I thought about doing an end of year recap on the old website; maybe go through the most popular posts of the year, the most commented upon, stuff like that. But that would require me to troll back through all of the posts, and there are indeed a lot. I’ll let you, my faithful readership do that, if any of you can be bothered. Perhaps tomorrow when you wake with a sore head you can pull yourself together with the thought of going back over almost 350 articles for the year.

Have fun with that.

But for me, I want to focus on what I am grateful for at this time. Even though for me personally it really has been a year to forget, it is still worthwhile and even cathartic to think about how good you have it. So on this countdown to the new year, here are the things that I am grateful for, in no particular order.

I am grateful that I am healthy, both in mind and body. I am aware that a lot of this healthiness comes down to personal choices and effort, but no doubt luck plays a part as well. Years ago I badly busted my foot while snowboarding; it hurt so bad I could barely stand a cotton sheet lying atop it. Just getting around and doing basic stuff was mostly beyond me. It helps when you’re well to remind yourself of something that is very easy to take for granted, until you don’t have it.

I am grateful that I am intelligent enough and able to think for myself that I can make those right choices and follow through on them. How hideous it must be to be an emotionally stunted individual who believes in the dogma and propaganda of the day. Being able to see through the bullshit is fundamental to living a good life. At times I could even come to pity chronic leftists. But I don’t, because they hate us and want to see us dead.

I am grateful that I have gone back to Church. I wouldn’t have taken this step if my marriage hadn’t fallen apart, so clouds and silver linings and all that. I am also grateful that I was raised a Catholic and not some nonsensical protestant heresy. I find the proper ritual of the Catholic mass to be comforting. It is ceremony and a connection with our ancestors. I dig the smell of incense in the morning.

I am grateful that I have managed to keep my head as regards to women during this tumultuous personal year. It is all too easy to compound a divorce with immediately hooking up with someone who will turn out to be an even bigger problem down the line. I was acutely aware of this and I am very grateful that I had the willpower to steer well clear of the dangerous liaisons that were placed before me.

I am grateful for the work that I do. It is challenging and tiring but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has been a success for me this year which is precious in of itself.

I am grateful for my colleagues who have become friends and who kept an eye on me to make sure that I was able to manage my circumstances. I am also grateful that I was able to remain calm while all of my personal shit was going down and that I managed it in the correct manner. Everyone has their own crap to deal with; they shouldn’t have to put up with other people’s issues at work. Thankfully I was able to keep my professional life on the straight and narrow while my personal life fell to pieces. Living the dream!

I am grateful for my readership and listeners. You guys help keep me honest and on target in my search for truth. I read each and every comment and I appreciate them all. The website has grown this year and as all of you are obviously people of taste and refinement, the fact that this is your natural home for your indulgent internet pleasures means a lot to me. Likewise, my fellow writers on this side of the interwebs, (special shout out to Cappy and The Great One whom I met up with this year), and all the sites that link to me are all greatly appreciated.

I am grateful for the little things. Sitting out on my deck over the water on a warm summer evening. Walking down one of the beautiful little Leiden streets on a dark and snowy winter morning. A good cigar, a sublime scotch, a book that grabs my attention and won’t let go, listening to a jazz album on my vintage record player, a day’s hunting with the lads, that feeling that you have after completing a really difficult workout. All of these things are precious and we never know when they will be gone.

Finally, I am grateful for the inner strength that I have had to get through this year. I was tested and I came through it. Things could have gone very differently and not for the better. I kept my head when it would have been extremely easy to lose it. In the end, that’s all we can really hope for. Anyone can handle the good times. It’s when things go to shit that it really counts. So for that, I am grateful.