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A lead-up to the final chapter of 2022.

As fast as November rushed in, there it went. Hard to believe it’s over already, but time slows down for no one. And what better way to cap off a year of growth than to write about it every day for the final month of the year.

This is the second year in a row I’ve done this kind of monthly challenge. I started with two last year, and added two more this year. 2022 saw April Awakening, June Renew (year two), September Surrender, and now My December to Remember: Round Two. All I have to do is write and publish something here every day for a whole month. I’ve assigned certain rules along the way, depending on what I hope to get out of it. And this time around is no different. A departure from last year, but a month of my writing all the same.

The more challenges I do, and more importantly, complete, the more I can add on in the future. I’d love to be able to do this for an entire year, but I haven’t gotten there yet. Writing has become the main focus outside of the job which funds my life. And it’s going to be this way until I can make the switch from corporate life to a career at home.

Living in New York City has lost all its luster, and it’s becoming more and more apparent that there’s nothing out there for me. So why leave my home about it? Why not stay in and do something I really love? I’m more than willing to go out if someone invites me, but other than that, this is the only thing I want to do right now. So I’m going to keep finding new ways to do it, and better yet, improve on it.

If you made it this far, stick with me a bit longer. Here’s what will be expected of me should you follow my December to Remember.

Rule #1: Write my heart out, but make it visual

Sometimes I’ll go back and read my older entries and think they’re good, but I do tend to go on a little long. I prattle on, not landing my point, just hoping it shows up along the way. So this month, I’m going to do what I did in a recent entry by adding photos I think add to the day’s theme. Like the bunch of fullscreen graphics I oversee the creation of every day. An old executive producer of mine once told me TV news is as much visual as it is informative, so I may as well make these daily brain dumps look pretty while we’re at it.

Since the First of January, I’ve been doing something I’ve always wanted to do: document the biggest news story of the day for a whole year. I’ve tried this many times but always failed. But this year has been no problem. Some news I pull is just weirdo DailyMail outrage, but other reports are far more significant. This year alone we’ve seen long-standing dynasties come end, foundations crumble, the collapse of corrupt institutions, and more.

It’s been eventful to say the least, and it’s only going to get bigger from here.

So I’m going to report the biggest headline of the day at the top of each entry. I may have a few stories pulled, but I’ll try and highlight the significance of why it’s important to me that day in the most objective way possible. And with telling that, I’ll share a personal anecdote that somehow relates to the news. It might be a little tough considering just how crazy I think things are bound to get, but that’s the nature of a challenge, I suppose.

Remembering what happened during a point in history is important, because if we didn’t write it down, did it even happen? It’s necessary to record what goes on, especially as we feel the effects of each earth-shattering decision the powerful have made for centuries. Now that the days of censoring free speech are behind us, there’s no possible way for the corrupt to get away with it anymore. I predict we’ll see reports in the new year that connect the dots for some, and upend life for others. A ripple effect is coming that could change a generation.

And I’ll be there to write it all down. Maybe tell you a story or two. None of this would be possible without my love of writing and stories, both mine and news.

Rule #2: No THC, for real this time

I haven’t gone a full month without pot since June. I felt great after doing it then but went right back to smoking after. It’s fine. I’ve made my peace with it that I just may be a big ol’ hippie forever. I wish I had something else that could satisfy this pull but I haven’t found it yet. Still, I know when it’s time to give my brain a break, and this month feels like it’s more important than ever to do so.

The act of smoking gives me a certain kind of mental acuity where I feel on a different vibrational plane than others. It’s as though I can tap into deeper thoughts and have no problem bringing them to the page. It fuels my writing in its own weird way. However, I know a blurred mind can go off in all sorts of directions, so I need to hone in on what it is I think with clarity. And I have a feeling this time I’ll get my answer once and for all.

I don’t want to keep running to THC to give me a sense of who I am. “Stoner” shouldn’t be a personality trait. I need to return to the way God made me, bringing with me the hope I can find something that won’t have me reaching for the vape again. Pot helps me forget. It’s time to step out of the surreal and remember what reality is like. I may find some good things down here on the ground too.

Oh right, and health reasons, I suppose. There was a reason I quit cigarettes all those years ago. May as well combat the ‘vape lung’ before it gets too annoying.

Rule #3: Not celibate, just sell a bit.

I’ve tried and failed to do this so many times, and it’s really the only challenge I have yet to complete. I just want to know what it’s like to go a whole month without release. I’ve gotten close, and have certainly cheated by letting hands wander. But I want none of that this month. I need to see a mind away from it. Just once. I’ve been so used to instant gratification and access on demand that it’s completely lost all meaning. I need to save it for someone who appreciates what a gift it is to even have access to a woman’s sacral space.

On one condition: I get a day. Just one. And it’s only if it’s absolutely necessary.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to appreciate the amazing process of being a woman and what a miracle it is to have a monthly cycle. I’ve ditched tampons and prefer not being plugged up unnecessarily. It’s far more freeing, and I feel I’ve got at least a decade more of this to go.

That being said, the cramps are getting worse. Sick day-worthy. Damn near impossible to sit through. I don’t take much over-the-counter pills these days, and I’m not always in a position where I can just nap them off. But there’s one surefire way to quell what quakes in my uterus: self care. It takes a little doin’, but moments later I feel better, able to function until the next wave hits. It’s an all-day affair, and possibly the least-sexy thing ever. It’s strictly mechanical. A function of medicine only. That’s why it doesn’t count. I won’t have to feel like I did in previous months about ‘betraying’ my heart with my body if I craft the rule this way.

It’s not that I still carry guilt over sexuality from my days as a good little Catholic schoolgirl. I’ve made peace with that. I just think for a very long time my radar was misfiring on what intimacy looked like. It was something I always thought would be present, no matter how long it’d take to get here. But as much as I felt it from the great beyond, I’m a a time in my life where I need to know how it feels in person. I’ve never gotten that chance, really. I’m basically a virgin again. So it feels as good a time as any to conserve that energy and save it for a deserving person, even if that person just turns out to be me.

I hope that by channeling my womanhood I can shift focus toward getting what I’ve always hoped for: something tangible, something real. Something just for me and whoever’s next to me. To give me feelings of being young, dumb, and in love. I remember those times, the free-flowing nature of it all where a declaration of love isn’t needed when you’ve built such a solid foundation at home.

It all feels so attainable to me. Even now, despite everything that’s happened. I’m just not going to touch things about it. No “me” time this month. I don’t need it. I’ve got other things I’d rather get caught up on this month. And who’s to say a helping hand won’t come along for the ride? I’ve already got four engagements marked on my calendar, it could very well be my ‘gettin’ busiest’ month of the year.

And that’s it

As I mentioned in my last entry, I’m not going to make it to my NaNoWriMo goal of fifty-thousand words in a month. As of this writing, I’ve eked out a respectable 37,500 words in twenty-nine days. I’m not disappointed, I know where I went wrong. But I’m still going to finish. I figure if I tap out just five-hundred words of my story a day, I’ll be able to finish it before the year’s up. Certainly complete the original goal. But maybe I’ll surprise myself and actually find the ending this time.

I just never want to forget how I felt during certain periods in my life. I don’t always divulge details, but I bring enough relatability for everyone at the table. I’m just here for anyone who wants to listen, or is interested enough to stick around. I mean, you clicked here, you found me, you’re reading this, so I guess we’re in this together. I’ve got a lot of news stories to share with you, so we may as well have an interesting time while figuring it all out.

Perhaps in our new life we’ll look back on this ancient time, fondly remembering what once was, and grateful for what we saved for the future. This is just my contribution. Thanks for tuning in.

Header art by Carl Grimsman

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