Coming into 2023 with optimism…

5 minute read

January 6, 2023, 10:12 PM

First of all, I hope everyone had a good new year.  I’m looking at 2023 with much optimism.  2022 was a pretty good year as well, though I did have that car accident in October that totaled my HR-V.  On the whole, though, things are going well in my life, and I hope that it continues throughout the year.

One thing’s for sure: I enter the year quite grateful to be alive.  At the time that the accident with the HR-V happened, I was mad that this idiot had run a light and destroyed my car.  I was quite shaken, but I was walking around, and only suffered a few minor scrapes.  As such, I refused medical care at the time other than the medics’ bandaging up the cut on my head.  In other words, all considered, I came out of it pretty well, and Elyse and I still did the trip to Tennessee that we had previously planned, but in a rental car rather than in my own car.  I was lucky, because things could have been much worse.  Not long after my accident, a friend from college lost their mother to a car accident in Texas.  I don’t know the circumstances surrounding the other accident, but considering my own accident right around the same time, their accident really hit home.  It made me wonder why I managed to survive my accident largely without injury, while my friend’s mother perished.  It was a reminder that life is short, and life is precious, and it could be over in an instant due to circumstances completely outside of your control.  Looking back, I’m pretty sure that the airbag knocked me unconscious for about a minute during the accident, because I remember the collision, and then the next thing I remember, the car was at rest and a bystander was calling for me to get my attention.  I have no recollection of the car’s traveling about 150 feet and coming to rest.  So it was definitely lights out for a minute, but it’s a scary realization that it could have very easily been lights out permanently.  Glad that wasn’t the case.

Otherwise, though, things are looking up.  The new HR-V is coming in March, and Mom’s Scion now feels routine (though I am looking forward to bringing it back to my parents).  I also did some significant upgrades to the house over the course of the year, getting new doors in March, and a new heat pump system just before Christmas.  The new heat pump system is something that I was particularly excited about, because my old system was reaching end of life, and this is new one is a more efficient system.  It also runs a lot more quietly than the old one, which I found a tad disturbing at first, but now I’m used to it.  It also uses the Nest thermostat, which is something that I had wanted to a while, but the old system was not compatible with it.  Now, I can control the temperature of my house from anywhere via my phone, and can also say, “OK Google, set the temperature at [whatever],” and the system will respond.  I dig it.  It’s very smart, and Elyse and I are still learning how to best use it.  We have not yet been on any overnight trips since we got the new system, but we’ll see how that goes when we set vacation mode and such for the Nest.  That or we’ll just turn the system off before leaving and then fire it up by remote a few hours before we’re supposed to return.  I know that we did have an interesting moment on the first day after we got the system, where a setting that detects whether or not we’re home was on and then I went to work.  Elyse wasn’t set up with it yet, so when I left, the heat went off and the house dropped like ten degrees.  We have since disabled that setting, at least for now.

Meanwhile, I had another banner year for photography in 2022.  I caught up on a backlog that stemmed from a project where I uploaded a bunch of old photos, maintained it for a few months, and then I got backlogged again in October.  Generally, any time that I have a big trip that merits a Life and Times photo set, things tend to stop.  As of this writing, the narrative for the Tennessee trip has been written, but no photos have been placed.  I also concentrated on a lot of Journal entries in the last few months of the year along with some other projects.  Plus shooting even more new material that hasn’t been published.  I realize that I did no real coherent shoot for Photography for 2022, and so I’m going to do a compilation set featuring material that I shot with the drone over the course of the year.  It should be fun, though it will probably be a while before it comes out.

Then as far as career things go, I’m doing pretty well.  I am doing a job that I enjoy, and keep things interesting by moving around the system.  My employer is not perfect, but I understand how the system works, and how to navigate it all.  All in all, I’m content.

Meanwhile, I also can’t help but think about where my life was going ten years ago, when 2013 began.  That was a tumultuous time for me.  As I was going through the celebrations of the new year, I found myself unable to dismiss a nagging thought: that 2013 would be my last with my then-employer, Food & Water Watch.  Things had not been going well there, as I felt that I had outgrown my position, and while I had made the case to my weasel of a boss for a more challenging role in the organization, he instead decided to demote me and ultimately turn me out.  That ended up working out in the end, but it made 2013 a very dark time for me, as I was left with no direction in my life and living off of savings.  That last part was especially concerning, since the savings wouldn’t hold me forever, and so my finances were essentially a ticking time bomb – especially since I was having difficulty finding a new job.  Thankfully, that ordeal ended up having a happy ending, as I ended up getting in with my current employer, and none of us have plans to part company with each other for the foreseeable future.

Then 2003 was another year of uncertainty.  That was the year that I was graduating college.  Recall that I graduated by the skin of my teeth, which was where the uncertainty came from.  I ended up graduating a semester late, but a degree is still a degree, even if it wasn’t completed in exactly four years.  That uncertainty also led to what was probably my worst employment move ever: going to work for Walmart.  That was supposed to be a job that I planned to work for about six months until I got a real job and moved to the DC region, but it ended up lasting for more than three years because I had difficulty finding work up there.

All of that said, I’m glad that my career situation is better than it was ten and twenty years ago.

But in any event, l am excited to start 2023, because it is looking to be a great year.

Categories: Myself, New Year's