That made me stop and think about the question myself: what, if anything, am I looking forward to in the new year?
Because I've just been sitting here for weeks with this black mass of dread in my abdomen as to what the next...not even the next year, but what the next MONTH is going to bring. Every day at 5:00 I turn on the news because I now feel a responsibility to know what's going on--to know what's happening approximately as it happens--and every time I do, all my viscera clench up and I think, "What fresh horrors am I going to witness today?"
For weeks I've hardly been able to focus on anything past January 20th, and then, with that question about the next year...it's like, "Something happens after that? Oh. Oh, yeah."
So I thought about the question. I thought and thought. What am I looking forward to in the next year?
In the first place, I'm looking forward to being alive. That might sound facetious, but it's not. I said before: "We are engaged in a battle for our nation's very soul. The stakes could not be higher. The danger to our country--to our very existence--cannot be overstated. Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis has our future been so uncertain." I believed that then, and I believe it now. And yet, when the future is uncertain, every day that we're alive is a gift. Every day that we aren't harassed or persecuted or shot or stabbed or mown down by rampaging trucks or have planes crashed on us or rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps is a small victory. My hope is that we will be able to prematurely end the mockery of democracy we are currently embroiled in through peaceful, systematic, Constitutional means, but even if all we can do is endure and outlast the insanity, and still be standing to rebuild when it's over, that will be enough. We will have won.
But in less generic, abstract terms, what am I looking forward to in the new year? I'm looking forward to Mike Huether making a decision as to his future, political and otherwise. Right now, I'm hoping that he runs for governor against Kristi Noem. If he decides to run for anything, my intention is to step up and volunteer to help the campaign, regardless of what office he pursues. But right now, I really want to work to defeat Kristi Noem. I've always been opposed to her, but now it's personal. If I can't beat her face to face, I want to beat her by proxy, and what better way than to beat her by helping someone that I truly believe in, someone whom I know to be a smart, capable, principled person with the best interests of the people at heart. Also, South Dakota has never had an independent--in the sense of non-party affliated--governor,[*](So far, there has been one governor who was neither a Democrat nor a Republican: Andrew E Lee, a member of the Populist Party, served as governor from 1897-1901) so that would be a milestone.
You know...as I think about it some more, there's one thing that I'm not so much looking forward to as hoping for in the new year, and that is just some time to be. Some leisure. I mean, every day it seems that there's something new--not only something new, but several new things every day--to be incensed over and upset about. And I want to do my part; I want to use my talents (writing, primarily) to contribute something meaningful to the fight. But there's so much to react to--there's a barrage of new indignities every day, and because I also have a day job, I can't keep up with it all.
For Christmas, I received a new coloring book and a pack of 50 new colored pencils. I didn't even know that they came in packs of 50; I've been searching in vain for nearly a year for a pack of more than 24. In the new year, I hope I can spend some time with my coloring books and my colored pencils. I hope I have some time to relax and be calm and just be in the moment. I hope that I have the opportunity--the luxury--to create something beautiful, purely for the sake of creativity.