CLXI – Reflection on 2021

Greetings to you all from the cyber-realm of my dual blogs. This will be simultaneously published on both my blogs, mainly because it’s been a hot minute since I’ve written anything, as you have most likely noticed. Today is Christmas Day, 25 Dec 2021. Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate it. If you don’t then happy Saturday to you. Perhaps you’re like the old Seinfeld show, where they mentioned, “Festivus for the rest of us”. Whatever you do or don’t choose to celebrate, please enjoy your day.

We’re into the last week of 2021, and this is the final Saturday of the year. Next Friday night, the world, in its progression of time zones, will be ringing in the new year, bidding farewell (or good riddance) to 2021 and welcoming in 2022. You may or may not have been wondering what the hell has been going on, that I haven’t been writing anything as of late, since the last time I published anything back in October. Actually, a lot has been happening, I just haven’t been able or willing to talk about it.

To start with, you may have noticed how a myriad of employers are struggling to find willing workers to fill their vacancies. My job is no exception, nor is it immune to the struggle. We’ve been running short-handed for quite some time now, and I’ve been working in excess of 40 hours a week (some weeks as many as 60) for weeks on end. In some weeks I’ve felt like a decapitated chicken, working my ass off. It’s good, because the paychecks have been really good. The downside? I’m always exhausted and don’t have the energy to do much of anything else, much less sit and write uninterrupted. When I write, I need a quiet place to concentrate and let my thoughts flow. Having two teenagers and one soon-to-be teenager is not conducive to my train of thought. I love my kids to death, but they can get on my nerves, as any parent of teenagers can attest.

Something else that is happening, that I’ve shared with very few people, is that I’ve begun the process of getting divorced. Some might be shocked, but those who know me most will know that this has been a long time coming. I’m not going into the details of the whys and wherefores, but suffice it to say, I will be getting divorced. The state of Utah, with its religious influence, makes divorce a difficult process, trying everything it can do to make a married couple try to work out their problems. I will say this: there is nothing to work out. We’ve been living like roommates for years now, so there’s absolutely nothing to try to “work out” or reconcile. The biggest problem I’m having is trying to find a place to move to. Very few rentals are available, and what there are, are outrageously priced. Here locally, a studio apartment runs for in excess of $1000 a month. Houses can exceed $3000/mo. If my credit wasn’t shit, I’d go buy a motorhome and live in it. Payments on that would be less than a goddamned apartment. Plus, I could just about park it wherever I wanted. So, yeah, that’s always great🙄. I might have to move out of the area, possibly out of state. I’ve honestly wanted to leave Utah for a long time. Where would I go, though? I don’t want to go very far to the east: too humid and the weather is way too wild for my liking. California is a steaming pile of 💩, getting worse and worse every day, and it’s WAY more expensive than here. Southern Arizona is atrociously hot in the summer. Canadian-border states are usually super cold in the winter and get lots of snow. Colorado is really high (in more ways than one). No place is perfect, and I’m going to have to sacrifice something. I just hope that, wherever I go, I can make something comparable to my hourly wages now. Even transferring to another Cracker Barrel, I don’t want to go somewhere and have to take a pay cut.

Reflecting over the last year, it has definitely been one of realizations and awakenings for me. Many things have worked together, yet independent of each other, throughout the year and have brought me to my current situation.

As far as the upcoming year is concerned, I’m looking forward to what it may bring. There are some things I intend to work on in 2022. I think I will make my first post of 2022 about what my goals are for the year. Not “New Year’s resolutions”, as those always fail. I’m not “resolving” anything. I will be setting goals for myself to either achieve or work to improve. No one is perfect; we all have some way we can improve. When someone asks me, “How are you?” I’ve learned to never answer, “Couldn’t be better” or “Couldn’t be worse”, because life can always take you farther in either direction. Sure, I can always be better. By the same token, I could be on a respirator or dead from one of the multiple coronavirus “variants”—so I could always be worse, no matter how bad I think I might be.

Hopefully, you haven’t forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. If you’re religiously inclined, remember the birth of Jesus. If you’re not religious, I hope you have the feeling of giving and generosity in your heart. If you have family you love, spend time with them. You never know when anyone’s time in this life will cease. If you’re struggling at this time of year, for whatever reason, remember that your feelings are valid. Take time to care for yourself. Not everyone can be merry or joyful at the end of the year. This is a painful time for many, and everyone will get through in their own fashion. I think the end of the year is over-commercialized, and that the retail world needs to step back and let people take things one day at a time.

I have by no means abandoned my blog, as I once did 6 years ago. Sometimes even the best writers have to step back and breathe, and allow life to happen. I hope 2021 was not a total shit show for you. It is my desire that you can look back on 2021 and see the positive things that happened. In your celebrations Friday night, don’t overdo it (you might have to work Saturday!), but if you do, let someone else take you home. This concludes my posts for both my blogs for 2021. I hope you enjoyed everything I wrote. I want you to be able to read my writing in 2022. Until next year (that sounds so weird!), please, please, PLEASE, be safe and be well.

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