Is it February already?

The new year leaped out of the gate and is already well on its way around the track, while I have had my head down, distracted by events unfolding in the state of Oregon. It’s fair to say that the occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge with its band of rough-and-tumble cowboy wannabes in the southeastern part of my state has captured my complete attention.

Before you imaging me in a darkened room hunched over the small, glimmering light of a single computer screen, let me assure you that through this addiction I was able to go about my daily life of work, family, and responsibilities… barely.

For forty-one days I was glued to my Twitter feed, scouring articles about events and perspectives that led up to this occupation, reviewing recent right-wing revisionist history and being introducedย to some interesting conspiracy theories. I learned about underhanded efforts to release public lands to state and private interests, and witnessed the groundswell of support for those lands. Toward the end, I joined 60,000 others in listening to an intense live feed of FBI approaching the encroachers in a last-ditch attempt to round them up before things really got out of hand. I listened in as deal was made, and the next morning they all finally walked off the refuge to a collective hallelujah from law enforcement and most who were following the story.

I looked up and found myself in early February. I felt a little dirty, like I’d been a witness to my neighbors bringing their dirty laundry to air on my front porch, but now that they were gone, balance was restored and life could go on as before.

What did I hope to accomplish in 2016? Well, first and foremost, I intended to write. This didn’t happen. Though I managed to squeeze a couple of small pieces out, most attempts were colored with the issue I was focused on or had an icing of negativity that is born of the insecurity that comes from instability. It’s now time to play catch-up.

Another of my ongoing goals is training for distance running. At my age, that sounds ridiculously focused, but it’s a fact that to get this old body moving on any level requires training, one step in front of the other, increases of distance daily and weekly. I managed to get myself to the gym, though I watched CNN and checked my Twitter feed instead of my regular treadmill routine of watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I’m on track for some nice runs come spring.

Life feels lighter now. The cloud is lifting, and my brain is engaging.

Bring on 2016!

If you, too, are interested in the occupation, here’s a great article from High Country News.


In response to The Daily Post’s prompt:ย How is the year shaping up for you so far? Have your predictions come true, or did you have to face a curve ball or two?