Random thoughts at year’s end

It’s the season of listicles, which tend to drive me to distraction, which in turn explains this post.

Abroad, 2015 may mark a trend in Latin America away from the pernicious “21st Century Socialism” of Hugo Chavez and his Foro de Sao Paulo buddies. After the defeat of Cristina Kirchner’s hand-picked candidate in Argentina,  the new National Assembly in Venezuela, and the possible impeachment of Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, the three countries could improve.

I am skeptical, however, since I don’t see a great popular groundswell towards rule of law, market policies, small government, accountability, or business-friendly environments. Argentina’s new president, Mauricio Macri, seems to be moving towards that direction; he has his work cut out for him.

Let’s hope the trend continues.

Here in the U.S. I expect a tumultuous 2016. Obama is not yet done in his goal of fundamentally transforming the greatest nation in the history of mankind, mostly because he probably does not hold our country in such regard. In an election year, the Washington Cartel may grow desperate as non-insiders keep rising.

For the economy, Tyler Durden predicts that 2016 will be no fun.

As mankind is wont to do, we live in uncertain times.

Men can gird their loins, but what’s a woman to do, then? (WARNING: The next two paragraphs are on self-advice.)

For starters, do the most relaxing thing every day. The most relaxing thing was taught to me by my tai-chi instructor: Stand in the Vitruvian Man stance, focus on your breathing, and take s-l-o-w deep breaths where  you raise and lower your abdomen muscles. For quicker results, if you are at home, do this lying down on the floor (no, not on the floor of public spaces, ugh!). You can do it for a few seconds, for one minute, or for as long as you want. Works for me.

Now that you did that, learn to say no: A Policy of Saying ‘No’ Can Save You Time and Guilt. If you are working yourself during the holiday season into a frenzy such that you are thisclose to burnout, you are doing it wrong. Years ago, I decided I wasn’t going out on New Year’s Eve because of the drunks, and have enjoyed New Year’s Eve much more ever since.

(End of self-advice section.)

Regardless of what we predict for 2016, may Our Lord bring us and our country a joyful, prosperous and blessed year.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news and culture at Fausta’s Blog. She does not make New Year’s resolutions.