Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection. - Winston Churchill
Hello all. Welcome back to The Disciplinary Couple’s Club. Our (mostly)m weekly on-line gathering of men and women who are in, or would like to be in, a Domestic Discipline relationship. I hope you all had a great week.
Thanks for joining me for what
is likely to be the final post of 2021, as we’ll be traveling and spending time
with family through the first week of the new year.
I don’t quite know how to
describe this year and whether to label it “good” or “bad.” We all probably
hoped to put 2020 in the rearview mirror but, unfortunately, 2021 brought us
more of the worst from 2020 including pandemic deaths and disruption, political
dysfunction and divisiveness, and here where I live our warm, brown, snow-free
Christmas seems to portend the arrival of climate change that even the former
skeptics are having a hard time denying. Yet, despite the challenges things
seemed at least a little more normal.
While things never got exactly “good,” at least it wasn’t things getting
progressively worse continuously throughout the year. If 2020 was a long, slow downward grind, 2021
felt like a bad habit you’ve gotten into and can’t quite muster the energy discipline
to break just yet.
My personal life in 2021 reflected some of the “stuckness” of 2020’s continuing influence. I finally quit a career that had seemed more or less toxic for the last few years, yet I haven’t really replaced it with anything yet. I keep thinking some new hobby or compelling interest will present itself, but so far it’s been a lot of book reading and Netflix binging. Though, maybe that’s a phase I have to go through before getting on to something different and better. Though, the last few months have reinforced to me that inertia is a powerful force and that things can and will just drift along absent a deliberate, focused application of energy in some different direction. Thankfully, our wives are fully capable of deliberate, focused application of energy.
I’ve also discovered that stepping away from a career while the other spouse is still working is a mixed bag. I have more time on my hands and am no longer feeling chronically stressed. However, a lot of that newly discovered free time is spent doing the chores and errands that we used to split a bit more equitably (though, I suspect Anne’s view is it was split inequitably before, just in the opposite direction). But, again, maybe that is a phase—and a form of humbling—that I need to go through before moving on to something better.
Early in 2021, I’ll probably go through my usual process of goal setting and resolution making, and more of it than usual may revolve around humbling and discipline. We really have no excuse for not exploring that more deeply and diligently given our empty nester status, and through a lot 2022 we both will be more or less retired (unless some new job-like interest does arise for me), and then there really will be no excuse for not shoving through and past some of the inertia.
Still, as I said at the end
of last year, I can give thanks for a few simple things. We didn’t lose any immediate or close
extended family members or close friends this year, though I did lose a couple
of people who were big influences on me in high school and college. Most of our family and friends are in pretty good
health, though one extended family member did have a very bad health
event. And, while I honestly missed some
of the hustle and bustle of business travel and the office environment, my better
office friendships remained intact, and my health is sooooooo much better now
that I’m not living on airplanes.
In fact, while I probably deserved to be spanked more often than I was in 2021, the fact is I am leaving it in much better physical and emotional health than has been the case in several years. After literally hobbling my way through 2019 and 2020, this year I was out climbing very tall mountains, getting one of my motorcycles out into some very challenging dirt riding, and I was no longer on a first name basis with the bartenders in airport lounges on both sides of the continent. So, while far from perfect, all in all there was some forward momentum.
One down note for 2021 is the blog has been more than a little stagnant, and I need to think about what can be done, if anything, about that it 2022. Yet, I’ve also once again deepened a few friendships that began here and that I think would survive even if the blog were to stop entirely.
So, as I said last year, as we all run around buying those last-minute gifts, let's think a little about what a blessing it is to have people in our lives to buy those gifts for. Maybe try to do something nice for a friend, family member or stranger who may not be as lucky.
Until next year, I hope you all have a restful, peaceful, fulfilling holiday season.