Life without a paddle cj Millar record yearI’m having a record year. We are all, it seems. And the shit just keeps on coming. Rain. More rain. Flooding. Wettest year on record. Warm weather spikes between cold snaps that don’t *quite* freeze or thaw the ground enough in either direction to make sense. Excavation projects. New business. New roles. New leads. New friends and new people. And a new farm.

I found home this year. We’re here. We’re home.

And not everything is new around us. Same town. Same horses (though I question my sanity on this). Same cats (the newest additions came technically end of 2020 even if they didn’t both move in until early 2021 because Lily was afraid). Same dogs (still miss Loki). Same kids (well duh…obviously haha! and they’re both great!).

It’s incredible, really, how things just sometimes come together. Even in a horrific year that god damn it, kept pounding us with issues and headaches and heartbreaks. Sure, maybe no one in my immediate family lost parents this year, because well hey shit weren’t two in 202o enough? But the spillage of that carried over for sure from 2020 into 2021. The kid’s old farm is what it is. My childhood home sold, and funded our future. But there’s stuff that’s even better than that. Better by far, because it’s a part of our future and not lamenting the past.

It’s kinda cool piecing together my childhood my way. Taking the fun and the good and the happy memories.¬†and throwing the other stuff away.

The house is decorated for Christmas. I have a porch and a home I am proud of, and happy to share with my friends and family. There’s a few things I still want to do, that may or may not get done in time for Christmas but I am not stressing it. The big stuff is done. We selected the stuff that had good memories attached and only good ones. That stuff got brought out. Along with our own stuff. Our new traditions.

Hogwarts Christmas. A little bit of Disney (I still desperately want to make the 50th Anniversary trip work somehow before it’s over). A lot of new things in the new house with new traditions that we’re making officially our own. Together.

It’s also incredible to me how we’re surrounded by so many amazing people. Friends that help. Family that’s there, too. We went from having awesome neighbors in NJ, to awesome neighbors in NY, to awesome neighbors at our new place, too. It’s like hitting the neighbor lottery not once, but three times. Same with friends. New friends feel like old friends. Old friends can come visit and have a place to stay and enjoy. There is always wine and bourbon and beer and a hot tub, a couch with a blanket and a pillow, and a seat for you at our table.

What’s also pretty incredible is how people seem to just sort themselves out over the years. People you were close to reveal their true selves over time. They always will. We all do. And as everyone gets sorted in their own way and their own time, the true friends rise to the top. They are there with you no matter what, and cheer you on regardless of whether they are having a good time or a bad time of their own. They know that your success does not inhibit nor prohibit their own, and that you will be right there cheering for them even when you are down in the dumps. And so together, you pull yourselves even higher than you ever could be alone.

What about those bad people? Well, there are times that we see people and befriend people that are right there with us at the start. But things change. We all change. Everyone changes and adapts and evolves even when they say they do not. It’s human nature. It’s how we survive. Some of us are better at it than others, while sometimes it’s done with motivation for our own good, other times for the greater good irregardless of our own well-being, and even other times when things come together, it’s a benefit to us and everyone around us. Either way, how we adapt and change and grow shows our true character, which is why over time, you will always eventually find out someone’s stripes. Or true colors. Or whatever you want to call it.

Point being, is that if you just have faith and remember to always believe (there’s a reason that is tattooed on my arm), the negative and toxic people will simply fall away. They’ll fade into the background, no more the fabric of your life than polyester rayon in a throwback that you only remember when looking at mom’s old fashion or browsing through a thrift store ripe with 60s and 70s and 80s threads.

And so I’ve waited. I’ve worked on me. I’ve focused on home. On finding and making a home for all of us that will be a forever home for us, our animals, and our friends. Always.

Hey guys, we’re here. Finally. 2022 is where it all comes together and we get to enjoy this. It’s where the really good stuff happens. Where the fruits of our labors are all finally ripe to enjoy. Where all the hard work and battles we waged and wars we won are over and we get to sit down on our front porch and just. breathe.

But 2021. Man, 2021 was a record year.