Goodbye 2022 and Good Riddance

In many ways, 2022 has been Groundhog Day version three. Not much has changed, we still don’t go too far from the hill, wear masks when in public, see very little of the rest of humanity in person, and I ignore politics as much as possible.

I will say that 2022 has been another year of living invisibly and the year of the knee.

Then again we’ve been mostly healthy, not gotten COVID, RSV or the flu, or any other deadly disease as far as we know. While it wasn’t a great year and it wasn’t a terrible year either. 

It was another year that we simply made it through to the end of.

I know that I am more than ready to move to 2023 and whatever it has to offer.

Hopefully, it’s going to be better than the last few have been.

Running

My biggest story of 2022 was how it became the year of very little running.

It started off badly with me injuring my right hamstring while out running on shitty road conditions in early January. I slipped and strained, pulled, or did something nasty to screw up my right hamstring. Even though I worked on getting it right, nothing seemed to work and at my annual physical exam in April, I asked if I could have physical therapy for it and my left shoulder, which the Doc agreed that I needed along with some other things.

As is usually the case with me (or so it seems), on May 9th, the day before my first physical therapy appointment – shit happened. I was rototilling a new flower garden, the machine bounced wrong and I hyper-extended my left knee, then added in a wonderful twist at the end that resulted in a pop, and excruciating pain.

Loads of fun.

I went through physical therapy for a month and it worked wonders for my shoulder and hamstring, but the knee wasn’t getting better. By early June, it was evident that surgery was in my future to most everyone and the initial diagnosis was a Grade 1 MCL sprain and possible meniscus tear, but the “process” involved jumping through several hoops prior to getting referred to a surgeon. I jumped through the hoops, got to see the Ortho in September, and on November 28 (almost 7 months later), had arthroscopic knee surgery. A procedure that was supposed to take 45 minutes or so turned into 2.5 hours of cleaning up 65 years of use and abuse, well beyond the simple meniscus tear that happened back in May.

While the surgeon ain’t too sure about me ever running long distances again, I am going to work on surprising him. Who knows, I might even send an autographed photo of me finishing a certain race, thanking him if I am able to come all the way back and do what I want.

I did finish the year with 215.5 miles, which needless to say was my lowest total since 2011, back when I had surgery on the other knee.

Also, there is no running shoe of the year post in 2022, I may have bought a lot of running shoes this year, but when you can’t run in them, choosing one over the others is kind of an oxymoronic thing to do. Though the the On Cloudmonsters got a lot of walking miles on them. The injury did force me to get rid of more shoes than I would have otherwise and now I only have 10 or so pairs that I will start 2023 with. Which is fewer than I have started with in quite a while.

Writing

Ahhh my writing and blogging.

Back in February, I read a lot of stuff by Tiago Forte and David Perell, among others. Which in turn got me back into the “I can do this too” mode. I put together a business plan, bought some supplies, set up a website and blog, even got a desk again, and was going to start writing professionally again.

There were only a few problems…the biggest of which is that I don’t have the motivation, need, or burning desire to do the crap stuff that goes along with writing professionally. I am too comfortable in my present life to go back to doing what is necessary to be a successful writer or gainfully self-employed.

So, I will stay in the wilderness and keep smiling, knowing for certain that writing professionally is not the future that I really want. That is something that I am jealous of what others are doing, but I am not willing to do the work to do it well.

This blog will be the last blog standing for me going forward and I don’t see me doing much more than I am now. Posting will be sporadic and when I feel that I have something to share or write about.

Social Media

After having been on Twitter since 2007, with the changes that Elon Musk brought to the table, I decided to delete my account. Which is something I had thought about doing several times over the past few years, as Twitter added more stress than benefit to my life. This was despite avoiding the worst of the trolls, political analysts, and other asshats. I still haven’t gotten confirmation of the deletion, despite it being more than 30 days since I initiated the process. I guess the powers that be at Twitter are keeping the lights on, but not deleting accounts since that affects the bottom line.

I also came very close to deleting Facebook as well. I still might, but for now, the ability to keep in contact with family and friends outweighs its negatives. I will keep it, but if the shit gets too nasty again or the algorithms become too messed up, I’ll get rid of it and let go of my fear of missing out on what some people are doing.

While I did try Mastodon and liked it a lot about it, there was a subtle, or not-so-subtle at times, bias there that I didn’t appreciate. The norms that had been established (many of which I liked), were being flouted by the influx of over a million Twitter folk who didn’t see the need to do things the Mastodon way. I decided that I had had enough of the crap and deleted my accounts (it takes a while to find the right place to stick around in the Fediverse). I might go back sometime in 2023 because I did enjoy the conversations and take a look at what the new norms are. 

Although I am finding not being on a microblogging site like Twitter after the initial withdrawal isn’t that bad. It forces me to find other things to do other than mindlessly scroll.

Note-taking apps

During the year I have been looking for a note-taking app that works for me. I have used over 30 of the damned things and got rather frustrated by the search at times. I spent way too much time and effort searching for the one that works best for my needs. Finally, Capacities caught up to what I needed and now has enough of the features I want and I am enjoying using it. I believe in them enough that I joined their Believer ranks.

During this note-taking app search or journey, I did become an Evernote expert, but never truly liked the way that it worked despite having an account there since 2008. I really wanted Roam and Notion to work, but the lack of offline support held me back and caused significant frustration at a couple of appointments I relied on having them available and they weren’t. Obsidian and I never clicked even though I attempted to use it multiple times.

Logseq and Craft came oh so close and as much as I wanted either to be the one, there was something about them both that I just couldn’t put my finger on, but I didn’t enjoy using them and yes, I attempted to use them several times this year. So, after almost a year of looking for the “right” note-taking app, I am back to the third one I tried back in February and for the past few weeks have felt quite content.

Capacities for the win.

Fantasy Baseball

I had fun and while I was getting my arse kicked quite badly most of the year, (my keeper and draft choices sucked) I let go of one guy who hit 62 home runs in 2022 and another one who almost had a triple crown and early in the season lost a keeper to Tommy John surgery. 

Yeah, so much for my choices.

About mid-July, I decided to do something different and focused on learning how to play to win fantasy baseball and somehow rediscovered my lost love for baseball. I enjoyed learning about the prospects coming up, made trades to move up in the 2023 draft or evaluate certain players, and stumbled home to a 10th-place finish in my 12-team league. I learned a lot about how to play fantasy baseball in the Yahoo league and am looking forward to our annual draft in March. Hopefully, my choices this year are better than what I did in 2022.

Now if only the Red Sox would do something to become relevant or at least interesting. Right now they are a boring team, with image issues, and act like they need to be Tampa Bay North, not one of the “big” clubs. I see them losing Devers and getting shit in return. If they had gone ahead and done the big teardown last July, I have a feeling the fans would have been more patient and excited by the young team that would have emerged. Sometimes you gotta tear it all down and start over, versus staying in mediocrity or worse for an extended period.

As it is, the 2023 Red Sox and most likely beyond will be a boring, foundering team that be nothing more than mediocre in the American League East Division and might if everything works out perfected a first-round exit – at best, much like they were in many of the years leading up to 2004. Unfortunately, I can see them finishing in last place in their division for more than a few years if they don’t make some changes (in the front office and on the field). 

I will always be a Red Sox fan, but I have a feeling I will be looking at the Arizona Diamondbacks box score to see how that team does a lot more often in 2023.

Dungeons & Dragons

I have re-ignited my interest in Dungeons & Dragons, along with painting miniatures. I thought about playing online, but D&D is something that I prefer to do in person. Since we still aren’t all that comfortable with gathering with other people yet, I have waited to do anything more than create new characters, read books, and watch videos. Hopefully, in 2023, I will get to do more than that.

Also, I am getting back into painting miniatures and while my efforts are pretty crude, I will improve and it is something that I enjoy. I even painted a bunch for the Kangas horde back in Oct/Nov and they seemed to like the results.

Health

Oh yeah, the docs harped on my BP at my annual physicals (I have one at the VA in April and another in August for my Insurance) and they both scoffed at me when I told them my BP is normally around 120/80 at home. My VA doc is new to me and had to deal with my saying “no” multiple times to her drug recommendations and my Insurance doc just shakes her head, makes the required recommendations that I quickly decline and we go on to next year. Usually, that is the only dealings I have with the medical profession and it is usually enough to ensure that I don’t want any more dealing with them than I have to. This year because of the knee, shoulder, and hamstring, I saw them a bit more than usual.

My BP almost always high when I go to the doctor’s office and I know it is because of the white coat anxiety I have and being somewhere that I don’t want to be. I am either super anxious about what they are harping on because I already know what I am going to do regardless of their “strong” recommendations or beliefs about medications I should be taking. Or I am in pain and don’t want to deal with most of their comments and want to move on to the next step in their process faster than they can do within the current hoops we all must deal with.

So while I know there is a place for pharmacology in health care, I am not a big believer in lifetime medications or overusing big-hitter pain meds unless absolutely necessary. I also don’t believe in taking meds to manage other meds’ side effects. For me the fewer the medications I take, the better. Better living through modern pharmacology is not the direction I choose to go and tend to believe that having to take a handful of pills with numerous side effects probably is more unhealthy than taking none. Although I do believe that vaccines for shit that will kill you is probably a pretty good idea and am up to date on my shots. I know that my beliefs are different than most, but I’m still standing after 65 years, and not taking any of the “recommended” medication cocktails for my age. 

I may not live as long, but I will live well and do it my way for the most part.

Cantankerous old fart, aren’t I.

Now that the knee surgery is done, I know that I will get down under 155 for my own personal satisfaction and peace of mind. I have been tracking and logging my BP almost daily since August and the average comes out to 121/80. So, I am not overly worried about too many health-related matters. 

The reality is that

That despite the ongoing knee saga and lots of other little things i.e. pandemic, flu, medical protocols, elections, war in Ukraine, and the stressors of daily life, I made it through 2022. 

It wasn’t always easy or pleasant and I’m sure that I wasn’t all pleasant to be around at times when the frustration factors were higher than they needed to be.

I really think that the best thing to do with 2022 is to turn the page and move on to 2023. Perhaps not being in pain most of the time from the knee will make a lot of things more tolerable. 😉

Let’s see what it brings and hope that 2023 is a year remembered for the good things in life that will happen.

Goodbye 2022, it’s time to move on to 2023 and I say thank goodness.

I hope you and yours have a great 2023.

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