Pursuit editor Hal Humphreys looks back on the lessons of a year full of “interesting times.”
Go home 2018, you’re drunk.
Here we are: the end of another year. 2018 fast draws to a close, and I’m here again, looking back, reviewing, thinking, doing a bit of soul-searching and trying to see what, if anything, this year has taught me. As usual, I’ve taken in some of the lessons and missed a ton of them.
Personally, I keep turning to yoga and meditation. Focusing on the unplug, and such.
Somehow, I’ve managed to maintain the practice. Somehow, I’ve made time to sit each day. I’ve made time to move each day. Some days, I go to the studio and pace through some poses with a group of friends and a teacher. More often, I sneak back to the home-office-turned-yoga-space and flow through the warriors and triangles and crows and twists and child’s poses. Occasionally, I find a quiet bathroom floor or a rooftop deck. But wherever I found myself, I’ve made the time, and that’s made a difference.
This year, I’ve pissed some people off. I’ve offended others. I’ve hurt feelings. I’ve stepped on toes. I’ve made missteps, and I’ve made assumptions. I’ve done most of these things unintentionally.
I’ve helped some people. I’ve solved problems. I’ve stood in support. I’ve corrected wrongs.
I’ve failed. I’ve succeeded.
Time, the illusion thereof, has (as usual) been a harsh teacher.
So, in this honored tradition of year end recaps: Here are a few of the lessons I managed to absorb in 2018.
- I STILL have so much more to learn in so many ways.
- I need even less stuff.
- I love my friends.
- I adore a good story.
- I’m happiest when I’m walking.
- I’m almost as happy practicing yoga as when walking.
- A daily yoga practice is totally doable.
- If I can do #yogaeverydamnday, anyone can.
- I don’t really like hashtags.
- When I offer something to a person, their acceptance or rejection is not my concern.
- When people assume ill intent on my part, they are projecting.
- When people assume anything, they are projecting.
- People tend to project.
- When a person gets upset or offended, they made that choice.
- I sometimes make that choice.
- I’m trying to be conscious of my choices.
- To sit in meditation and calm the mind is not only nice; it’s become necessary.
- My mind continues to spin.
- I cannot abide pundits or hot takes.
- Reporters like Pam Colloff, Radley Balko, and Theo Emery keep us honest.
- We have an absolute duty to protect and support the fourth estate.
- Voting is required.
- Self-righteous people offend me.
- I do not have to buy into anyone’s drama.
- Most of my work revolves around unnecessary human drama.
- I work with and for the absolute best people I know.
- Wine is my friend.
- Cocktails are my friends.
- Too much of either, and those friends turn on me and make me live in pain the next day.
- I still believe that most people mean well.
- Good portions of the human population are just lovely, given the chance.
- I would rather cook a meal at home than do most anything else.
- I can survive quite nicely on one good meal a day.
- “Business Hal” is not personal.
- Some people are just mean.
- Some people are just batshit crazy.
- Some people collect grievances.
- Some people hold grudges.
- I am out of patience for people who collect grievances and hold grudges.
- I have grown weary of batshit crazy.
- I cannot abide, nor will I put up with, meanness.
- I can be thoughtful, and I can be thoughtless. I strive for the former.
Happy New Year, everyone! Be well, and strive for better. —Hal Humphreys, editor-in-chief