New and ‘old’ year reflections

Published 12:00 pm Friday, December 31, 2021

Thought for 2022: “Live every day as if it’s your last  …because one day it will be!”  Willie Nelson

My hero mom, “Gert” was a peacemaker and I pray every day for God’s will be done, not mine (I’ll screw it up), and as a “tool guy” ask Him to use me as a tool to help others find peace.  And pray, I don’t do the opposite by daily Facebook posts – well, you have a significant other, I have my cat, Jag (Jaguar) who (dearly love) but either rolls over and goes to sleep when I try to talk to him, or walks away!  Being a huge introvert, won’t reach out to talk to folks, don’t go anywhere, especially with COVID Delta and Omicron blowing up, and even then takes way too much energy!

Occasionally, people will inquire why I’ve not remarried or dating – not enough word count to explain.  Perhaps it started back in college where I was lavaliered (remember that?) to “her,” both blew it, and it’s been downhill since!  

After a broken engagement to a Scottish lass in 2011 and all kinds of physical issues, bottom dropped out, gave my life to God’s will, began attending daily Mass, have not been on a “date” since, and am way okay with that!  As wonderful as Oxford and Ole Miss are – this isn’t the “dating capital of the world” and repeatedly, friends I worked with at Ole Miss went elsewhere because of that. If “her” is going to be, she will either have to be a strong, practicing Catholic, or Christian who loves God more than me! So, that rules out 98.7% of eligible people on earth…but, it only takes one…and our Lord.

So very thankful and humbled to be in Oxford “Camelot” with swell folks, friends, mentors, for 34 years, worked on the beautiful Ole Miss Campus for 15 years with our awesome students, wonderful residents at NMRC for six years, had my (God’s) perfect for me house built in 2000, writing for the Ole Miss DSM, then this terrific landmark, “The Oxford Eagle” for almost thirty years, and if it means being single the rest of my life, so be it – I’m dug in!

Every day I update a Journal, Day Planner, and my life is like that planner – begins with a fresh, clean page, no marks on the first day of January, then page after page, day, month, year gets filled with my thoughts, events, joys, sufferings, nicks, dings, highs, lows, and just wrote the last entry of 2021 yesterday – “It was okay.”  This morning, made that first mark in my new planner, “Welcome 2022, Good Luck, Steve, & GO REBELS!” Wow, it’s a clean slate – what will I fill it with? 

So, 2021, like most years was good and bad, mostly good, I’m alive, God’s got me, my fourth grandson, Cashius was born on December 2 to son, Scott and Jocelyn – and I welcome the fresh air of 2022!  No worries, whatever we rubbished-up this year, can be tweaked and fixed beginning today, New Years Day, and we can become whomever it is we (God), wants us to be…Amen?

And, what better kickoff (pun intended) to 2022 than to have our No. 8, 10-2, Ole Miss Rebels Football team tonight at 7:45 on ESPN vs. No. 7, 11-2, Baylor in the New Orleans, Sugar Bowl?!  GO REBELS!

For weeks after daily Mass at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Oxford, I drove past the Ole Miss Football stadium outdoor playing facility to see our Rebels working out, parking lot full, and tried to imagine the intensity of their workouts for the Sugar Bowl – you know it was insanely focused!

Accolades to our Ole Miss Head Football Coach (new hero) second year, (Outback Bowl win last year) Lane Kiffin and this turnaround team – so proud of them!  Quarterback #2, Matt Corral, please return for your senior year! Not necessary to say what this Sugar Bowl exposure, win or loss, does for recruitment, prestige to our already acclaimed, University of Mississippi…so honored to work here 15 years, Ph.D. in Counseling, and forever “Camelot” home.

So … I will continue my routine this new year of daily Mass, Sunday, sometimes Saturday at Oxford’s St. John the Evangelist (feast day was this past Monday) Catholic Church, is what keeps my head on, gets me up, cleaned, dressed, and into a semblance of life every day. Whatever occurs before, after Mass, is secondary. Thank you, Fr. Joe Tonos!

Very thankful to our Lord, my family, three sons and families, and especially for that cat, Jag (Jaguar) did not want, but adopted, owns, trains me, smartest animal I’ve ever been around, been a rough year, but Jag was a miracle for me!

Best wishes that 2022 will be the best of your life, make it happen – paradigm shift of mind we got this – Peace Out!

Steve received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Ole Miss, lives in Oxford, and can be reached at sstricke@olemiss.edu