An Almost Mid-Year Accounting

by | Jun 2, 2022

I recently posted on the ol’ Facebook that this year has been a weird one. And I said I’d expound on that in a blog post. And, so, here we are.

It has, indeed, been a weird year. And we’re only sliding into month six.

On a global scale, it’s probably been a slightly less weird year than the previous few but, with pandemics and attempted coups and incredible polarization amid social unrest that has finally bubbled beyond moans and groans and complaints to protests and demands and civil action, the bar is pretty fucking high.

Still, as a species that is hell bent on killing each other (and ourselves), we are aiming for the top.

While the continuing battle over voting rights, election integrity, and an attempting coup by a sitting president continues to wage, we are adding a whole slew of things into the mix.

Russia seems intent on starting WWIII and, in the process, has sent gas prices soaring to new highs (that, of course, has more to do with corporate greed and shitty opportunism than the war, but still). China keeps shutting itself down and adding to the supply chain issues we’ve been experiencing since the start of the pandemic. These things, among others, drive prices upward and, despite higher wages, help drive the inflation that we are all dealing with.

We’ve apparently decided that Covid is not that big of a deal anymore (which, thankfully, is partially true) but the whole, ironic “my body, my choice” anti-vaccine movement has emboldened those who generally oppose vaccines, and now we have outbreaks of things like Monkeypox, and I won’t be surprised if we see severe outbreaks of measles and chickenpox and all that other shit we thought we had mostly under control. Worst of all, that’s really saturating the horror lit market with pandemic related stories so now we won’t be able to write about that stuff for the next decade or so. It’s fucking Twilight and vampires all over again. Lol

Looking ahead, we have an impending SCOTUS ruling on abortion rights so we can add that to the list of “movements’ we have to really amp up just to retain some hard won civil liberties. Oh! And, because we’re rootin’-tootin’, gun lovin’, god fearin’, red blooded Americans, mass shootings (particularly those in schools and hospitals and shit) and general gun violence is on a rocket-like, upward trajectory. Praise Jeebus!

(For the record, I own several hunting guns and a couple of handguns but am not a “god fearing” American because I’m an atheist. I support stricter gun laws and even some weapon bans.)

Throw in the midterm elections and 2022 looks to be a banger!

A lot of people tell me I just need to stop reading the news. That’s probably good advice but not really plausible. Unfortunately, I am very empathetic. As a white, middle class male in America, I could go through the rest of my life largely unaffected by most of this stuff. I’d have to be a selfish prick in many cases and a heartless fuck in others but I could totally do it IF I just didn’t care about what everyone else has to deal with. Well, that and caring about the state of the country that my kids (and potential grandkids, etc) will be living in. Pretty much the same reason I haven’t moved out of the country, which I believe I discussed, at least briefly, in my last post.

On a personal level, 2022 has been… interesting.

That’s not to say it’s all been bad.

My day job has been steady. It pays well and affords me the opportunity to pursue my true passions and creative endeavors. Sure, it’d be great if those passions were successful enough to be my full time gig(s) (that’s where you come in by sending me money for stuff) but I can’t complain about what I do for a living. I’m good at it, they pay me well, I’m at a point in my career where I have a lot of freedom… It’s served me well. Dream job? No. Great job? Most of the time.

Still, in that effort to make the passions profitable, I was proud to sign two writing contracts, so far, this year. Both came about, literally, days after the New Year. So it was a stellar way to start 2022. Book one, in a contract with Raven Tale Publishing for a minimum of two books and option for more, is already out and I’m nearly finished with the second. The second contract is for a ghost stories book that is scheduled to be out in the Fall of 2023. I’ve been making steady progress on that one (though, admittedly, I need to pick up the pace a little). And I have another novel out in the universe, looking for a home, and have received some good, early feedback (fingers crossed).

I had plans to work on an album of original songs and I have done some writing to that end but I have to be honest with myself. It’s unlikely that I will get that finished this year. But progress is progress. And by next year I hope to have a small music studio set up in my home, so that should make things a bit more productive on that front.

I am practicing with my cover band, Savage Bunnies, and we have intentions of playing a gig or two later this year. As a group of middle-aged men, our jam sessions are often interrupted or cancelled due to things like Daddy-Daughter dances, someone’s back going out, overtime at work, or family vacations but that’s cool. It’s a thing we do for fun, not fame or riches, and the level of commitment is appropriate.

I know that all sounds great and wonderful but I’ve also been dealing with various personal issues. Most significantly, my divorce was final in January. While it wasn’t a pleasant experience for anyone, it was largely civil and my ex and I have maintained a decent relationship since. That’s important. We have a couple of grown sons that still (and hopefully always, to some degree) need us. And there are simply parts of our lives that, after nearly 30 years of marriage, are irrevocably intermingled.

It’s definitely a new normal for all of us and we are all navigating our way through. I am thankful not only for the relationship the ex and I have been maintaining, but for the love and support of family and friends. I’m sure there will be awkward and difficult times ahead as we each pursue our individual goals and pursuits of happiness but I am also confident that, in the end, we will all be just fine.

I’ve also been dealing with a few health issues. There were a couple scary ones that, thankfully, turned out to be nothing. I’m pretty well past all of that (knock on wood).

With two sons, 26 and 20, there is always something going on with at least one of them that makes me pull my hair out or keeps me up at night with worry. By and large, however, they are happy and healthy and that’s all that matters.

Most of the rest of 2022 looks to be exciting and promises new opportunities and adventures. I will be traveling to Ireland later this month and to Saskatchewan in November. I have a number of concerts to go see throughout the year and am certain to add a few more. My gardens at home are going gangbusters and I have three dumb (but adorable, cuddly, and loving) dogs in my house that are a continuous source of entertainment (even when they are enormous pains in ass).

There is a significant life event looming that I’m not going to get into right now other than to say it is inevitable, will be heart breaking and painful, and it’s never far from my mind. But I know I have a great family, caring friends, a supportive group of fellow creatives, and a small but amazing collection of “fans” that will be there when I need them.

And there it is. There’s the point I needed to get to in this post, for you and for myself. Honestly, I didn’t know what it was until I typed those last few sentences.

No matter what life throws at us, whether it stems from some action on a global level that seems well out of our control and hangs a dark shadow over the way we live our daily lives or if it’s a personal trial that has no bearing on anything outside of your own well-being (physically or mentally), having love and support can get you through.

And that’s why I am forever grateful for the family, the friends, the fans, the colleagues, the supporters, the listeners, the lovers, and even the random online social media users who throw a “like” or a “heart” on one of my posts. All of whom, some maybe a bit more than others, make up the, much larger than the name suggests, Faithful Few.

Thank you. I love you all. Peace, my bitches!

 

About Mike

Michael A. Kozlowski is a native of Detroit, MI, where he still resides. He mostly creates stories of horror and suspense and has a tendency to shy away from happy endings.

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