Out Of The Worst Grows The Best

— You can’t get there from here

There’s 12 hours and 10 minutes remaining in the sale/anti-sale. That is, it’s 10 minutes before midnight as I begin this final post of my year 2022, 2565 in Thai years. I’ve given half the can of tuna I just opened to the feral cat who stops by now and then to yell at me. I hadn’t seen her in a few days and she shows up pretty beat up. Life in the jungle. Well, my last good deed of the year.

I’m beat up myself. Tired as hell, and a rare headache. Popped my last ibuprofen in the 10-pack I’ve had for at least 6 months. Dose makes the poison.

…Pop pop pop now.

Happy New Year (in my neck of the woods, at least).

The promotion has gone fantastically and I ought to be of higher energy to drive home this last 12 hours that ends NYC time. Thus far, 24 new memberships for total additional revenue of about $2,500. That’ll help a lot. Thanks, and welcome to y’all.

The Lifetime Option has changed everything. There’s still time to snag that, or either of the other two options at under half price.

In reflecting back over the last couple of years—and having called 2022 my worst—I get an odd sense. It’s like everything now is 50/50. Nothing is nuanced to any extent.

And Covid drove yet another wedge. Like half the folks got royally devastated and the other half made off like bandits…even those with regular jobs who got to sit at home, nothing to do, bank a paycheck, and shop online. The farther down the covid path you reflect, the less and less it appears to have had much whatever to do with health.

It was a battleground.

And on that score, I believe the forces of evil were quite ambitious. Too ambitious.

At root, the whole thing was communist in flavor. There’s a lot packed in that notion but this isn’t the time for analysis and I’m not up to it right now.

The better thing to do is to continue with the regrouping, to see 2023 as the clean break.

2023 becomes Post-Covid.

Make it so.

Think of it as such.

We all have work cut out for us, moving forward. I’ll be documenting my end of the bargain right here for the gracious paying Membership (once I get some sleep).

I’m anxious to write about all the stuff I’m finding exciting since my new fully-sober lease on life (a week away from 5 months). In my promotional kickoff post I alluded to a saying that half of life is just showing up and Member Charles emailed in to remind me that it’s 90%.

Sounds about right.

I wish I could claim that in the aftermath of dumping the bottle that I sat down and mapped out a plan. Say, a 1st six months plan, and here I am to tell you how well the execution is going.

But nope, I just showed up and worked.

I have stuff to write about in terms of just activities for health and fun. My newest gig is my swimming or snorkeling combined with the barefoot walking. Here’s what I do almost daily.

It’s a 1.8km swim in two legs, beginning and ending, and 2.7 km walk. The swim really drains me, especially now that I use long flippers to get significant resistance kicking hard and steady.

And since I got an air fryer (again, I had one in US) a month ago I’ve just gone gangbusters back to cooking for myself, almost all meals. I’m eating well.

That was last night. Sauerkraut and pork ribs. Gave some to Pico, my German neighbor, and he was speechless (in a good way).

The biggest thing, however, is this.

And that’s a book.

It’s a book about what’s become the most important thing to me…kicking and screaming, to be cliche and trite.

I’ll give an example. The 29th was Chili’s 13th. She must have grown a foot in stature in the last 2 years, now slightly taller than her mother. Sweetest of sweethearts, and she has never said a cross word to me. Not one. I’ve got her and her younger sister, Wasabi, in a school with good English instruction and now I’m tutoring Chili in english. She wrote an impressive 1-page essay on tropical fish (puffers, parrots, and lions) and there were too few errors to even mention…just assign another essay.

Her mother tells me that a boy came by who apparently has an interest and in a moment of self-reflection, I thought to myself, “so that’s what that feels like, that fatherly protective instinct.

It feels good.

…Well that’s gonna wrap for this one, for 2022, even though I’m nearly 2 hrs into the new one. I’ll back-date it so it serves as the last.

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Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2022, contains over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Jacqueline Walker on January 1, 2023 at 04:07

    Happy New Year Richard!
    I like that: ‘Post-Covid’ – yes definitely, let’s make 2023 the year we move on and refuse to engage with any who cannot let it go!

  2. Andrea Geller on January 1, 2023 at 23:10

    Hi Richard,

    best wishes for 2023!
    Post-Covid, yes, I subscribe to that!

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