Before I begin this week’s post (first of the year!) I should mention something I forgot to put into my 2023 year in review: I quit snus. Sure, doesn’t have anything to do with comedy, but it was a big change for me. For the first time in a decade, I don’t have nicotine coursing through my veins every waking minute. Other than a week of serious depression – which I could’ve had just as easily while still a user – quitting was easy. It’s been several months now, but I still feel a craving now and then. I’m also a lot more tired, but I suppose that’s natural for a man my age.

When I quit, a comic asked me what new vice I had picked up instead. He’s convinced that we always have a stable level of vices. Honestly, nothing new here, just a stable level of sloth and gluttony.

While 2023 threatened to end on a down note, it picked up by the end. Christmas was lovely, had a lot of fun on New Year’s Eve. My first gig of 2024 was last Friday, hosting Maffia Comedy, and it was amazing. I could tell by the reaction to my first joke that the crowd was ready, able, and most importantly, willing to laugh. One of those nights that don’t feel like work at all.

Saturday, I hosted my first two game shows at On Air since before Christmas. Didn’t feel rusty, had a lot of fun, both groups gave me a rating of “Very Good” online afterward. Hosted Maffia that night, too, had to work a little harder to get laughs but it still went just as well for me. During the break, as I stood talking to a comic who had been on earlier, a woman walked up to us, gave me a fist bump, said I was great. Didn’t acknowledge the other comic at all. Normally, this would’ve been the other way around.

Back on Friday, I’d posted a short video on Instagram and Facebook as a reel that my kid helped me film. It was a joke, the punchline being, “It’s called Winter, happens every year, stop complaining.” I’m trying to post more content, more often, and since this one quickly got over 500 views and a ton of positive reactions, it’s very encouraging! Although I learned today that a Swedish comic in my network, also on Friday, tweeted (not going to say X’d) a joke, the punchline being, “It’s called Winter, happens every year, stop complaining.” It was in Swedish and the setup was different, at least, but I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. Now, it does look like he posted that just before I did, so it could be (probably is) parallel thinking.

The fact that his post has currently over 20K views, though, that gives me mixed feelings. I was, and am, happy with my result, especially since I didn’t include any hashtags (I’m almost 50 and have no idea how they work), my Facebook is private and I only recently reopened my Insta to public. I’d love to get the numbers he gets, even though I should also be happy to be happy with a number he’d think was so low he’d want to jump in front of train.

There’s an old saying, “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” It has a dozen different meanings, but when I first learned it, it was a reference to late-Winter weather in March. If March started with rough weather, it would end with a mild start to Spring. If the weather was mild at the start, though, it would end with a rough start to Spring. Basically meaning that we have to pay for the good, sooner or later.

Now, with 2024 off to such a good start (other than my continuing unemployment), I’d love to believe that things will only get better from here! But while, at the end of the day, I do think I’m an optimist, I can’t help but worry about the other shoe dropping. (I’ve never been afraid to mix metaphors.) Is 2024 in like a lamb, out like a lion? Nothing to do but wait and see and appreciate the good times while they last.