20 April 1969: Atlanta, Georgia. My brother, Wendell, and I on my sixth birthday. Photo most likely taken by my mother.

To say my fifty-ninth year has been rough is an understatement. I’ve spent most of the year unemployed, and the jobs I’ve had hardly helped to defray expenses. I’ve had automotive problems, housing problems, financial problems, and we’re still in the worst pandemic of the past century with no legitimate end in sight. On an even more personal note, I lost one of my aunts in October 2021, and my younger brother in January 2022.

From a writing standpoint, I haven’t published anything since late-2020, and my work in progress continues to drag on, though I am a lot farther along with it than I was, and I do have a coherent story developing. I did manage to complete a brand new ten-minute play and submit it to a competition, and another ten-minute Romance, Take Two, was produced in the fall at Academy Theatre. More recently, there have been hopeful signs that the theatrical community is starting to return to a semblance of normalcy, though I suspect it will take years for it to fully recover, if it ever does.

My health has remained relatively stable and I regained health insurance for the first time in more than a year, which allows me to see a doctor more often. My morning walks continue to be an outlet for me to get out and do something without having to deal with large crowds. I’m now walking around ten miles and sometimes farther each morning and my overall fitness has improved as demonstrated by my heart rate remaining relatively low throughout the walks. I’m also completing them sooner and my pace has improved from taking fifteen or sixteen minutes to walk a mile to taking closer to fourteen minutes and often less.

All in all, I feel like I’m in a holding pattern, waiting for something to come along to inspire me to find some new direction. I’m not retaining much hope of having a permanent, full-time job again, though anything is possible. I’ve been taking a course in book marketing, hoping to improve that aspect of my writing career, but it’s a slow process and motivating myself to sit down and do it is challenging. I opened an online store on my blog to sell hardcover books, but so far, no one seems to have noticed it and I’m not sure I have it set up properly.

So, another year comes and goes and I can’t say I’m any better off than before. I’m still here, so possibilities remain. Here’s to another romp around the calendar as I begin my sixtieth year.

5 March 2022: Perry, Georgia.

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