Old Year, New Year


2017 was some kind of lunatic 52 card pickup. Everything we thought we knew– about democracy, truth, reason, integrity and fundamental human decency–was thrown up in the air and split wide open for reexamination. At the epicenter of all of it is the orange-tinged man presently occupying the White House and the band of GOP sycophants who enable him. Many have compared this past year to the Twilight Zone. The characterization is apt. Every day is a wrinkle in reality as we knew it. Every day is a new injustice. Every day is another affront. Madness proliferates like a wildfire, and surreal events come at us faster than we can process them. We’re discombobulated and walk around in a state of disbelief and perpetual stress. And on top of relentless anxiety of the state of our democracy, we all still have our own personal life burdens to manage.

The national debacle aside, 2017 held both negatives and positives for me. The negatives included two injuries (one of which just happened Christmas Day), a few disappointments on the career front and getting twice burned by two different housemates. However, the good outweighed the bad. Highlights were co-organizing Play Safe Seattle, receiving a GAP Award from Artist Trust, a wonderful family reunion in October and the enduring love and support of so many friends.  The ultimate positive, however, is that someone very dear to me has now been off heroin for six months. After a long period of heartache and the worst kind of darkness, this person is not only clean but reborn in the most beautiful and unexpected ways. Broken hearts are healing. Peace is moving into spaces previously occupied by fear. One day at a time, I’m so deeply grateful. If there’s such a thing as a miracle, this is it.

So what about the year ahead? I won’t even try to predict the future or interpret reality anymore. It seems that anything goes. As always, the best I can do is to focus on my corner of the world (aka: what I can control or impact). I don’t really make resolutions. I just set intentions and brainstorm on possibilities. Here’s what I’ve come up with for the New Year:

  • I’ll continue to resist. I don’t know exactly what this will look like. Like many, I’m weary. Contacting my representatives and signing petitions doesn’t seem to be effective. Marching the streets is cathartic, but I’m not sure what it accomplishes. Much to think about here.  I’ll continue my work with Play Safe Seattle and do my best to assure that Seattle nightlife is hate-free and safer for everyone.
  • I’ll practice more acceptance and let go more frequently. The battle is hard enough already. We don’t need to compound it. We can be kinder, to others and ourselves, and let more things slide. Big picture, so many things are miniscule– getting cut off in traffic, long waits, rude strangers, making mistakes, etc.
  • I’ll keep pursuing my dream gig writing about professional football and the Seattle Seahawks. Conventional wisdom would dismiss the effort as misguided and maybe even delusional.  But at 55 years of age, I figure I‘ve got nothing to lose. And I’m not the most conventional chick anyway.  The other day, I heard a cool quote from Do Won Change, founder Forever 21. He said: “Success is a marathon, not a sprint.”  So, I’ll shut down the naysaying chatter in my brain and fix my eye on the prize. Maybe 2018 will be my year. As Russell Wilson would say, “Why not me?”
  • With the help of supportive friends and colleagues, I’ll continue to see how far we can go with Weirdo Simpatico and, by extension, how far I can go as a storyteller and an improviser. It will start with the creation of a live performance video in March. The goal is to use this video as an audition tool as I hustle for new performance opportunities, especially with music and literary festivals.
  • Health and wellness. I’m already pretty good in this particular area. However, my body is changing. I think it will be important this year to focus on bolstering wellness, as opposed to reacting to the challenges and occasional pain that come with an aging body. I believe a skilled naturopath could help me.
  • I vow to “get out there” more in the New Year. Somewhere along the way, I became an accidental introvert, retreating into a bit of a hermitage. This has robbed me of fun experiences and precious human interaction, both of which we all need more of. As such, my plan is to go to more shows, hit more jams and accept more invitations.
  • Finally, I’m going to try and infuse more love into everything. Relationships are more important than achievements. I know this and plan to life my life accordingly.

These are bewildering and unprecedented times. We’re all stumbling through as best we can.  As the aforementioned miracle shows, it’s possible to pull back from the devastating brink and return to a place of safety and sanity, to reset, to heal and to thrive.

Here’s wishing us all a happy and miraculous New Year!