A New Message For A New Year

in #attitudelast year (edited)

Rolling into the New Year, I can't help but look back a couple years when I was looking onto 2020 with hopes to make "the roaring 20's" my conquered era- my time to build my greatest hopes and dreams and establish my trajectory for the future. Through a great amount of intention and self invention, being faced with a few personal challenges, I was looking toward a year in a new career, growing personally and expecting to grow in business as well. All those hopes were being realized and the challenges were being faced and met with relentless optimism and a work ethic to back my goals and realize my vision for my future.

Rumblings of a possible outbreak in China hit my radar in early 2020 and while managers, friends and family were minimizing the potential impact of these things, it seemed likely that my plans were about to be derailed by a force of nature that I had no control over. And so it was. My brand new job evaporated on March 15, 2020 when my girlfriend got sick and had to isolate for 14 days. After her negative Covid test, we both had to finish a 14 day quarantine. No second test was permitted and they wouldn't test me, so I took on the role of caretaker to nurse my girl back to health from what seemed like a borderline pneumonia and flu. No idea if it was actually Covid, but that's history. We both got through it and it hit us both pretty hard, although I avoided the brunt of it, but I digress.

Looking forward to 2022, I'm finding it a must to look back to this moment in 2020, because it was a huge pivot point in my life. I was already going through a difficult career change when “15 days to flatten the curve” on March 24, 2020 turned into an all out political battle, mixed with social movements, the politicization of a disease and the treatments of it and the all out shutdown of small businesses and the grinding halt of the economy as a whole. Looking back to that moment, we knew so little about what we were dealing with, some of the idiocy and lunacy is forgivable in the grander scope of things... forgivable in that moment anyway. Not that I think that grants a free pass for continued lunacy, but that's another thought all to itself and I'm focusing on the positives here.

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that this pandemic didn't come at a great time for me; I wasn't financially or personally prepared to get a taste of a forced retirement with nowhere to go and no real savings to speak of and to go nowhere and do nothing but worry about paying rent, bills and finding a way to afford the rising costs of fuel, food and commodities. Where's the positive in all that? It comes in time. This is why I find it important to reflect back to the journey when I look onward to the future that I look forward to.

While writing this sort of thing may open me up to criticism, it's really not in my bucket of fucks to worry about people who would judge someone based on their perception of a life they haven't lived. If there's one thing I'm certain of, it's that everyone's struggles are real, difficult and valid and mine are no more important or “worse” than anyone else's. I seek no sympathy, nor do I want to give it. Although I do feel deeply for all people who suffer, it's because I wish them to be free of that suffering by doing something about it by reaching out to those around them and helping themselves and others. This might sound calloused, but sympathy is a bandage on a gunshot wound that just leads to more pain. Empathy drives us to take action and I'd rather be driving than stuck in a hole crying about why my wheels aren't turning. Although the tears are justified for moment, if you stay crying in that hole, you're just going to drown in self pity and despair when you could have been digging or found some kind of help. I truly believe that action is the only thing that moves us forward into a meaningful future.

Over the last two years, we've all seen our share of struggles and most of us continue to struggle in some way or another. Whether we struggle due to the ever changing social landscapes that are driven by politicians who insist on using divisive political tactics for their gain in the name of “what's right”, creating segregation of society through mandates or due to the affects that these things have on friendships, families, businesses, jobs, economy or our ability to travel... we all have our struggles. To the lucky ones who's jobs or businesses have not been affected or who've experienced growth in this time, I'm happy for you. I have no misgivings for those that are doing well. If you haven't had to pivot in this last couple years by changing jobs, careers, closing businesses, selling homes or vehicles to make things work- just know that you're the exception, not the rule. While I'll take the journey in stride and adapt as I go- I can say from experience that not all of us have been that lucky.

My intention in sharing my thoughts is not to complain about how these last couple years have affected me, in fact, I'm thankful for the chance to once again revisit my core beliefs and take a full, in depth inventory of what I care about and what I want. Lean times force the discernment of mind that it takes to make things we want most come into fruition and it's just this kind of opportunity that affords us the ability to forge ourselves in the hottest fires. Struggle can be an inconvenience and a moment of opportunity and it needn't exist separately or together. When I take stock of the growth I've seen in people around me in my life and in public figures I've seen take each day in stride, I'm blessed with an abundance of hope, because I see people who are growing personally who have the ability to make this world better than it was before they experienced each and every day they live.

Sure 2020 was a dumpster fire, fueled by fear, outrage and a large bit of insanity in the midst of the unknown. And it was a simpler time when people could justify wearing 5 gallon water jugs and shower curtains to the grocery store to protect themselves from the deadly virus that threatened to take out the entire planet. But it didn't. The shoe kept on threatening to drop right into 2021.

Sure 2021 was a train wreck of biological experiments, outrage, science denial, propaganda, a full scale attack on the validity of history, freedom of speech and the autonomy over our bodies with a twist of tyranny and a dash of salt for the open wounds. Maybe it was a year of insanity, compounded by the resentment of a year of being told that it was our fault that the economy was failing as mandate after mandate was pushed through without due process under the guise of a public health emergency as money was being burnt as fast as it was printed with no noticeable difference except for a growing segregation of our societies.

As we move forward into 2022, riding on the coat tails of a burning dumpster fire being dragged down the railway tracks of a runaway freight train of questionable biological materials, all being pedaled with the promises of miracles, there's still hope for this upcoming year and for each and every one of us to come out better than the year before. What's going to become of this runaway train, hurdling down the tracks, billowing and puffing scary looking smoke into the air? Maybe it'll burn itself up and turn into a puddle of molten metal or crack into a rock slide or be put out by an avalanche rolling through the mountains. Or maybe people will just stop listening to all the screeching and chugging and down their best to manage the fallout of its' existence when it finally runs out of fuel.

We're two days into a new year and with that comes new opportunities and new challenges. All of those are compounded by the old ones, for better or worse. This last couple years has been hard for people, businesses, countries and the world over. Families, friends and neighbors have suffered through the hardships of lost family members, livelihoods, homes and relationships due to the ever changing social environment and attitudes of the world around them. We are living in difficult times. In times like these, we define who we are, not only to ourselves, but to those around us as well. We only get one life. Live it well.

Much love and be kind to one another. It's not always easy, but it's probably the first and best way we can all make the world a better place. Happy 2022!

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Ryalty Free Photo by cottonbro from Pexels:


Let’s hope these ‘20s do roar, and don’t whimper while cowering in a dark corner like the end of the last ‘20s.

Let’s hope the economy and world don’t crash. Fingers crossed 2022 will be a good year. Who knows, maybe the rumored cures will actually work!

I'll regain cautiously optimistic. There seems to be plenty of good options for early treatment that will hopefully become adopted as an "acceptable course" of action.