The Year Still New 2022

I am looking out at the year 2022 from a new point of view this year. My life is in a place that seemed impossible to me not so long ago and for quite a few years before this. It is not as important to me as it has been to me in recent years to point out all that is wrong and troubling in the world. At the start of this year the the most important and different thing in my life is how much better everything objectively is for me since I have become involved with my my fiancee Clara.

However, life and any love life involving me always have precarious aspects. Aside from the relationship itself, the context of my personal life is not a paradise. Although my equipment and devices are aging and not being replaced with better things there is no real explanation for why my photographic and documentary archive gets less accessible and reliable online. No real explanation for why my newer and most recent phone cannot connect with my main Facebook account at all, why I generally lost access to my Yahoo account for months and/or why for more money every year my technological capacities get worse in almost every possible way. More and more the fact that the power system in my small town was shut down for several days while we were on vacation because unknown parties shut out key equipment with gunfire and the fact that key communications in my life were delayed an lost this year seems very significant as I try to navigate the future. I am still trying to get my car repaired from (hopefully) minor damage from a road hazard on a trip taken half a year ago and all the obstacles I have faced seem to betoken larger problems.

In the trouble of this past year since April 20,2021 when I first asked Clara out and on through all the days and events since she has brought me a lot of joy and happiness as well as a lot of hope and peace. Knowing that is possible, really does change my impressions of the world and my own country.

This year, 2022, I opened my online Social Security account for the first time and the set up and sign in went smoothly. Years ago I used to get the paper reports regularly but in recent years I have just not been involved with it at all. The news about what I have to hope for and deal with as things look now is pretty bad but (as I know from a few of my oldest friends who have lived lives somewhat like mine) it could be worse. Clara and I have been over this and my small and unusual pension from another source which will mature when I turn seventy. We have discussed the fact that I will probably not be able to donate plasma as frequently during those years and all the other reasons why things are likely to be tough. But I am grateful that she is willing to see the other side and although it isn’t much of a bright side compared to many it is something that we can look out at together and hope that we can be together. I do remember that many years ago Joseph Biden threatened to really cut Social Security, I know it is a financially troubled system and I know that life and society as far as I am concerned are always uncertain. It is brought home to me as Clara and I try to plan a life together both how blessed I am that she is even willing to try to make it with me and also how bleak a situation I have been in and may well remain in for the future.

In 2022 I am trying to keep my insurance license active and may soon be posting the name of a company offering to let me work part-time while I do other things. But I know there is a lot of water under the bridge from the days when I was the aspiring salesman with enough triumphs to make some claim at heading for the upper reaches of financial success. But I believe in insurance and hope to do some good and make some money in that field this year and then also to leave the door open to next year. As an insurance person, I cannot help but see the rages of climate change, pandemics, supply chain crises, uncertain geopolitics and the political violence in America throughout 2020 and the incident at the Capitol in early 2021 as joining together to form a new matrix of risk and peril. We are in an environment now where I am not the only one who has trouble breathing easily when they look down the road at the next fifteen to twenty years.

The Omicron Variant seems less deadly and dangerous among those it infects than the last few variants of COVID-19. It is also much more infectious and while it is writing a new chapter early in 2022 we do not know if it is the last chapter. The pandemic still shapes this new year.

My hometown paper is the Abbeville Meridional. I do not currently subscribe but I buy a lot of copies. It recently had a front page story “Abbeville, The Most Humid City in America”. Clara and I have in common, along with other things, that were ae not overly fond of humidity. I look at the shut down rice mill as I drive by it almost every day and the many empty buildings and I try to balance that with the new park facilities, the farmers markets, the improvements to some of the schools (public and private) and the purchase of the old Robie’s supermarket by the well respected local chain Champagne’s. I look at all these things and the host of races on the ballot in this small community in March and I try to guess what the future holds. I have left Abbeville many times before to live elsewhere indefinitely and I might again but Clara and I have been trying to map out our future here and it will always be my hometown. Clara has actually lived away more than I have. But she is a more successful person and has chosen to invest in a life here. I doubt that 2022 will determine or reveal all of Abbeville’s future but it is a year in which factors that will affect its future will continue to reveal themselves.

I am watching the world and the country this year. But I am just hoping to keep my life and relationship on track. Happy New Year still, Happy Carnival Season heading into Mardi Gras. May you find a way to prosper and may I be around with Clara and a more optimistic view to greet you next year — those are my 2022 thoughts.

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