This year I realized we can't wait around for the pandemic to end. Nothing prevents transmission or infection of Covid. There is no ability to form long lasting immunity, not with a shot and not naturally. The only thing we can do is adapt.
While I've given up a lot of things, I started to reclaim some as well. Some of the things I've given up are movies, air travel, indoor dining, concerts, basically anything that involves spending time indoors with big groups of people. I don't really miss any of these things. I think they are mostly a distraction.
Some things I've reclaimed are time with my family, time with my Bible, and time for friends in small groups.
Computer hacking skills
This year I completed a lot of tech projects. I deployed a virtual private server, learned how to use Docker, reverse proxies, and containerized web apps like Vaultwarden, Rocketchat, and Ghost.
I installed Linux on a laptop and GrapheneOS on a google Pixel. I nuked my social media accounts and started self hosting a Mastodon server that I use a microblog. This server is managed, but I think I may try installing another activityhub based project like Pleroma on a server I manage.
One of our biggest past times this summer was working on landscaping the backyard.
This wraps our first year with Big Acres. While we personally haven't been able to spend much time up there, our family has been busy building roads, fixing up the cabin, and clearing land. For 2023 we want to get up there and put in a dog run so that traveling up with S will be a lot easier.
Friends and projects
While we spent less time than in years past with friends, we got some socializing in with people we value and stayed busy.
I think moving forward things will only continue to get more challenging and it's essential to surround myself with people who are good at critical thinking, who have a strong moral compass and unbreakable mental fortitude. The trials of the pandemic were extremely revealing of people's characters and I realized that choosing friends wisely isn't just a good idea, it could mean the difference between making it out of a dire situation, or not. So while we had less, it was the important stuff that mattered.
I've been working on getting physically, mentally and spiritually strong. Going through 2020, 21, and 22 has been challenging but faith strengthening. I started a daily bible reading program in September and am just about done with the New Testament.
I continue to work on my physical strength and endurance as well as buying the right tools, equipment and supplies to be more self reliant. These include power tools, food storage, land, generators, batteries, fuel (propane), hunting and fishing gear, medical supplies, and more.
Some may not understand why, but going through the pandemic was tough for everyone, doing it unvaccinated was tougher. Everything we had was threatened including our freedom of movement, ability to work, and even the basic human right to make a personal health decision. While many left the experience broken and traumatized, I only got stronger in every conceivable way. I learned who I am and that I can endure more than I ever thought. I also learned that I am unbreakable and when I decide the right path I will not bend to bribes, bullying, peer pressure, gaslighting, fear, guilt trips, or even threats.
Hopefully I'm wrong and things turn around, but we'll see what 2023 brings.