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    Things to Be Grateful for Heading into 2022

    By Liam P. Mayclem–

    1 – Relationship

    To quote Ru Paul, “If you don’t love yourself how in the hell are you gonna love another?” That quote resonated more to me this past year than ever before. I moved so fast and was not taking stock of what really mattered to me, to self. So, I took time in the morning for walks, for time alone, time to be quiet, to meditate, and to nurture myself. By taking time for self, I am able to show 

    up more fully, more selflessly for my partner & best friend Rick Camargo (of 16 years). That “me” time makes for better “us” time for sure. Bottom line: love yourself; you have to especially do so on those most challenging of days when you don’t see the light.

    2 – Family

    Those of us who have come from afar to find a new life, one of freedom and liberation and full expression, have had to find family. My friends are my family, or as Armistead Maupin puts it, your “logical” family: the ones with whom you can fully express your true self in full bloom without prejudice. I am so grateful for my SF family, and especially so during these times.

    My friends are there in good times and bad, and this past year, during testing times, the best of my friends showed up fully and I for them. Who have you shown up for?

    3 – Community

    From a smile from the mail person, a nod from a passerby to your fave cocktail ready when you walk into your favorite bar (440) to an elbow bump or a hug from a friend at 18th & Castro—that’s community, feeling you are part of something and connected to people with whom you are familiar and with whom you have history. We are blessed to have that in San Francisco in the Castro and in Noe Valley, the two San Francisco neighborhoods of which I am a part.

    4 – Passions and Interests

    I talk to Chefs for work as the Foodie Chap on KCBS since 2011. Over the years the world’s best chefs have shared their stories and recipes with me. That said, I rarely took enough time to cook at home. Well, this pandemic gave me the opportunity to cook more and try new dishes. Friends always joke that to be invited to dinner at our place is to come over for shepherd’s pie. I changed the narrative this past year and learned new dishes like coq au vin and homemade soups: exotic mushroom or chicken noodle. Cooking, I have found, is therapy more than ever before. It is a lovely transition from my work day to “home” time.

    There is nothing more heartwarming than cooking for others and it’s made even better when they ask for seconds or more!

    2022 will be the year I pick up my guitar again. The goal is to play “Blackbird” by The Beatles before year’s end. What’s your passion or interest that you want to discover and share with others?

    5 – Mental Wellness

    I lost my Mum to suicide in 1998 and she herself was a psychiatric nurse. This past year, the isolation so many felt resulted in too many exiting too soon. On the upside, people are now talking about their state of mind more than ever before: in sport, at work, in community, and among friends. Make time to check in on that friend who may be alone. That one call could make all the difference and help lift a friend out of a very dark place.

    6 – Morning Mantra

    “Get out of your head, get out of your bed, put your feet on the floor and embrace the day ahead.”

    This is my daily mantra—tbe words that motivate me to get up and get at it on the days I feel like staying under the covers.

    7 – Time

    The pandemic gave us all time to reflect on what matters, what truly matters in life. And it gave us the opportunity to take stock of the value of time. Working from home gave us time out of our cars and time not spent commenting. It freed us all up in ways we never had before. I put that time to good use making more time for calls and FaceTimes with friends, more time cooking, more time for relationships, and more time for one’s self. I am so grateful for the gift of mother time.

    8 – Nature 

    Get outdoors and smell the roses, feel the breeze, and hear the birds. Again, the past two years have reminded me of the joy of being outside, in nature. It’s free and available to all! Instead of sitting at my desk at home, I take my calls in the morning while walking. Friends I once met for coffee or naughty breakfasts I now schedule walks with instead. It’s a great way to start the day. Having a friend to embark on these walks with helps you to show up. Try it! You may surprise yourself, and before you know it, you’ll clock 10,000 steps a day and more than 50k in a week. 

    9 – Work Is Passion

    “I have never worked a day in my life,” said Elton John in a recent interview. Doing what you love for work has always been important to me. I know I am one of the lucky ones, having launched a career in broadcasting in the U.K. at age 16 and have not looked back. While I am still on the air on KCBS and KPIX (Friday mornings), there is a new line of work as a Charity Auctioneer that has got me fired up in recent years. I conduct about 50 charity auctions a year for all manner of local and national causes near and dear to my heart: 

    Beyond Differences: https://www.beyonddifferences.org/
    Project Open Hand: http://www.openhand.org/
    SF LGBT Center: https://www.sfcenter.org/
    SF CASA: https://www.sfcasa.org/

    10 – Golden Gate Bridge

    This iconic bridge is what drew me to San Francisco for the very first time on a vacation with a friend in 1992—yes, almost 30 years ago. I moved to San Francisco one year later in 1993, and on my first day drove across the Golden Gate. On the second day, I walked across it. Now, three decades on, the beauty and majesty of this magnificent bridge is not lost on me. For many years I have run across it on my birthday (February 18). It’s usually cold, but that does not stop me. The Golden Gate invited me here, welcomed me here, and reminds me always of the joyous, fully expressed life I live here in San Francisco. Thank you with all the gratitude in my heart to the Golden Gate Bridge, for you are the reason I am here. Thank you and a thousand more!

    Happy New Year, one and all. Make 2022 your best year ever!

    Emmy Award-winning radio and television personality Liam Mayclem is regularly featured on KPIX as well as KCBS, where he is the popular Foodie Chap. Born in London, Mayclem is now at home in the Bay Area, where he lives with his husband, photographer Rick Camargo. For more information: https://www.bookliam.com/

    Published on January 13, 2022