A Matter of Time
The tail end of 2021 hit me like a ton of bricks, but in the best possible way. As I’ve aged, I’ve become more of a feeling being, and my outlook on life is better for it.
It wasn’t until I was in my forties when I began to break down in tears about things that I may not have given a second thought to in my younger years.
Not that I've never broken down and cried before, but the more it happened, the more I embraced those emotions and allowed myself to feel things more frequently.
A good cry is as cathartic as it gets, and not all cries come from a place of pain or sadness.
The latter half of December, I had a lot of time to think, reflect, and introspect. By the end, I realized that 2021 was one of the best years that I’ve had in a very long time, and it was about time.
Overall, I’m a pretty optimistic person.
Lord knows, it’s hard to be optimistic much of the time, but I love a challenge.
Sure, I have bad days. Who doesn’t? It’s natural, and that’s okay.
Without the lows, you'll never appreciate the highs. That's just how it works, and that shit takes time.
Uncomfortable situations are the soil from which we learn, improve, adapt, and grow. Good or bad, everything we experience is for the benefit of our personal development. And then you die.
Some days, my mind can get the best of me. What can I say? There's a 47-year-old storm swirling around in there that could make Jupiter's look like child's play.
What’s Your Vibe?
I make a conscious effort to bring good energy to every encounter I have.
That’s important to me, especially as I get older.
That means bringing that same energy to my personal party of one.
Sometimes you need to dig for the gold.
In December, I had time to recognize and acknowledge exactly how transformative 2021 was for me.
I allowed myself to feel proud of how hard I worked on three important pillars of stability – work, exercise, and mental health.
My typical year-end reflections focus on what I’m going to do differently in the next year. But 2021 was different.
I don’t need to do things differently in 2022. Instead, my focus is how to keep the momentum going.
Life is about how you react and respond to any given situation, so behave accordingly.
I feel, very deeply, that we are part of something bigger; that there is actual purpose in our being, and we’re all somehow connected, continually learning, and constantly evolving.
You know when you know.
For me, it happened after turning 40.
Not that I became a different person, I just became more accepting of myself and finally fell in love with him too.
That was a process. Worth it. 5 stars.
For some, it may happen earlier – or never happen at all. If you get there, you get there, and it can happen at any phase of life.
You have exactly until you die to become a person you’re proud to be.
May the odds be ever in your favor.
New Year, Same Me
Hey kid! It's been a while! I hope you've been well. I haven't checked in on you lately, but I'm happy you've set aside some time to have this discussion. Carry on, sport!
What’s different about my life today than in December 2020?
Quite frankly, a lot. I have so much to be grateful for, and for that I am grateful.
In December 2020, I was on a 10-week seasonal contract and getting nowhere fast on a job hunt.
In March 2021, the company hired me fulltime with full benefits. They put me on a pilot program for an enhanced customer experience for wedding products.
Before the end of the program, they deemed it a success and extended it indefinitely. Our team has more than doubled in size, and the company is doing extremely well.
It has been an absolutely fantastic experience, and I couldn’t ask for a better team of people to work with on a daily basis.
I'm really proud of what this team has accomplished and I'm very happy to have this experience under my belt.
Exercise & Physical Health
In December 2020, exercise wasn’t a thing and not at all a priority.
I was 46 and I didn’t work out, nor did I care about diet. I was 225 pounds with a biological history of high blood pressure and diabetes, and I hadn’t been to a doctor since I left Milwaukee in 2014.
Here's the 2019 goal I set, but finally accomplished in 2021. It only took two years, but that doesn't matter. I did it, and that's what matters.
In April 2021, I began assembling a home gym and finally realized the true benefit of seeing personal trainers nearly a decade ago.
My January 2, 2022, weigh-in was 189.1.
With the job stabilized along with health insurance, I’ve gotten myself situated with a doctor and the medical care that I needed but neglected for so long.
By December 2020, I had gotten a little too comfortable isolating myself at home.
It’s impossible to ignore the mental benefits that come with loving your job, consistent exercise, and the peace of mind only bloodwork and prescriptions can provide.
My stress level is low, my confidence is high, I've met some really great new friends in the past year, and I'm genuinely proud of myself. Fact is, I feel fantastic.
I even dabbled in dating in 2021, which I hadn’t done since becoming single in 2016. What I can tell you is that my heart works which, honestly, was a relief to discover. To be frank, I kind of felt a little dead inside.
For me to feel the feelings that I actually experienced in 2021 was eye opening and reminded me that I am, in fact, still alive.
2021 was a year of lessons. And I paid attention.
You can't swing a dead cat around here without hitting a lesson!
The thing I didn’t do in 2021 was write. Not a single word.
2022 is looking better every fucking day.
From Now On
Great life experiences all depend on timing, circumstance, and the people you encounter. I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past year and I’m committed to continuing this journey throughout 2022 and beyond.
Maybe something magical will happen in 2022. I’m as optimistic as ever. Feel free to join me.
We all have much to learn from each other, almost as if we exist for the purpose of benefiting each other.
All of us.
At all times.
It takes a village.
You get what you give, so give it your all.