Yesterday we hosted a modest gathering by historical standards, but it was a welcome change from the lingering isolation of the pandemic.
In addition to the benefit of companionship, I like having people over because it acts as a spur to clean up the place. It's easy to get complacent about the state of one's home. So long as the kitchen sink is clear and the toilets aren't covered in grime, it's all good, right?
No. I think the accumulation of dust and disorderliness can be felt, even if it isn't consciously seen. So much stuff get set down here or there and then forgotten and finally buried. It's nice to clear all that out and replace year-old papers with a plate of snacks.
That's somewhat my feeling about 2023 - it wasn't so much about starting new things as much as clearing out old ones. While my retirement date was set at the end of 2022, it was not until mid-April that the wrangling with the Air Force was completed. Only then did I receive my packet, certificates and formal notification.
Similarly, June saw the end of two decades of having kids in school. I'm finally off the district email list.
Of course, Walls of Men published earlier this year, and due to the current domestic situation, I haven't been able to start anything new. Walls of Men was something of a commercial disappointment to me. I figured China's military history was a much more compelling topic than the Spanish Civil War, but I was wrong.
With books being out of reach, I've cranked out quite a few columns for Bleeding Fool, and these are getting more engagement, no doubt a function of their frequency and topics.
While I try to be hopeful and optimistic, I look forward to the coming year with a certain sense of dread. Politics hold no interest for me, and our electoral system is breaking down. I've little confidence that it will hold up to the strain.
That being said, God is the prime mover in all of this, and I will continue to work in deepening my prayer life and giving all of my trust over to Him.