Yes, it's that time again when I reminisce about the important events that have transpired over the past 12 months, like how in the world I grew so much ear hair in one year.
My elders have often told me how fast time flies, but I never really believed them until I began to feel like I was shaving about every 30 minutes. Now, another year has already come and gone, and I still haven't found time to teach our pets to use the toilet or develop a vaccine for love handles.
And speaking of vaccines, the COVID-19 shot, jab, dose, puncture, skewering, or whatever you want to call it (and still get censored on Facebook), has really been the story of 2021. In fact, thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine, we now have another controversial topic to avoid discussing at our family gatherings - along with politics, religion and the correct pronouns to use for that emu in the Liberty Mutual Insurance commercials.
Actually, though, I've been quite open with friends and loved ones about my willingness to have not one, not two, but three COVID-19 vaccine doses -- and I still haven't grown a second head. I'm even willing to take an additional Sonic Route 44-dose of the vaccine if it will help bring this pandemic to an end and get Dr. Fauci off of television so he can spend more time at home arguing with his wife about where to go out to eat.
Along with the ongoing pandemic, this year has brought us a new U.S. president, who, like his predecessors, is loved by some of the American people, while the others refer to him using shocking obscenities -- like "Brandon." I guess Brandon will now go the way of other perfectly good baby names like Karen, Thanos and Omicron. So sad.
But let's move on to more fascinating and consequential matters than the presidency and the global pandemic. In 2021, my family life was full of change and personal growth -- and not just for my love handles.
Our eldest and most expensive daughter began her freshman year of college, meaning that, along with her challenging academic pursuits, she's learning important independent life skills, mainly how to spend our money at a distance.
Our middle daughter is now in her senior year of high school. She is currently unsure about her future college major, but based on her teenage years so far, we're thinking she may be leaning toward something in the boyfriend arts, hopefully with a minor in breaking up with doofuses.
Our youngest daughter is now 15 and keeps pestering me to give her driving lessons. I've assured her that I'll begin her driver training as soon as Amazon Prime delivers our new body armor and M1 Abrams tank.
Seriously, though, we're very proud of all three of our daughters, and we can't wait to experience the surprises they have in store for us and our blood pressure in 2022.
Whatever happens in the coming year, I choose to look forward to it with hope for renewal and faith that God is ultimately in charge. My prayer is that in the next 12 months, He will lead us out of this pandemic, bestow his richest blessings upon us, and help us to become better humans -- love handles and all.
Jase Graves is a humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal and The Kilgore News Herald. Contact Graves at firstname.lastname@example.org.