Starting anew

Jumping into 2020 with a more mindful outlook and determination to have fun

Happy New Year, dear readers.

That’s a qualified happy, probably due to my line of work. I mean, as a newspaper editor, one of my main jobs is to highlight the things that aren’t going right. As we all know, living in a federal disaster zone comes with no shortage of news on that front. Life just hasn’t been the same here since Nov. 8, 2018.

Interestingly, though, I just read in an email pitch that California has the third-lowest rate of depression in the nation. Based on stats tracked by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over a five-year period, the Golden State clocks in with an average of 14.48 percent of the populace reporting experiencing depression.

My question: Who are these well-adjusted folks making up the other 85.52 percent? I don’t know any of them!

In all seriousness, it’s nice to hear that we live in a region with a relatively low rate of depression. For comparison, 25.20 percent of our northern neighbors, Oregonians, and nearly as many West Virginians (24.62 percent) live with depression. Most of the states with the highest rates are either in the South or on the East Coast. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hawaii ranks best (11.76 percent), because, you know, it’s Hawaii.

On a personal note, I’m going to make a concerted effort this year to be mindful of my own mental health. I didn’t do a very good job of that during 2019. For one, I spent way too much time being a hermit. I didn’t do enough of the things that make me happy and keep me energized—riding horses, gardening, reading novels, spending lots of time with my best friends, eating Dungeness crab, going to rock shows, visiting San Francisco.

But the new year gives me an opportunity for a fresh start, so I’m going to cut myself a break on these and other failures. One of my resolutions—yes, there are multiple—is to begin 2020 with a positive outlook.

Indeed, I’m going to count my blessings more often. There are a lot of things I’m grateful for, including my loving family and dedicated co-workers.

Another thing I’m thankful for is that this newspaper’s readers care about the community. I know this for many reasons, including your letters to the editor, but right now I’m thinking about the CN&R’s annual holiday donation drive.

Because of the Camp Fire-driven food insecurity issues the county is experiencing, we asked for donations of nonperishable foods. We have a nice collection stacking up in our downtown office, and we’ll soon head up to the Ridge to deliver it all. So, I wanted to plug the effort one last time in this space. We’ll take those goods through next Friday, Jan. 10. For those unfamiliar, we’re located downtown at Second and Flume streets, hence the name of this column.

To those who’ve already been in to drop off donations, thank you. You are much appreciated.