By Dawn M. Sanders

Well here we are again – that time of year when, not only is it fading fast before our eyes, we reflect on what could have been, what should have been and grasp for what actually did come to fruition in the last twelve months. That is, at least I do this tired old ritual every flaming old year ending/new year beginning.

New Year’s resolutions? I can’t think of a bigger waste of energy as they inevitably vaporise the minute they hit the light of day…

No, for me and I know so many others – it’s literally down to ‘staying sane’ keeping our heads above water and keeping it together, whatever defines that anymore.

Sounds cynical? Maybe it is, but I’m a realist, sometimes a pragmatist, but forever a warrior of determination.

This last year saw me try and try again, to jump start my journalism escapades, but it was like trying to jump start a powerful motorcycle with not enough petrol or an unskilled driver.

All the little linking up of publications to my own writings; all the quick and crafty social media guru-ship demanded by employers who, get so many applications for particularly entry-level jobs – only to take so many and cast the rest of the applications aside.

Okay, so I had an interview in the summer up in Bristol.

It didn’t matter that, I not only got there on time – despite it being right across the city from Bristol Parkway in a tucked away little industrial estate, the employer seemed to take issue with the fact I came from Exeter.

Oh, and the 3 months wasted time, energy and bags of patience at the Royal National College (RNC) for the blind that is: a specialist college who, if I was going to have learned the specialist skills needed with being more social media savvy in tandem with using a screen reader – it should have been there, not the case and I walked away from it empty-handed and feeling cheated.

There has been the promise of a more localised programme to supposedly provide the bespoke training I didn’t get from the RNC, but again, that is yet to happen so, it’s been hurry up and try/wait, try/wait – leaving me more exasperated than when I started with any kind of initiative or ambition.

All that said, I’ve just started to gain footing with my local Labour party constituency and contributing even in the smallest way has been amazing.

I went to the party conference in September where, the air was full of opposing views, yet optimism and I was able to conduct a meaningful interview of one of our delegates.

As the momentum for change is building – almost by the day – so too is the desperate situation the UK is in, let alone the rest of the world.

The chorus of climate change denial has become deafening, the erosion of democracy has never been more visible and daily life is more and more life wading through quicksand.

But hey, I could sit here all damn night as an armchair activist – banging on about what’s wrong or messed up with the world on a political, social or personal level, but we’ve scoffed the Chinese take away and it’s time to get ready to go out and see in yet another new year.

What we all need is a huge injection of hope not hate; aligning ourselves in the fight for a better tomorrow, not alienation from the grim realities of what is happening around us.

I mean, if we can’t have hope, determination and staying power to see away the bad forces taking hold all around us, then its:

Mary Armageddon and jolly apocalypse…

So now off with my new partner (the one thing that I never saw coming out-of-the-blue) this year – like some peaceful bird flying over from the other side of life’s perspective – we’re off to the cheesy karaoke in a rough and ready neighbourhood pub.

Happy New Year!

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