2022 12/31/21

Reflections by Richard Bleil

Before going any further, let me just wish all of my readers a happy new year and a happy and healthy 2022.  Many people use New Year’s Eve to make resolutions for the new year, improvements or bad habits we want to break.  Honestly, I don’t believe in resolutions.  When I recognize something that I want to change, either in breaking a bad habit or starting a good one, I don’t believe in waiting until New Year’s Eve to make such a resolution and begin improving myself. 

There are, however, two holidays every year that I see as somber and a time for reflection.  New Year’s Eve is a time for me to reflect on the past year, what went right, what went wrong, and where I ended up compared to where I had begun.  The other is my birthday, when I reflect on myself, what I like, what I don’t and how I can do better.  If my readers will forgive my indulgence, I would like to take a moment to reflect on 2022 and say a little prayer of thanks that at least it wasn’t 2021. 

This was my first full year in my new home.  The timeline might not be accurate, but I’ve made some major improvements in the house.  This neighborhood isn’t the best, but from what I’m told it’s vastly better than maybe a decade ago.  Not long after moving in (perhaps in 2021, but if so the tail end) there was a shooting down the road, only two or three houses from mine.  Apparently, two innocent people were sitting innocently in their car innocently at about three in the morning when some bastard shot these two innocent people for no apparent reason.  Okay, I’m believing that.  I discovered this when the police stopped by to look at my video doorbell recordings to see if they captured the other vehicle involved.  This inspired me to have a monitored security system installed, one of those where if a door is opened when its armed or a fire breaks out the service automatically summons the police.  This probably won’t change the resale value of the house as the service will end when I sell it.

Speaking of the security system, I had a fire, minor to be sure but a fire none the less.  I woke up to find one of my non-wired smoke alarms blaring and the upstairs hallway filled with smoke.  I did a thorough search but could not find the source of the fire, and the smoke cleared before long.  I assumed there were a couple of possibilities.  Either something crawled into my furnace, and it kicked on burning the poor critter up, or it was an electrical fire.  This inspired me to buy a new furnace (and central air), upgrade my electrical (where it was needed) and buy house insurance.  The electrical and new furnace should both improve the resale value.

Outside, I had a rather large shed and a rather large carport installed (separately).  It’s a bit crowded on that side of the house now, but it’s nice to be able to store my tools outside instead of in my house, and while the carport won’t stop rain or frost, it should protect my cars.  I sold one of them, but still have one too many.

Okay, enough preliminaries.  I’m sure you’re wondering about me.  I did have a dramatic bout with depression but survived it.  To help me through I obtained a membership at the Omaha zoo and joined a gun club.  I find I enjoy the gun club.  I truly enjoy shooting, especially various caliber and style guns, but more than that I also truly enjoy the people who work there.  This has, unfortunately, turned me into one of those “gun nuts” that I used to make fun of since, today, I actually own seven handguns, three rifles and even a bow.  But if I have a friend who wants to go shooting (even with a child) I have them covered.  If you’ll pardon the expression.

For the most part, and largely due to the depression that lasted for months, I didn’t get nearly as much work done on the house, my research or anything else as I had hoped.  It’s difficult to motivate when, in fact, I’m not only depressed but alone as well.  I’m always happy to pitch in and help when somebody else is with me (or, honestly, to motivate to do something if she wants it).  I started to foster a few new friendships, although it’s difficult to say as most are from the gun club, and they might just be good salespeople.  Ten guns good, in fact. 

I guess I have a few personal accomplishments of which I should be proud.  I did ask a woman out for a date, and although she said no, I’m proud that I had found the courage to at least ask.  And I reached out to several comedy clubs to see if I could get an audition.  No luck, but I can try again.  I made the first step. 

God, is that all?  What a miserable existence I lead.  My list of accomplishments is mostly as a result of my inheritance, not even really my accomplishments at all.  Just writing this I’m feeling like crying.  I can’t go on like this.  I need to make friends, become more active, find something to fill my days that doesn’t cost money and perhaps could even bring some in.  If I can’t do just these things, there’s not much hope for me. 

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