2018 and Beyond


“Each moment is different from any before it. Each moment is different, it’s now.”~ Incredible String Band

Best wishes for a happy 2018!

The ambient temperature is 23 degrees below zero outside, the kind of winter we expect in the Midwest. The cold snap should and hopefully will last a week or more. If we’re lucky, it will be followed by another later this month. After that, I’m ready for winter to be over.

There is a lot to do in 2018.

January will be a month to see if financial plans made in December work.

The switch from work-based health insurance to Medicare means managing six different payments for health insurance each month. With this change, my net income from the home, farm and auto supply store should increase, less any additional tax. There is also Social Security, scheduled to begin the fourth week of the month. Now begins the monitoring to see if it comes together as planned. Assuming it does, the rest of the year falls into place as follows.

I haven’t set a date to leave the home, farm and auto supply store, although I’m looking at March 16, giving me three full months of paychecks, which when combined with Social Security, will help the transition. Farm work starts in late February/early March and is expected to run through June or July. Orchard work starts in August. There are only a few other focal points.

Writing: After picking a project, I plan to get back to writing 1,000 words a day, six days a week by spring.

Reading: Read 50 pages a day, six days a week, split between books for learning, enjoyment, and research for writing.

Social Media: Who knew this would even be a category? I plan to maintain my blog and use Facebook and Twitter to develop a readership for new writing. I may add other social media platforms.

Business Development: Once I leave the home, farm and auto supply store attention will be turned to generating cash to help pay down debt and take care of major, deferred household expenses. This must be done in a sustainable way, one considering my aging frame. Over the next year or two I will reduce income from work that makes physical demands.

Food Ecology: Combining gardening, farm work and networking, leverage the local food system to provide a greater share of the food we consume at home. Get better at gardening.

Social Engagement: Develop a sustainable, local group to work on the midterm election, and advocate for environmental, public health, and social justice issues. Work with national organizations to reduce the existential threat of nuclear weapons.

Health: Take care of myself so I can do the aforementioned things.

While not really resolutions, there is a lot to do. Without a plan, one might slip into the abyss and never be heard from again. I’m not ready for that.

Best wishes to readers for a peaceful and prosperous 2018.