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Happy New Year (And a State of the Day Address)! 

I get the whole “New Year, New Me” approach. A New Year marks a reset, and it’s good to get started with a new set of goals to complete. For everyone doing this, I wish them the best. I hope that 2022 finds you making changes that make you smile, improve your skillset or bring joy to others. You don’t have to wait for the new year to start changes. You can do so any given day of the week.

For me, I celebrated Christmas alone in my new place, and even then, it wasn’t complete solitude.

I didn’t head back to the house because my Aunt already celebrated Hannukah, and historically, we haven’t done much for Christmas. My brother called, I wished him a Happy Birthday. My sister invited me to NC for the Holidays, but I declined (Omicron running rampant and all), and I was in touch with my Family Out West for most of the holidays.

I celebrated New Years’ alone as well.

The Family Tradition was that we all huddled in the living room (or my Grandmother’s Room, when she was alive) with ancient noisemakers and blew in the New Year with bad champagne. My cousin and I would occasionally change this up a bit with Whisky (for her) and Wine (for me). This time, I watched Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven over Wine, Cheese and Grapes. My cousin and I ended up wishing each other a Happy New Year via messages.

Most Importantly, I stepped outside on January 1st, breaking with a long held family tradition that required us to stay inside until the 2nd. Anyone who knows me knows of The Veil, but I’ll re-explain it. On the First of January, my family shuts the doors. No one enters, no one leaves, and the New Year meal consists of a Southern dish of Chitterlings (Or “Chitlins”, Mama would say), Collard Greens and Potato Salad. It was a carry over of my Grandmother’s life in Virginia and perhaps to some degree, my birthmother’s life in Georgia. The concept was that if you spent money on the first day of the year, it would bring bad juju, and you’d spend money every day following that. It taught us to be thankful for what we have and rung home the family motto of “Learn To Do Without”. I swear, if I ever have a family crest made, that would probably be on it somewhere, in bold Latin: Discite Facere Sine.

The only problem was, despite whether the Veil was followed or not, it never truly did anything for anyone. We had terrible years, we had great years. We followed the traditions because historically, our parents did. Their house, their rules, and all that. I’m not saying everyone should quit every tradition they have, but for me personally, The Veil never made sense to me. So, yesterday, I went out for a little while, masked of course. I just wanted the experience of doing things differently from how they’ve always been done.

People were out just the same. Just another Saturday, mostly. Granted, the streets were quieter since there was wasn’t much open. The weather was the most surprising part, spiking at about 60 degrees. Normally, January would have probably been snowy. Either way, I enjoyed the experience.

So, what comes next?

I hope 2022 is going to be a year of continued change. Last year, I moved out, and that didn’t happen until at least August. The big goal for me is to try to not stay complacent, which is a very big weakness for me. Once things start to get comfortable, I tend to “lock in” and rarely deviate. I still haven’t picked up a lot of furniture for the place yet because I’m not sure if I’ll even stay in NYC by the year’s end. I have the essentials, though. It’s easier to pack up and move without carrying much. We’ll see what happens. Things are good for now on my end, but I’m worried about everyone around me. I have friends who have family members in danger due to age, and I’m hoping things work out.

Now, about the site. For any of you who have ever visited over the years, Thank you! For a site started on a whim with no real aim to please anyone but myself, Days Without Incident has had a strange, wild uptick in visitations over the last year. It scares me. I never intended for DWI to be much more than a practice ground for writing, but it’s interesting to see that it’s visible (even on a small scale). Perhaps that should be the goal this year, to step out of that comfort zone and really start pushing all this (while having fun in the process, of course). Mind you, I haven’t done much in pushing/advertising the site over the years other than the following:

SEO via Posts to have sites like Google and Bing capture keywords (still learning about it).

The DWI Twitter Page, along with my own.

The Shattered Lens‘ Links to the site here, of which I’m extremely grateful.

Note all of these Views/Vistors aren’t all me – that might be a comfort. Over the past year, most of the views have come from both the US, the UK and Brazil. For some reason, the most popular post ever on the site is Vide Cor Meum (a wonderful song, by the way). 2015 doesn’t count much, as a lot of that was site building and testing. Below are some of the stats:

Days Without Incident Stats for 2021 – Who are all you visitors?
Days Without Incident Stats by Month for 2021

With the pandemic raging here in NYC, I unfortunately won’t be making as many movie theatre visits as I did earlier in the year. There’s little coming out that I feel I really want to see, but I’ve been surprised by some of the films I have watched as of late. I still have a number of reviews to write about, which I hope to get out during the month. We’ll see how it goes.

Thank you, and here’s wishing you all a Happy New Year!!

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