This has been a challenging year. Started out with a wicked case of covid in January, and it took until late April to feel 100%. I’ve had equipment failures galore, not to mention fuel prices and inflation. So even though business has been steady, I feel like I’ve just treaded water all year.
That said, I’m still standing. My client base has grown and my oldest son has been working with me since he graduated from high school. Having this time with him has been one of the greatest blessings of my whole life.
I miss writing in this space, and I want to make an effort to be more active here. Not sure how that will go, but we’ll see. I turn 50 in three weeks and that has made me reflective. Man, what a ride my life has been.
That’s all for now. Big tree job this weekend, so I might post an update about that. Try to be good to each other. Life is too short for all this hate in the world.
I’m certain the thought police believe Jon Gruden’s resignation is a major victory in the long campaign for individual liberty. I’m also certain those same people would label me racist, homophobic, and whatever else for disagreeing with The Narrative, but this is simply another erosion of individual liberty.
First off, let’s be clear. Political policies that are targeted at specific ethnic groups to inflict pain are examples of racism. So are cops murdering unarmed black men. Gay people being beaten to death simply for their sexuality is an example of homophobia. People being denied opportunities because of their gender or threatened for their religious preferences are instances of hate. These actions must not be tolerated in a free society that seeks equality, and any expression that openly calls for these actions to be taken is clearly a form of hate speech.
However, mean words do not equate to hate speech. Saying a phrase that evokes a negative emotional response is not the same as calling for violent or discriminatory actions. If someone despises people with freckles, that person might come up a colorful expression to insult that group, such as “freckled face freak.” This saying, regardless of how distasteful, how emotionally hurtful, how ugly it might be, does not by itself call for any specific action to be taken against those with freckles. It merely expresses an idea of dislike. A dislike, even one couched in hate, should not be censored or restricted. It should be defeated by superior ideas.
In a nation defined by liberty, freedom of expression is paramount for a healthy democracy. Everyone needs to feel entitled to express their ideas, even unpopular, ugly ones in order for the best ones to rise to the surface. Censoring ideas and making certain words taboo doesn’t diminish hate or increase tolerance. In fact it often breeds resentment. Another way of thinking about is this: if you aren’t willing to afford those you disagree with the right to express themselves, how can you possibly expect to receive the same right yourself?
As far as Jon Gruden goes, I’ll close with this: I doubt very seriously that Darren Waller sees him as a racist. I doubt that the environment within the Raiders organization was homophobic because of Carl Nassib. Those emails contained some awful expressions that reveal immaturity and a foul mouth, but not discrimination or active violence against any group. And that’s an extremely important distinction that seems lost on the thought police.
Anyone who has known me for awhile knows that Christmas has been a difficult time for me for the last 12 years. For those who don’t know, my ex-wife chose Christmas Day as the time to tell me she wanted a divorce. For too long, I couldn’t deal with what should be a joyous season. I avoided my favorite Christmas movies, family get togethers, friends, decorations, and anything else that reminded me of losing my family. I would drink myself into a blackout stupor on Christmas Eve and stay holed up completely alone throughout Christmas Day.
I’m writing this post for anyone out there who struggles with this time of year. You are not alone, even if it feels like you are. You are not defeated, even if it seems like everything is against you. Healing is possible. As long as you still draw breath, you can lift yourself up from the lowest depths of despair.
Healing begins with forgiveness. You absolutely must forgive the people who hurt you, not because they deserve it but because you do. Forgiveness removes the weight from yourself. It frees you from the poison of bitterness and allows you to move forward.
Today, I’m in a much better place with the holidays. I have watched all of my favorite movies over the last couple of years. I don’t become consumed by the sense of impending doom. I’m slowly beginning to enjoy the spirit of the holidays again. If I can heal from that wound, anyone can find the strength to heal from theirs.
If you need a helping hand through this time of year, comment on this post, and I promise I will respond. I might only be able to offer a few kind words, but I will make certain you know that you are not alone.