I’ve got about an hour to bash out my usual blog summary about the year 2021. This year is the first year that I spent the better part of the eve at home. Didn’t have a restaurant gig to earn me a few extra bucks, and there are no parties for me to go to. What I do have, however, is a comfortable home, and I’m enjoying a glass of apricot liquor that I took from the clearance of a Central Asian restaurant a few days back.
So, when you consider that this year was pretty much dominated by various forms of Covid and various restrictions, I guess I should be thankful that I am in the position where I can sit at home and bash out a blog piece with a glass of liquor and Oreo cookies. Whilst towards the latter half of the year, I was limited to one source of income, I actually had a steady source of income, which is more than what many people had.
I guess you could say that things on the global front improved a little with the arrival of an American President who actually treated the pandemic seriously. However, whilst Mr Bidden has provided much-needed sanity, the nation remains exceedingly divided and tribal. One has to ask; can a single 78-year-old heal the gap in less than four years?
Furthermore, the other geopolitical elephant hasn’t done much better. Whilst it’s tempting to enjoy watching billionaires being taken down a peg in the name of “shared prosperity,” it’s been at a cost.
Whatever growing freedoms Chinese citizens were starting to enjoy have been curtailed, and the businessmen that the Chinese government has gone after were maverick innovators that the modern economy needs in order to move.
Sure, China was showing that it was tackling inequality but are its methods going to make the problem worse? The world, as comedian Bill Maher argues, is trapped between democracies that can’t get things done and autocracies that are downright nasty. The rest of us can only look for a balance.
Just as nations need to look for a geopolitical balance between democratic but ineffectual America, and effective but nasty China, individuals also need to look for a balance. For me, I’ve accepted that the “corporate career” I fantasised about was not meant for me.
I’ve come to accept that I am not meant to be a major part of the “working professional” class. Yet, it’s a path I can’t quite abandon in as much as it pays me enough to get by and at the same time allows me the time to look for things to keep me occupied.
So, I stay in my existence in the insolvency trade. I hate looking at files and documents, and I avoid looking at anything remotely legalistic in nature. However, I do what I can to spend time with traders of assets. Always thought trading in scrap had a certain nobility to it.
We live in a world where we are encouraged to waste and create rubbish, so what can be better than making a living from getting people to waste less. One of my great friends from this side of the business takes pride in the fact that he hasn’t bought a t-shirt for over a decade because he’s picked up his clothes from liquidation asset sales.
The Evil Young Lady is still trying to find her feet and to get her life sorted. I’ve told her that I have two major tasks in life. One, I need to see that she’s secured onto a path or at least made the effort to look for what she wants out of life.
The other is to prepare for old age – not that I think I am particularly old, but now that I am over 45 and rushing towards 50, I have to accept that certain things will be denied to me and I have to find some way of ensuring I head into the twilight in some comfort.
Interestingly enough, the hero of the year is the Vietnamese girl that I entered into a “life-partnership” with a decade ago. Huong took a friend’s shop and is now working hard to build up a business. I do what I can to help her out, particularly in the area of managing government stakeholders and managing compliance issues.
I’ve also managed to use her business to polish up copywriting skills, as I help to edit her post on Facebook. This is a woman whom many would have said was “wrong” for me, but then I decided to take the chance on something that might have been so wrong that it would actually turn out right. I am glad to say that her hunger and drive to make a better life for people around her have proved my bet to be thus far correct:
In a few moments, this wet end of 2021 will be over, and we will start 2022. I hope that what we experienced in 2021 will only get us ready for 2022 to be a better year in every sense of the word.
A version of this article first appeared at beautifullyincoherent.blogspot.com
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