This is the point of the year when we're supposed to say how crappy the last year was. And there was a lot of crap. It's been less than a year since morons stormed the Capitol, for example.
But here's the thing: I measure a year in family and friends. Do I have more of them than a year ago? Are my relationships better now than they were at the start of 2021? On both accounts, I can say "yes."
These relationships helped me push myself and do things I didn't know I could do. Like the time a stranger in Chicago told me my portrait of my typewriter should be made into prints. Or when Bob Cavin told me on my patio, eight feet away because there wasn't a vaccine yet available to the public, that we should do a mural together. Or how about Aaron at Typewriter Connection asking for help to put on a typewriter-themed Winter Market, with very little time and advance notice to pull it together? I daresay that was some of the most fun I had all year.
Then I had two short stories published; a feat in itself but that both were extremely personal. After a few years trying my hand at fiction, I turned my journalistic lens on myself and discovered something in my writing that's going to have ripple effects so long as I still can write. And in the process, made a few more friends!
I was privileged to help Marcy with TWO books she put out last year - Words of Whimsy and Words of the Odd & Eerie, both available on Amazon. Gotta say, I do love being able to work with my wife and I'm excited for her future publications.
I got a chance to see my parents and sister, after almost two years away from them. Successfully avoided Covid the whole trip!
The year finished with a couple other projects of which I'm extremely proud, but can't say anything about yet. OH! And I put out a clothing line!!!
2021 may have been another slog in a pandemic but it's also the year we figured out how to fast track a vaccine and get it out across the whole dang country. We showed ingenuity and resilience as a species. There's a part of me that was inspired by that. But also, when people asked me to paint portraits of their typewriters or write them poems to lift them up, I was honored to be given that chance.
I hope it made a little difference for them, because it sure did for me.
If you've read this far, thank you. I sincerely wish you nothing but the best for this year and the year after. Maybe the year after that too, but I don't like to get too ahead of myself.
May you look back a year from now with pride, joy, and hopefulness, as I find myself doing today.