For about a decade I taught one of those classes you have to take when lose your operator’s license for driving while impaired.

It’s been a few years since I left that job, but much of it has still stayed with me. Like the fact that, come February, work would always pick up. It was the only job I had where I actually got sad if we had plenty of work.

I had a unique way with people, and so they used to book all of the crazies, and easily half off the assholes (even though I taught only an eighth of the classes). For some reason people trusted that I was trying to help them get their lives back on track, and had no ulterior motives. I think most times I was actually able to do that.

The reason I mention all of this is that it contributed to how much I heard and saw while teaching in that classroom. Mostly what I saw was and constant line of people who just wanted their freedom back. But, it’s the stories that stick with me these days. And I still remember many of them too vividly. Some were funny as hell. Many were boring. Too many some were soul-crushing. But one thing that every story had in common was the fact that none of them had planned on it happening. Witnessing that kind of regret never really leaves you. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to try to live with it.

Tonight is a night celebrated around the world. The cyclical nature of the new year reminds us of the passage of time. Both in looking forward to the future, and for hindsight and memory. Plan for the first, so that the latter is something you actually want to revisit.

Please have a safe and healthy new year everyone.