2017 was a funny old year from my point of view. I didn’t redo a real cycling pilgrimage which was right; I gave up being an employed academic after only one academic year in which that had been my sole job, that too was right; I did clear a bit of the research backlog that has accumulated in some very slowly accelerating landslide, over the last decade or so, that was a start; I even got my head around some statistical theory and practice that I hadn’t known before, that was good; I did manage to kick out a few papers but not many; finally, I did manage to be moderately useful around the home and we have moved a number of overdue household things on which was very good.
Externally, globally, politically, I think 2017 was little short of a nightmare with the idiocy of Brexit grinding on almost unbelievably and Trump, Putin and, more lately, Kim Jong Un have made macho posturing and terrifying real oppression and shameless discrimination newly naked and dangerous. There have been good countering swells and these remind us that no one dangerous person ever inflicted horror on the world without active and passive connivance from many others. Colin Kaepernick and the Black Lives Matter more generally have given me some hope around discrimination by colour, and the pink hats and later in the year #metoo underlines that anger about, and resistance to, sexism is (re?) finding voice.
For all the good things, that felt like a pretty grim balance sheet and particularly because the basically statistics of rampant 21st Century capitalism, “free market”, neo-liberal ideas, and the grip they and their believers have on power and money seem hard to counter.
So coming back to the selfishly personal: I find myself making resolutions for 2018. That’s not something I do most years and as I cooked some up, I came to realise that it’s probably something I do only when these rather arbitrary date/year pivot points align with a yearning for more change in my own life. Not one of my resolutions has been political I realise now, perhaps one should be tacked on: to get to the end of 2018 able to make some useful political ones for 2019. For now … enough already! Very best wishes for your own new year, and for any resolutions or hopes and aspirations anyone reading this has for 2018 (and for whenever you read this!)