We made it. Have a hefty helping of your favorite vice, take a look around, settle in and have another. It's time to lean back, deep breaths, let's enjoy it.
Is it really a big deal, the end of the year? Is this just another Hallmark holiday forced on us for ritual and profit? Nope, not this one. the turn of the year is something every single person, every living thing can share. Why? Because we're all gliding around this star together. Since there were people, since fire warmed our caves, the depth of winter has held intrinsic jubilation for human beings. The days begin to brighten again, another season of doom and freeze seems survivable, one chapter opens to the next and we endure. Yes, it's cheesy. We orbit together, folks, so let's take some stock and revel in the ride. Happy orbit day.
We're still here, Oumuamua, see you on the next lap
Best of '22: Putting down our phones. Worst? Picking them back up. Best: `Wood chopping videos. Worst: franchises and reboots. Best of '22: Daniel Kaluuya in Jordan Peele's masterpiece 'Nope.' Worst: Hawkman's helmet. Best global event: Fusion power. Worst global event: Russian de-satanization. Best moment in fantasy: Durin and Disa's kiss. Worst: Willow's acting. Best actress in a leading role: Mia Goth. Worst: the entitled nincompoop in 'The Invitation.' Most nuanced move of '22: Greta Thunberg's takedown of that Tate guy. Least nuanced: Trump NFT's. Best game of the year? Tough call... either the indie perfection of Prodeus or the sprawling cryptic genius of Elden Ring. Too close to call.
How about RPGs? Best moment of '22: Ben Milton's leadership of 'hermetic' or 'folk' D&D (honorable mention to Baron de Ropp's sizzling takedown of WotC's creative crisis). Worst RPG moment: "under-monetized." Biggest sleeper: DM Dave's Broadsword zines. Best RPG ASMR: Map Crow.
'22 was pretty wild. Our world is brimming with cognitive dissonance, difficult finances, unexpected career changes, marriages and divorces, natural disasters on the weekly, new babies, violent psychos, too many kickstarters, and good friends gone too soon. There are a zillion reasons to throw up our hands and yell "I've had it!" We dream of a greener world, a world with more room to stretch out, less bills and colder ale. We pine under greedy companies, tone-deaf politicians, botched DC movies and cable news. Sometimes, in this crazy, almost-cyberpunk world, freedom and adventure can feel out of reach.
Well, that's where this moment comes in. Take a break from all of it. Hug the first person you see when you look up from these words. Don't make flimsy promises to yourself you won't keep, or participate in anything that doesn't fan the flames of who you wish you could be. Think deep, trust the stinkin' process, be aware, and just keep going. We don't have to solve it all today, or even tomorrow. Give a little bit to a charity. Buy a foam sword. Walk from explosions and never look back. You got this.
Striving is the art of being unsatisfied. Striving and toil are the stuff of labors, and pushing outward. Reflecting, on the other hand, revels in satisfaction. Reflection is the stuff of our favorite moments, of inner peace, of big mind and pushing inward.
When I reflect, all the problems and struggles don't stand out. It's the people, the fun of knowing them, the surprises and the little treats. When I reflect on this past year, I feel spoiled, silly... and thanks to you, dear reader, a sense of belonging. I'm right where I'm supposed to be: together with all of you, blasting out another orbit without breaking a sweat. Here's hoping your reflections take you to those happy little places that stand out over the chatter. Enjoy these... you've earned 'em.
Here's to another trip around the sun.