End of year thoughts

Well...that year went fast. I don’t know about you, but 2018 was exhausting to me. The constant barrage of political news was awful. It was like a car wreck. I tried to look away but still found myself clicking the latest story about tweets, indictments, mass shootings, food recalls and random gossip. To fill in the gaps, there was the “we are all going to die as the earth warms to unsustainable levels” reports as well as the stories about big corporations and spy agencies knowing everything we do before we actually do it because of an ”artificial intelligence algorithm.” I think what makes it all so depressing is that there is little, if any, impact I or anybody else is going to make related to any of this. The problems are so large and systemic that they appear insurmountable.

So, my New Year’s resolution is to think local and not just local, but hyper-local. Control what I can control. Invite people over for dinner. Spend time playing board games with family. Do stuff in my neighborhood. Work on my house. Bake more bread. It sounds sort of selfish, but maybe it’s just the pendulum swinging back from thinking big thoughts about the demise of western civilization to self-care and focusing on making a difference for the folks that I interact with every day.

I have so much to be thankful for. I was able to release another book into the world in 2018, thanks to the good folks at Thomas & Mercer. I am, as always, thankful for my family and our travels this year. My kids got to see Washington D.C. and dip their toes in the ocean. And, I am thankful for the little things that make each day special. I have a local library (just a few blocks from my house). It is an old Carnegie Library, and it’s become a second home to my oldest daughter. I don’t have to commute an hour to and from work each day, which allows more time for the things that matter. I got a new bike. My wife still loves me. My kids have other kids in the neighborhood to play with, and I enjoy hanging out with my neighbors.

My wish for you is that you find a balance as well. What I think is balance may not be balance for you, and I hope you determine what that is for yourself. If you are stressed about the world: unplug. If you need love: reach out to those around you. If you want to make a difference: volunteer to build a house or serve at a soup kitchen.

Think small and be well.

- JD

JD Trafford