Sunday, January 1, 2023

Happy New Year 2023

Happy New Year everyone1 And welcome to the beginning of season 3 for Solid Rock Minnesota. Little did I know that 2 years ago when I launched the first podcast ever, it would still be going and people would still be listening all over the world. I am amazed as well as feeling a little overwhelmed at doing a weekly podcast and blog. For the past few months I have pondered the idea of ending the podcast and blog…. and to be honest, I am still pondering that idea. But for this moment, I have decided to at least start season 3 and see where we all wind up. But enough of that for now.

I can not believe we are here in 2023 already. New Year’s eve was spent reflecting back on the past year of all the events that have happened. But really the reminiscing for me went all the way back to the new year of 2000. The beginning of a new century!

Do you remember when the end of 1999 was nearing and all the newscasts and worries were about how coming into a new century was going to make the world explode and implode? How the stock market would crash? How all the computers in the world would mess up and not know how to change from 1999 to 2000? How Banking systems would be shut down? I remember staying up until midnight that year to see if any of that stuff happened. And remember what happened…pretty much nothing.

Well at least on the global side not much happened. But for me, personally, it was well into February of 2000 before I could correctly write the date on a check. I was always starting out writing 19 in the date instead of 2000. Most of the checks I wrote back then had crossed out and initialed dates. I know I am not the only one who had that trouble back then. But of course that was 23 years ago when we were all still writing out checks and paying our bills by postal mail.

Nowadays, I can’t really remember the last time I have had to write a check for something. Most of the time I pay by debit card or if by the crazy chance I have cash, I will dig out the money. But so often when I pay by cash I am forced to help the cashier give the correct change back if the cash register does not notify the worker of the amount owed back in change. And even sometimes then I will have to show them how to count back money. Hopefully I am not sounding like an old duffer, but I hope the school system is still teaching money exchange and correct change without the use of calculators and computer systems. It’s bad enough they have taken away learning cursive. Cursive is such a creative way to personalize your identity on paper. I guess I am sounding like an old duffer.

But I have digressed. New Year’s Eve 2022 was pretty uneventful for us. For the most part, the past decade of New Year’s eves have been met with maybe broiling a steak or making homemade pizza and watching TV or a movie. And about 10 PM I wake up off the couch and head to bed. It has been a few years since making it past midnight. So we usually do a Happy New Year 10 pm toast and head to bed. Neither one of us have ever much wanted to be out on the road or out partying on New Year’s Eve, so the party life has eluded us come New Year’s Eve.

This past year, though, has left me remembering all the moments that have been planted in my memory bank. Over the past year we have celebrated the retirement of my Best Half, have had some awesome travels to see some of the kids and grandkids out of state, and have some awesome stories to tell about those travels. As we always tell the grandkids when we are together, “we’re always making memories”. And the last thing to note over this past year…I now have more grandchildren taller than me than are shorter than me. A weird observation you think? But it is just another realization, for me, how fast time is flying by. Last Spring I was taller or even up in height with a handful of the grandkids in the 11-14 age group. And now for the most part they are towering over me. It is a weird sensation when we don’t see them for a while and then when we do, I am looking up at them.

What will this year bring? NewYear’s Day always starts with renewed ambition and promises to be better than last year. To be a better person, to live a better healthy life. We can only hope.

I am hoping for some new travels this year and getting out in the kayaks and boat more often at different lakes and maybe some rivers around Minnesota. Every year that is one of my hopes and ambitions.  And some years are better than others. I guess life will continue to be a game of chance with a little roulette spinning around us.

Not ever knowing what the future will bring can be unsettling at times for me, until I take the time to just ground myself and be present in the moment I am currently in. As I sit here right now I am  watching the birdfeeder and all the critters chowing down in preparation for an upcoming winter storm. How do they know to prepare in advance? That is one advantage maybe that they have that I have not been given. But I guess not knowing the future may be better for this human than stressing over the upcoming “storms”. As I am sure there will be some to ride out along the way in 2023.

But for now, I am focused on another year ending and a new one beginning. Here’s to hoping we can all find strength and comfort in being in the present moment and not looking too far behind or too far out there in the future. Today, this day, is the one we need to hold close and enjoy. Happy New Year everyone!

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