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Solve the equation - x - 2 = - 2x + 1.

We would like to have one x all by itself on one side of the equation. If we add x to either side of the equation, we find that

- 2 = - x + 1

Since we would like to get a positive x on one side of the equation—we made a New Year's resolution to be more upbeat—we add another x to either side:

- 2 + x = 1

All that is left is to add 2 to each side and write

x = 3

We could also have added 2x to each side from the start: