In this issue: It's lists all the way down. 
“I was waiting for
something extraordinary to
but as the years wasted on
nothing ever did unless I
caused it…”
— Charles Bukowski
2022 policy

Good morning!

I'm back! And I  hope your holidays were magical.

Ours was quiet, with my mom and brothers coming over the day after New Years to celebrate Christmas, the best time to make it work due to scheduling. Other than that, we have been largely locked down due to the rising numbers of COVID cases here in Mississippi.

The Omicron variant is spreading rapidly here, and showing no signs of letting up. I would be lying if I said it was not dispiriting as we approach the beginning of the third year of living in this pandemic. My wife is immunocompromised, and my primary work over this pandemic has been one of avoiding getting sick or getting her sick – a work I have, as yet, been successful at.

I’m avoiding as much social media as I can, because it just makes me sad and angry to notice that part of my timeline is terrified and the other part is acting as if nothing is happening at all. So I’m writing and making things and doing my part to make my corner of the world better and hoping beyond hope that we get through this, and that you do too.

This is the year I will turn 50, a fact that seems impossible to me, yet the sums add up. I have lost 50 pounds over the last year, meaning I will move into this new decade of my life in much better health than I did the last one.

I’m writing in excess of 25,000 words a month these days and developing a writing routine that works for me as I blog every day but Sundays. And while my mental health is at a relative high, I am finding a persistent sadness as I learn to live with the tremendous loss we have all endured over the last two years.

I wish you every good thing this year, friends. I’m grateful for your support and readership, and thankful for the many ways you support my work.

Five Beautiful Things

  • Vital Impacts has a stunning collection of animal photography for sale as prints, with proceeds to benefit a number of animal charities.
  • The Guardian (which is based in the UK) has a list of 100 things you can do to slightly improve your life without really trying. I love this, and already do many of them.
  • OK, I’m a sucker for lists, and this is the time of year when we are awash with them. This thread of things the author has learned on her way to 40 is lovely, and rings true.
  • Another list! This time, 26 things that went right in 2021. I needed this reminder.
  • Photographer Rosalind Raimond photographed 64 foxes, showing that their facial diversity is as strong as ours is, albeit much cuter. (Also, her Instagram game is strong.)

This is your periodic reminder that my writing is all reader-supported. I spend an average of 20 hours a week on writing my various newsletters and blog posts, and while I have been approached by advertising networks who want to put ads in my newsletters, I am committed to the reader-support model, where some of us make it possible for all of us.

If you want to help finance this work, you can become a monthly patron (in any amount from $3 a month upwards!), or send a 1-time infusion of cash, or you can support my book habit by going here.

This list grows slowly, by one or two names most weeks, because someone like you forwards it to somebody else, sho subscribes. And if someone did forward this to you, you can get your own subscription here.

Take care of yourself. And each other. 

Hugh Hollowell Jr

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