thanks for the Livestock

The other day, I was trying to write a Thanksgiving-themed post in my notebook and it was a complete mess. I could not get beyond feeling like things had not gotten better than they were last year, even though I was glad that my suspicions that I was suffering from depression were confirmed. I guess I fell into the mentality that since I’d defined what I needed to work on, it was magically going to get better? Anyway, the stagnation is certainly real, and I never finished writing the post because I didn’t want to. Instead, I decided to do a weekly update and also jotted down a number of ideas of what to do in 2022 with the blog. Nothing will fundamentally change here, but I can say that just making a list was encouraging. I mean, at least I have some ideas, right?

One of those ideas is a “year of less,” which isn’t fully formed but has more of a financial aspect to it because I wrote down something about tracking spending along with the consumption of my excessive stuff. I don’t know how much I have spent on various items this year, but when I think about it, I am clearly spending too much money in general. I’ve done the breakdowns before, but much like the data I am forced to gather for work, I don’t do very much to proactively change what I see on the ledger. So maybe looking at it in real time is a good idea. Like I said, it’s an idea or work in progress, but it might make a good running theme for the year.

I also noted that it’s definitely time to wrap up the looks at my personal journals. I have all of one and a half physical notebooks left to work through and then a bunch of files on my computer. The latter can probably wait longer than the notebooks, which are still sitting on my dining room table waiting for those final couple of entries to be written. Not that there isn’t more stuff to dig through–I have 26 years of creative writing journals sitting in a box that I could mine for material if I wanted. In fact, I have enough material to create, like, a separate podcast or something.

Why do I do this to myself?

ANYWAY, I am thinking about 2022 because I have almost a month left in 2021 and I am already done with the year. Part of that is from the exhaustion and depression. Part of it is a bit of optimism. It will be a new year and I can do something with that, you know? In order to know what i want to do and do it successfully, I need to plan and that also involves taking stock of what is here.

Which brings me back to Thanksgiving. Gratitude is the obvious central idea behind it, but I also like the idea of getting time to think and reflect. In fact, despite the holidays’ insanity, I think it’s a wonderful time to take stock (insert a reference to “leave your livestock at home” from Grosse Pointe Blank here). Like, what do I actually have and what do I want from it? Should I want anything from it at all? What do I not have and what do I want or need? And will doing this publicly help?

Yes, it’s all very self-indulgent and probably better left to my old LiveJournal (which no longer exists and which I never archived, so that bit of personal archaeology goes unfinished), but I honestly have a lot of fun doing this blog and project, even when I fail spectacularly at it. So I think I will try to write a bunch of reflective posts that not only compiles what is still left to be “consumed” and evaluated, but the other things I’m holding onto. Because this blog seems to be as much about the process of letting go of my comics and movies as it is about letting go of the baggage I am holding onto, both physically and emotionally. And hopefully that, will help me make next year one of “less” and even perhaps move toward being more purposeful with life.

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