Happy New Year Beloveds

The Doench/Nelson family at the Cincinnati Zoo’s Festival of Lights

The late Molly Ivin’s would often address her prose to “my beloveds,” as if her readers, including myself, were her intimate partners in the collective endeavor of comprehending the ins and outs of America’s delightful and frustrating experiment in self government. I’m enchanted by the sentiment and have adopted the late Texan’s turn of phrase from time to time, hoping I can approach her eloquence and certain Molly would not begrudge the indulgence.

2022 was a long strange year for me. The year began with in choppy waters and has ended in calm but confusing seas. In January I came to the realization that was was too damn good at drinking. My aged but pugnacious liver handles the booze too efficiently, leading to a breathtaking amount of whiskey passing through my system over the years.

This was all certainly aggravated by the previous three seasons of the Donald Trump tries to kill America show combined with the enforced isolation of the novel Coronavirus lockdowns and the deterioration of my left shoulder, which required labrum surgery in the spring.

With the support of my weirdo friends (in meatspace and online,) my lovely yet horrible children, and the love of my life Naomi, the transition to a more sober reality has been smoother than I expected. And the recovery from surgery, whilst painful, was over before we knew it, allowing me to fully participate in Camp Quest Ohio and the Nelson family vacation to the Finger Lakes over the summer.

Finishing the high ropes course at Canter’s Cave. No Lous were harmed in the taking of this photograph.

The fall and winter have been less hectic but not without interesting times to live thru. My ADHD has significantly worsened, perhaps an indication of how much I was depending on the good stuff to get the dopamine I needed to get thru the days. Without that assistance my ability to concentrate on things, complete projects, or even just enjoy my blessed day to day life has suffered.

A new therapist is helping a lot, and a change of meds is starting to show benefits. I’m feeling better little by little. I don’t believe in “resolutions,” my brain has never responded to that kind of artificial starting gun, nor the facade of self constructed deadlines. But what I am trying to do is embrace what I’m doing well in any given moment, with the full understanding that keeping healthy enjoyment going may require taking breaks when my brain is tired, while committing to follow up so that I can share the things I create with you folks. Writing is one of those things, so I hope to have more to share with you soon.

So keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds,
but don’t forget to have fun doin’ it. Be outrageous… rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through celebrating the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was! Molly Ivins


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