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Thursday, December 30, 2021

2021: Keeping Stuff Together

My glasses are a kind of avatar for 2021.

They are, for all intense and purposes, broken.  Yet with the help of some tape, a hot glue gun, and some patience, they manage to soldier on.  As do many of us I think.

Just as a side note, I do have another, newer pair of glasses, but I prefer not to wear them.  That's for both practical and stubborn reasons...

...practically speaking, I just prefer my old glasses.  They weigh next to nothing, and the reality is that I just don't see well.

...the stubborn part of me is still not happy that I was talked (yet again) into buying my new glasses in the first place.

To that second point, that's been something of an ongoing theme with my eye care provider.  That's on my list of things to work on in 2022.

Anyway, 2021 was a difficult year (thank you Captain Obvious), something that many of us can say with some surety.  I wrote that last sentence without having had anyone I know succumbing to COVID, and my heart goes out to those who did lose loved ones in 2021.  COVID has been particularly cruel in 2021, if for no other reason than the fact that it seemed like we collectively were starting to get past it.  COVID had different ideas though, and in the end, I think this linear flow of "beginning...middle...end" isn't going to apply here.  We may never end this, and as frustrating as that sounds, it's a reality we need to be prepared to face.  

For me, and for many others, there has been plenty of collateral damage coming from COVID in 2019.  Physically I just don't feel as well.  I've gained too much weight, and I am not nearly active enough.  If I were a car, I'd be running at about 110,000 miles, and that comes with all the required maintenance and things to repair that just happen when the years miles begin to pile up.  The good news is that I can make some changes in that department.  Of course, things would be easier if there was a bit more stability in one key part of my life.

That last sentence is my professional life, and the signs are hopeful.  I confess that I've been trying to unlearn a few things over this past year.  Things like...

...the need to be in charge

...defining success based on other people's measures

...blaming myself for not being successful enough (something that I can't actually define)

...comparing myself to others & engaging in countless "what if's"

This sounds so simple, but yet it is so very, very hard.  A lot of it boils down to the simple to say, but hard to actually define (and make happen) idea of "I just want to be happy".  At 57 years one would think that I would have a better handle on that, but I readily confess that I don't.  And I may never will.  But I'll keep trying.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

And We All Shine On...Christmas 2021

 "And we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun..."                                                               (John Lennon, Instant Karma)

It's Christmas, and as has been the case for a while now, I'm just not quite sure what to write.  That or the fact that I actually do have a lot to say, but it's just that I can't seem to get the words out.  Either explanation isn't all that great, and to some extent, I think I am all the worse for it.  Anyway, I'm going to try. 

This Christmas, most of us are busy contemplating how we can celebrate a holiday and at the same time not add our names to the global list of COVID-19 victims.  Not that I live in fear of such things but living in reality more or less dictates that this is a kind of commonality that spans all of us who have the capability of rational thought.  That last sentence sounds more philosophical than intended, here's a more down-to-Earth statement: It simply sucks that people are dying, others are sick, and some of us can't see family members because of this horrible pestilence.  The very public face of me tries really damn hard to be the strong, rational, and realistic one.  Deep inside though, I just wish I could see all of my daughters this Christmas.  

On a positive note, my oldest daughter made a more or less surprise trip home from New York City, which means that I was 2 for 3 in the Christmas family reunion department.

As I write this, the visitors have gone, and a day that seems like it spanned 48 hours is quickly coming to an end. While it was a long day, I didn't take the time to take many pictures this Christmas, although it was nice to see so many others posting holiday photos on Facebook.  I think so many are just trying to get back to some sense of normalcy while things this Christmas are no more normal than they were a year ago.  At some point this will just be the new normal.

(Oren helps open gifts)

The whole "new normal" thing can be disconcerting, but I think it's important to remember that things were always going to change.  All that's different is the timing.  This isn't to dismiss or otherwise minimize a global pandemic and putting aside the human toll of illness and death for a moment, what COVID has done is to create a kind of accelerated change.  This is all the more reason to create new rituals...that make sense in a world that is going to be permanently different.

On that note, my thoughts fall back to the year that has passed.  That's another post for another day though.  For now, I think it's time for all of us to get some rest.