2022 was one of the toughest years of my life. It got downright ugly. I’ll make the jokes and share the memes on Facebook because they are funny, but I’ll also look back on 2022 fondly.

It was the year I was fired—twice. Completely ran out money—a few times and dipped far below the poverty level. Broke my ankle. Walked three blocks on the broken ankle with a half-trained dog in the most excruciating pain of my life. I was stranded in Mexico. Completely helpless. Had to beg. Totally fruitless six-month job search. And I’ve spent the end of the year waiting for management to come through on their word to return my deposit, so I have traveling money. My car has been packed since the 13th, all my life’s belongings with room to spare.

And those are just the things that are at the top of the list. I could go on.

If all goes well, I’ll be starting out 2023 on the roads in a snowstorm. 

What a great, awesome year!

I really began to find myself this year, after 51 trips around the sun. I started a podcast and found my passion for writing again. I met some truly wonderful people that have further blessed my life. I renewed contact with old friends and severed contact with unhealthy ones. I have purpose again, and within that purpose, I have found a measure of peace and happiness that I never knew existed.

It’s not a contradiction. 

It’s about perspective. 

Yeah, the depression kicked my ass on many occasions, and still is, but I have learned so much about it, myself and how it has influenced me. By learning about it, I have shrugged free from the hold it had on me. Well, I’m getting there. I now know the paths I need to travel. 

In 51 years, I have never had such an awful one, emotionally, financially and physically. In 51 years, I have never had a better one.

No, I am not one of those hippie type people. I’m definitely not the “turn the other cheek” type of person. The memes about appreciating what you have make me gag.

Through the lens of perspective, though, I find myself smiling at 2022. I really don’t understand it myself.

The only thing that truly bothers me about 2022 is the way I broke my ankle. After walking away from train wrecks, car accidents, hurricanes and other natural disasters, and many disasters of my own choosing, I broke my ankle walking my dog. It is just…boring. It is prosaic, completely in contrast to everything that I am.

There are some lessons in that as well.

But I am sipping my coffee, greeting another morning. No, it is not my Hawaiian Kona, but it is not all that bad. I am looking at another day of waiting, sitting in my chair.

Live aloha. Be aloha. Be excellent to each other. Be excellent to yourself. ###

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