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Terror? Dread? Trepidation?

Stating Intentions for the New Year

My wife Holly and I have a tradition at the end of the year — declaring our intentions for the new year. We usually revisit the previous year’s intentions, but we couldn’t really remember what was said last year, at the close of 2020. We were in the midst of the pandemic (still are) and at the end of one of the most destructive and disturbing years that I can remember in my lifetime. Looking back, I think we were in shock and just happy that 2020 was over. The new year was bound to bring something better.

If we had been wishing for more chaos, 2021 did not disappoint, with a fascist insurrection in the very first week. More than a dozen of the insurrectionists are planning to run for political office in the next election. So there’s that. Would it be incorrect to express terror for the coming year? Too strong? How about dread? Trepidation?

My mantra during this whole distressing period in history has been “We must take care of our own mental health.” Sometimes for me that means not reading all the news. I keep up, I read headlines, but I feel I can’t always read the whole story and continue to maintain my sanity.

Alternative media has lately been full of stories about all the good things we have accomplished in the past year and I do think it’s important to remember, if only to assuage our terror. Thinking back, we did measure some achievements.

I published a book and I had a pretty good time doing it. Because there were no deadlines or much else on my plate, it didn’t matter when difficulties arose. Everything eventually worked out. Another mantra. “It will all work out.” Book publishing was so fulfilling I think I might do it again this year.

In 2021 I didn’t go far, but I did get to some beautiful places in Sonoma County and California. Every year one of my intentions is to walk or hike and I’m satisfied that I fulfilled that intention. I found a couple of walking buddies and we put in maybe 500 miles. We seldom walked or hiked more than five miles, but we plan to expand our reach in 2022.

Even in a pandemic I stayed active in a few organizations. Maybe the pandemic made it easier. My world grew much smaller with covid, although zoom did allow me to interact with like-minded folks around the world. Our tradeswomen groups were quite active, even with a dearth of staff and resources. Online we can truly be national, involving blue-collar women across the country. Now that I can participate in city and county council meetings while sitting in my recliner, I’m way more apt to attend. And webinars! I had ignored them in the past, but now I’ve discovered a new way to learn.

I never much liked meetings although I’ve spent many hours in them. I’ve paid my dues over the decades and now that I’m old I’ve learned to say no to things I “should” be doing but don’t particularly like. Another mantra. “No guilt! Paid my dues.” Zoom allows me to post an avatar and dance through the meeting instead of sitting motionless for hours. Maybe I’ll never have to sit through another actual meeting in my life!

So my intentions for 2022: just more of the same, which, when I think back on 2021, maybe that won’t be so bad.

Wishing you all a fabulous year!



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Molly Martin

Molly Martin

I’m a long-time tradeswoman activist and retired electrician/electrical inspector in San Francisco.