I thought that this email was going to be some kind of 2018 review, or a synopsis of lessons learned in the last 12 months, or some kinda wise advice for 2019. But actually, it's not.
I've been gently easing back into work after a welcome break over the holidays (thanks to a chaotic few weeks in December). And I've been thinking about writing. And about how much I've missed it.
What I've realised is that I write just as much for me as I do for you (eeek sorry). That this process of sitting down and letting words flow out of my head onto a keyboard is actually a super important part of my process. And that when I don't do it, I feel it. I can't quite describe where I feel it other than knowing that it feels like a significant piece of a jigsaw puzzle has been lost, and nothing feels quite as complete or grounded as it should do.
And what I'm recognising now is that the writing process is just that, a process. Something that I need to do, not achieve. The joy of writing comes from the actual writing not the completion of the task. This strange blend of the intensity of these words that absolutely need to come out mixed with the relaxed unfolding of them on the screen.
There's something magic about this - and I'm both stoked and relieved that I'm recommitting to it again.
And so right now, the thing I want to write about is this - Doing work that matters. Playing an active role in the world and the issues that we're facing.
For me that always starts with recognising our privilege. Sometimes this happens through a conversation, through travel or simply through a new perspective on the world, whether that comes to you through a documentary you watch on tv, an interview you read or simply a quiet moment of reflection.
Take some time to see what is actually happening in the world right now. To see how damn lucky you are. How unbelievably fortunate you are. How your 'problems' in life, really don't rank on a global scale of problems that the majority of the population are dealing with.
Once you know this, then (I believe) it's your responsibility to do something about it. Don't sit there feeling overwhelmed. Don't wait for someone else to make the first move. Don't waste your time blaming the government or big corporations or whoever it is you think is at fault. DO SOMETHING.
Figure out how you can make a difference. A real difference. Identify what it is that you have to give - I'm not talking about financial contributions here, I'm talking about something far more important. Far more valuable. I'm talking about your time.
Can you volunteer somewhere ? Can you offer your skillset to a project or campaign who need it ? Can you summon the courage to have the uncomfortable conversations with those around you - To invite them to stop worrying about buying the latest car, or upgrading their couch and connect with what's going on in the world and how they might be able to help.
And yes, I'm ranting. But come on folks, it's about freaking time. If you're reading this, then chances are, you are MIGHTY privileged, and there are a whole bunch of things you could be doing to take better care of our planet and all the precious people & creatures on it.
Imagine what 2019 would look like if we all spent a bit more time doing good.
Let's step up shall we ?