2022 in Review

Today, I am embarking on a new effort to make full use of this platform to do what I have said I would do many times, but have yet to follow-through on: write and post more regularly, even daily. For someone who feels a deep sense of personal belief that expressing my thoughts to the world is a fundamental part of my purpose for living, this failure to date is a weight on my neck I must let go. All it takes is getting started anew. So today, the last day of the year – and a Saturday to boot – I want to summarize the major elements of a very busy year for me.

Just today, this morning while working, I began brainstorming ideas that will make it easier for me to write every day and it is serendipitous then that my core idea for Saturdays is to offer summaries, not just for the week or year, but to have a day every week dedicated to reflection in itself. I could summarize a current or historical event, a trend, controversy, or just a story from my week that seems to somehow define or redefine the week, month, year, or some other timeframe or set of circumstances. This is all I am striving for here, today, then: to draw the outline of this year for me and the world and what it has taught me or how it has challenged me further. Let’s go.

Major highlights of the year 2022: I changed cities, again. I changed jobs and fields, again. I started therapy in earnest and I believe I have made substantial progress in being more self-sustaining, even as I better understand how to show up for and support others. I started out feeding the hungry in a political framework with a loose association and learned just how lonely trying to lead without resources can be. I saw Russia invade Ukraine and Ukraine dash Russian delusions of superiority. or even its sense of competence. I saw the leading countries of the world grapple with a grave conflict they did not want, but made possible by refusing to admit its possibility. I saw clearly for the first time how often and easily deep issues of trauma and scarring can be cloaked in political and morale principle, just to dive headlong into unthinking and damaging partisanship. (America is capitalist evil: therefore, Russia good no matter what.)

I made some new friends, lost some others, but most of all spent a lot more time towards the end of the year with my family and closest friends, and this focus helped tremendously. For example, the family had a large reunion/vacation early in the fall. I hadn’t seen some of these folks in 18 years. One toddler I hadn’t met yet! I capped the year by making the whole family a slideshow of some of the best photos of the week. I never thought I could see so much value in something that will never have a price. I have never believed price was the same as value, but this experience in particular highlighted something for me about experiencing life, creating with that inspiration, and having people you love in your life to share that good work with when you’re done.

This year, more than anything, reminded me decisively that cynicism and nihilism are lies we tell ourselves when we have lost confidence in our own ability to make good on our potential to fulfill a purpose of our own choosing and design or that whatever we do is too small and insignificant or uncertain to matter. I now believe that such a view of our existence is closer to a terminal infection of the mind and spirit than it is to truth or wisdom. Even if we spend our entire life looking up at stars we will never reach, just for the chance to tease out some insight or knowledge that wasn’t known before, who would call that a wasted life? If the stars, alone for eons in the cold and dark with no one and nothing to appreciate their powerful light and warmth – not to mention their forging of the very matter needed to make life possible as we know it – could look out and somehow no that we tiny, fleetingly mortal living things see them, love them, and even believe they, the stars, are our distant kin, then how could the very stars not validate that we serve a purpose? Could it not simply be our purpose to know and love in a universe that would be truly cold without us?

That’s why I am here. It is why I still want to write, and to write this blog in particular: I believe it is my purpose to inspect, investigate, and relate to ideas and people and to find the inspirational energy and the clever answers to perceived obstacles for others and delivering that inspiration in as many ways and to as many people as possible within reason.

2022 was a hell of a year, but time marches on. The units of chronology are our invention to serve us in using our fluid indefinite, yet finite time alive well. This I have decided is the single greatest lesson of the year for me and thus my challenge and resolution in 2023. I will better support the big stuff by minding the smallest stuff most carefully, and there is nothing smaller yet more priceless than each instant spent in service to those people, places, and ideas we love.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll be back again for tomorrow: this blog’s and 2023’s first ever “Sunday Funday” when I think I will likely share my thoughts and stories about the relationship of play to art and expression. Much love! Peace! And a Happy New Year to you, wherever you may be.

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