Hey, everybody’s writing reflections, so why not me? I mostly do it in my personal journal. But one year I did publish a great list of resolutions for my readers to try. This year I definitely have some things on my mind.
No doubt like a lot of you, I’m worried about the COVID-19 pandemic. How many more times will we need to hunker down and quasi-isolate? How many more times will things we want to do and people we want to see be unavailable, or at least inadvisable? Most especially, how many more lives will be lost, and will ours or those we love be among them?
I’m concerned about the investigation into the January 6 uprising at our nation’s Capitol. The committee handling the investigation seems to be doing a stellar job. It has been gratifying to see some of the insurrectionists be held accountable. It’s worrisome that many more will go unpunished. Most frightening is the evidence that members of our own Congress, as well as our lame duck President at the time, aided and abetted and helped to fuel it, fund it, or even give directions on where to find the lawmakers they wanted to KILL. Yes, fucking KILL. I want them to suffer the full effects of the law. But will they? Law-breaking rich conservatives often seem to be coated in Teflon. Nothing sticks. I hope this time will be different.
I’m scared by how the Republicans in Congress seem determined to block almost every effort to pass bills that will improve life for American people. WTF? Isn’t standing up for the American people supposed to be what they ALL are there for? And for those who don’t, how do they keep getting elected? Why does a poor and uneducated populace in red states keep voting against their own interests? I’ll never understand it.
And I’m worried about the redistricting efforts that are putting more votes into white communities. The challenges to voting rights that will affect poor people, people of color, elderly people and disabled people (I myself am in two of those groups!)
I’m terrified that Roe v. Wade is finally going down the toilet. In spite of the fact that a majority of Americans approve of the law that allows a woman to control her own reproduction. And the effects that will have on women and children (yes, children. Because when women cannot handle the burdens of parenting—often carried out alone and without enough money— their other children suffer).
Bringing it home, I’m concerned about me. I’m facing the challenges of getting older. Health problems, my face and body changing. The time of life when people look back on our lives and tally our successes and our failures. When we reflect on the legacy we are leaving behind. Sometimes that picture is gratifying—that we did so much and had so much. Other times that picture is lacking—whether love we lost, people who hurt us or left us, dreams that never came to fruition. Add on to that failing health that can take away from what we do have left. Facing how much of the had vs. the had not in our lives can be daunting.
So needless to say, I wasn’t especially psyched about 2022.
Until I got a call the other day. No, it wasn’t the love of my life saying that he wanted me back. It wasn’t the Nobel Committee telling me, Congratulations! It wasn’t President Biden saying, We did it! It was my health plan saying that they could fit me in for hip replacement surgery.
What??? Being splayed out on a medieval torture rack while someone goes at me with a big knife, a hammer and a hacksaw? That’s what’s gotten me excited about 2022? YES! Because the bone-on-bone arthritis in my left hip has made me increasingly unable to walk for the past year. If I had fallen and broken my hip, I would have qualified for emergency surgery. But otherwise, it’s considered “elective” surgery and has to wait in queue behind all those who got to the surgeon before me. And it’s been a long list. Thanks to the strain that COVID has put on the health care system (and here I need to say a big FU to the unvaccinated people who have contributed to that—you don’t know what’s in the vaccine? Really? Like you knew what was in all the other vaccines you had, or even in that chili you ate for dinner last night?)
Anyway. So I have a surgery date and it’s coming up soon. And I know the first couple weeks are gonna be a bitch. But everyone tells me that the recovery is quick, and then I can get back to living the life that I want to live. Yeah, I still have back problems and high triglycerides and my life isn’t perfect and whatnot. But here are some of the things I look forward to doing:
- I’ve moved to a beautiful city, Sacramento. City of Trees it’s called. Which I have seen mostly driving in a car to my various health appointments. I want to WALK around Sacramento!
- I want—NEED—to get out in nature. I want to hike, which I haven’t done since before the pandemic. To camp, which I’ve done twice since the pandemic, the last time in April. Sit by the campfire with a hot toddy (or a cool toddy depending on the weather). Listen to the wind in the trees, the owls hooting softly, the coyotes yipping. Maybe a stream trickling. Heaven on earth.
- The memoir I’ve spent the last seven years writing and revising is coming out in July! I need to plan a book launch, hell, maybe even a book tour! Virtual at least.
- And I want to date! Go to a bar! Dance my ass off! Kiss a man! And who knows, maybe even more! Really test that hip out. 😉
That’s not too much to ask, is it?
So yeah, I’m a little excited about 2022.
Are you? Why or why not?
(I hope they don’t just cut through my snowsuit.)