This is how a new year comes: there is an anticipation, a countdown, the building tension in the room, a Happy New Year!, a kiss. It’s predictable if nothing else, maybe even cliché.
If cliché is the vehicle that carries us into the new year, it’s the alarm clock that jolts us out of bed the next morning, too. In our first real waking hours, those sleep-deprived hours of regret on January 1st (Why did I stay up till 2:00?) we turn to new clichés. And the January 1st cliché we love the most?
The annual creation of the new-habit-for-no-more-than-one-month resolution.
(Does it take more resolve to keep a resolution or to make it knowing it’ll be broken? Humans are nothing if not predictable.)
This year I set out to do things a little differently. Instead of the audacious disposable resolution, I set a few simple goals. They’re highly personal and written in my journal, and I don’t intend to share them all with you here. (Some are quite tedious.) But among those goals-I-refuse-to-call-resolutions is this: I’d like to enter into the political antagonisms less on social media.
Yesterday, I put it like this:
There’s no telling how many times I tweeted about Trump in 2017. And what did it get me? Maybe a few style points. Nothing else, really. In 2018, I’m giving Trump less of my Twitter attention. I’ll focus more on the beauty around me. #2018Resolution
— Seth Haines (@sethhaines) January 2, 2018
The truth is, like so many, I found myself sucked into the Presidential vortex in 2017. As I found myself spinning into the black hole of the media–social and otherwise–I found nothing but angst, outrage, and a strong sense that our country is divided beyond repair. (What is a black hole but a soul sucking vacuum of despair?) What’s worse, I found myself addicted to the media, to scratching my need to feel that angst and outrage. I found myself stoking the division just so I could be on the right side.
In 2018, I’d rather not be part of that division. I’d rather be part of a more unifying collective, and what could be more unifying than beauty? So, as 2018 opens, as I push into a year-long exploration of what it means to be sober in my media use, I’ll put aside my knee-jerk responses to the presidential Twitter feed. When I feel the itch to enter those antagonisms, I’ll try my best to identify some beauty in the world around me. If you’ll indulge me, from time to time, I’ll share that beauty with you here.
Exploration of Beauty #1:
The arctic weather moved into Northwest Arkansas, and last week, I set out to capture it. Among the beautiful things I saw was this: tiny flowers, clustered against the cold, swinging in the wind as if tiny silver bells.
***FEED THE BEAST***
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