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2021 Recap: The Future Is Just Like The Past And Eerily Similar To The Present

2021 is almost done, and I will gladly kick it out the door and tell it to never come around again.

2021 Recap: Me in Mission Trails
Me in Mission Trails in March 2021, photo taken by my daughter with her Nikon camera.

The first thing I did when sitting down to compose this missive was to read my 2020 Recap Post.  I spent a good deal of time dunking on Extroverts.  There was probably a time in 2021 (June, maybe?) where I felt bad for this, but since every holiday since July 4 has brought massive COVID surges……nah.  Even before the Omicron variant paid us a visit, things were already looking bleak for the Holiday season.  People just could not resist “getting together” for these Holidays.  The results – well they came as expected.

I did upgrade my masks at least.  Initially, in my sense of trying to limit single-use items, I was using only cloth masks.  They worked, until now.  They’re worthless now so my single-use KN95s will rule over my trips to get my Free Slurpees (what will I do in July 2022 when I have to start paying for them again?).

I honestly couldn’t forecast what 2022 is going to look like.  Well…we know what January is going to look like, and anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 daily infections in San Diego County sounds possible.  I also am sensing some feeling to surrender.  Shortening isolation times under the hopes that this variant is in fact less serious even when it has only been studied for 30 days, it does sound like people are giving up.  In the very few times I have had to go inside somewhere, I have noticed half the people are going without the required masking, and the exhausted employees don’t even have the energy to ask them to put one on.

The source of the title to this post, of course, is that there is much about 2021 that looked exactly like the last 9 months of 2021, and so much of 2022 that will be, like the Nine Inch Nails song:  Every Day Is Exactly The Same.

So let’s talk a few personal specifics for 2021:

Fitness

Good news:  I did indeed walk 3 miles or more every single day.  All 365 of them.  I had written about it in a previous blog post, but I have kept the streak alive.  Sometimes, it was stubborn 11:30 PM walking, knowing I would be groggy the next morning.  But I want to keep the streak going as long as possible.

Not good news:  I regained about 11 pounds, much of the weight I lost last Fall.  This is the point where I would announce a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight in 2022, but you already know I suck at sticking to resolutions.

I am passionately in love with food that is passionately in love with my waist.  It is what it is.  As Peyton Manning once said, and I paraphrase, “You’re not going to get a six-pack back, just by bigger shirts.”

Challenge:  You get to call me out in 365 days when I fail to follow through, even though I claim I want to lose weight and improve my fitness.

De-Volunteering

On January 1, I will have no volunteer or leadership responsibilities in my entire adult life.  Literally from the day I turned 18 in 1995.  I did quit Scouting this past year, and while there were many great memories, moments, and friends, I realize it was the correct thing to do.

I can still do the historical research that I enjoy, and doesn’t require me to be a member.

My Executive Board role with the Sierra Club Photo Section expires tomorrow.  There hasn’t been much for me to do since the pandemic started, and the club moved to being almost entirely virtual, but as somebody who rebuilt the club entirely from scratch in 2014, I am happy that there are more leaders out there to take my place.  I don’t plan to quit the club, although we are going to be virtual for quite some time for all the reasons above.  I feel the club is in good hands going forward.

I am now a 2-times removed President Emeritus.

The gang from the club put money together and in a huge surprise, got me the Apple AirPods I’ve always wanted.  Thank you to Alex, Shuwen, Dale, Joe, Mark, and Tom.  That was super kind.

Travel

Thanks to good friend and reader Bill, I managed to work an entire month in Utah.  It was fantastic.  Although I was missing San Diego by weeks 3 and 4, it was a working respite I needed.  Turns out, 15mbps is enough bandwidth to keep working remote.  I made a lot of images I am happy with, and it was beautiful up in the Wasatch.  Of course, the other benefit was raiding the Cottonwood Heights Super Target for all the Caffeine-Free Coca Classic they would sell me.  I brought home 28 12-packs, and I think I have 21 left.

I also finally drop-picked the Ford Escape out of my life.  Too many things falling apart, but at 175K miles, I guess I got what I could out of it.  Now I have the Subaru Forester, and it will be nice to get some dirt under those tires.

I would like to travel more while Work From Home remains in my life.  So if you know of any low-cost or no-cost opportunities for me to travel and work, let me know!  I don’t know how long Work From Home is going to last, but it may end soon.

Photography

First, let’s start with the actuations.  I made 3,358 actuations this year, not counting any images I may make tomorrow or Saturday.  That is an increase from 2020, and still down from year’s past.

More importantly, my winners were up, with 111 selected images.

For a Lightroom-specific idea on how I track this, I keep a Smart Collection for each year that shows the images I pick (for me, labelled Green, you know, for a landscape photo, and with a Rating of 3 stars or higher).

Unless I get to a point where I can travel more, I don’t see myself drastically increasing my photo volume, but at least I am keeping more winners.

Writing

I created 32 Blog Posts this year, which isn’t bad.  I wrote more about music, because I really don’t want my website to be just about photography.

I opened up my old boxes that have 20-30 years of short stories, half-written missives, and poems.  I’ve been meaning to get those organized and up on my website.  I guess I thought at some point in my life I would become this super rich and famous author.

At some point, when I have a collection together, I’ll write up a blog post pointing people to them.

Art

I am also going to post some of my old artwork.  When I was a kid, I really was into maps.  I asked for Thomas Guides for my birthday and Christmas.  I was drawn to seeing changes year to year.  Although those changes I was fascinated were urban sprawl that has devastated our chaparral environment.  But I digress, I used to draw imaginary cities and maybe I’ll scan some of that stuff.

I also have some other various drawings, often small and on Post-It notes, that I’ll get on the site eventually.

From 2021 Recap……On To 2022

I got nothing.  I really don’t know what 2022 is going to be like, except I added a really expensive car payment to my life.

But since we are here, here are the things I promise to do that I will not follow through on:  lose weight, get stronger, eat better, stretch regularly, write the Great American Novel, find the love of my life and this time, actually get her to marry me, lose the toxic friends and make a bunch of new and great ones (quite the tall order for an introvert…), save lots of money, build a bigger and better retirement, advance my career, list goes on.

Remind me in 12 months I didn’t get any of this done.

 

TM

 

 

2 thoughts on “2021 Recap: The Future Is Just Like The Past And Eerily Similar To The Present”

  1. Love this honest and interesting post! Yes, I think we have surrendered. 2022 will certainly start off with a bang won’t it? Here’s hoping that there is a baseball season and that we can actually attend a game together- that sounds like a big ask but here we are. Happy New Year, amigo.

    Reply

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