Tale of 22022022 112200

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On Feb 22 2021 I noticed a social media posting about the next calendar day. It claimed that Feb 22 2022 could be represented as 22022022, and this is both a palindrome and an ambigram.

I thought, as I was drinking an after work Guinness beer, that this would be an interesting date to choose never to drink alcohol again. I thought I'd always be able to remember it because of its unique number, and just why not.

There is as always more context for that moment of thought. I had been on a serious upswing in my fitness and health since the week of my 60th birthday roughly three months prior, discovering how to exercise in new ways superior to my fitness-instructor experience had known, and even neurological disciplines that promote superior management of emotions, stress which then promote better outcomes and even just getting things done.

In these last three months I was phoning a friend several times a week with news I had achieved some new higher threshold in kettlebell lifting. I had begun in January doing one handed deep squats and overhead presses with 35 lbs, then discovered I could do it with 50 lbs....just barely. Then over four weeks doubled the amount of reps I could do with the 50, till finally on the day of this story I was doing them easily and about 90-100 lifts within a three hour workout.

None of the above is to place musclehead priorities in the front. The priorities are deeper and more about what strengthens the whole self so that more of what life can be...can be.

I work at night from midnight to 8 AM, at a job I love. I can be reflective while on the job. It was while at work in the AM of Feb 22 that I said a prayer saying I wasn't going to have a beer that next day (Wed Feb 23). I have never been a prayer oriented person, I'm more a science atheist with only a little inclination to religiosity. Or maybe no religiosity. I just see many, many good things in the way Latter Day Saints live and think.

After the prayer, within a couple of hours I was getting off work, and got a text alert from my bank. My checking account was overdrawn by over 800 dollars, I had just been charged over 1200 dollars. I was in shock, I had no bills whatsoever and this was simply a mystery, and a horror because I was already on a thin budget because of a missed week of work due to having Covid19.

I got home and looked into more account details -it was the IRS charging me 1,122.00 dollars. I had just submitted my taxes four days prior, I make very little and always have a return, not a payment. I had given my bank routing number and account number to get my return, and that's how the IRS had access to my account.

I decided to stay calm. The neurological health things I had recently learned pointed out how counterproductive fear and stress are to the body and to mental health. I kept in mind that hurting myself in body and mind wasn't going to make this rough situation anything but worse as a loss. If I was going to lose some money and have a great hardship, why add to the loss with self-inflicted wounds?

I stayed calm and made several moves to mitigate the immediate situation. I had four days till payday and only 20 dollars in a basically unused savings account. I went to my bank and got that out, and used it all to fill up my near empty gas tank to make it through the rest of the work week and also be able to get my son on Thursday so he can do bench press at my house. He likes having those sessions and us talking about what's going on in his school.

Mostly I stayed calm. I slept well. I did my usual guitar practice, even more playing and better playing than ever. I was even aware at the moment how the guitar and playing was such a gift, such a good thing in my life.

I went to work that night and did my usual routine, including my kettlebell lifts. I mulled over the money situation and decided not to call anyone for help, that I might be able to make it by living off just a few dollars and a month's supply of chili I had bought at the beginning of the pandemic to survive any serious disruption in food supply.

I had all this aligned in my head when the next precise sequence of events happened.

I got out one app that showed the exact dollars I would get paid on Friday. It was serious number crunching time, going to make precise plans with each little dollar to get through this. I entered that number into my phone calculator. Then over in my banking app I was going to the exact negative balance dollars so I could enter it in my calculator.

The IRS charge was gone.

I'll say it again, the IRS charge was gone.

The old very positive dollar amount of a few hundred was there instead.

I phoned my friend I had been reporting my gains in kettlebell strength to, and told him the miraculous story. I told him how I had kept this secret, no calls out to anyone, just dealt with it as best I could.

I also told him about how the thought to stop drinking beer had preceded the whole event, and the prayer declaring my intent to stop just hours before the fiasco began.

He said my little beer prayer had prompted God to test me. And I had responded with a fair amount of resiliency.

On 22022022 I was charged 1122.00, then the number disappeared from my account activity as mysteriously as it had appeared. All numbers within 0-2.

Story not over. The numbers part is over, the money part is over, but the beer story continues.

That Friday I get paid, pick up my son at his school and stop at a store to stock up for our weekend. I waffle on buying beer, deciding we are going to watch movies that night and it would be nice to have a six pack of Guinness. We go over and I put it in our cart. We turn to go down that aisle and there is this elderly guy staggering, he does a stumbling side step around another guy, and we walk right beside him going the other way. One second after stepping by him he plunges into the wine shelves, taking down dozens or maybe hundreds of bottles, bursting everywhere. Employees started rushing to the scene.

I've seen a lot of things in 60 years, but never anything remotely so cringeworthy related to drinking in my life. The scene was just a sickening thing to see, and the word drunk was intertwined in every image.

I circled back and put my six pack back on the shelf.

As we walked out a fire department vehicle was pulling in, responding to the calamity we had just seen.

In the car I confessed to my son the context of inner-thoughts and inner-turmoil I had leading up to that moment of the drunk crashing into and destroying an aisle. I said it was just too much of a coincidence that the man fell right within 5 seconds of me putting my beer in our cart.

He said God sent the man to show me a message.

I agree God sent me a message.

It is a day later. I'm thinking how low I would be feeling if I had kept that beer in my cart, that would be such a self-loathing state of being. Not that I am for self-loathing, but that's the only thing I can think of for that alternative decision. Right now in my current disposition such a self-inflicted wound is unthinkable and kind of alien.

There are arcs going on with me. Arcs of strength building on many scales and in many forms. I wouldn't have had the interest in quitting beer without my recent amazing gains in fitness.I was also intellectually nudged when recently seeing an academic speaker talking about human evolution and saying as far back as we can see homo sapiens they had chosen this poison called alcohol.

This morning I thought, what if God wants me to see spiritual progression as a bold defense of self interest. Bold defense against what? Some external bad guys and mean people?

No, against any whim of my own that is needless self-inflicted wounds.

The world is full of both troubles and great things, never going to be easy and all out lazy paradise (I don't think I'd like a lazy paradise anyway) but I can't even detect what's trouble and great in the external real world if I'm needlessly impairing myself.

In that case I'm the main one that loses, for no good reason.

I've recently seen strength gains in myself, and God seems to have taken the trouble to send me two strong messages and I received them gladly.

All that is good.

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