Reflections on a Long Year - 2017 edition

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Adam Thayer 

“Brethren, as the year is drawing to a close, I, like many of you, find myself reflecting upon the challenges and achievements of the past year and turning an eager eye forward to see what the new year will bring. While my year has been full of many joys, there have been many trials that I did not believe I was prepared to handle and obstacles that seemed impossible to overcome. I feel relatively safe in saying that when you take the final tally of your year’s events, you will find a similar sentiment.”

I said that… two years ago now? Wow, two years has gone by so fast, it seems like I’m still preparing for my year as Senior Warden, not looking back at the end of my year in the East.

For anyone who has not yet sat in the East, it’s an interesting mix of feeling like a king and being convinced that you’re actually the jester. It’s a lot of work, no doubt, and a lot of reward, and if you’re really lucky, you’ve managed to do something that will improve your lodge for the future. For me, I hope that at least one of the old traditions that we brought back will continue into the future, and that the speech competition we’ve started will be a very successful program for years to come.

Some people enjoy being in charge, and are very good at it; I don’t. Somehow, I keep finding myself in leadership positions, when I would much rather spend my time writing, and editing my local Masonic newspaper, occasionally helping out with degree work as needed. If I could go the rest of my life without running another lodge, I would be perfectly happy, however the sad reality is that there are not enough qualified people around to handle all of the positions that need filled, and part of being a Mason is stepping into things you’d really rather not do.

We’ve spoken about Masonic burnout a lot on the site. I mean, a LOT. I’ve read every one of the articles, because I’m a huge fan of the writers here, and I read every article that gets published. After every burnout article, I always told myself “man, that’ll never happen to ME, I’m much stronger than that.” If I could sit down with that smug bastard right now, I’d smack him right in the face. After that was accomplished, I’d explain that burnout has nothing to do with strength, or a lack of strength, it’s from being strong for too long against overwhelming odds without any reprieve from the stress. Once I was certain that he understood, I’d smack him again, because let’s face it, he deserves it.

“For those of you who, like myself, have had a very painful year, I hope you can find comfort in the words of Ovid: Perfer et obdura, dolor hic tibi proderit olim. (Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.)”

I wrote that too. (See, I told you, smug) I don’t disagree with what I said, because I still believe it to be absolutely true. I don’t believe, however, that it was nearly encompassing enough, as it didn’t address the issue I’m facing now: I’m tired. Green Mile, “like pieces of glass in my head, all the time” tired.

For those of you who have been long time readers, you may have noticed I was absent for a while; believe me, I’ve missed being here and writing so much that it eats away at me in those late hours when I really should be sleeping, and I apologize for being gone so long. For so long, writing was my inspiration, and what recharged my battery when it was running low; unfortunately, when times get tough, we often give up those things we should be holding like a life raft, and that has been my downfall this year as well.

It’s been a long year, but in the history of long years it surely hasn’t been the longest. It has been exhausting, trying, and at times overwhelming, and that’s just a typical evening with my two year old!

The best part of being a writer for this site is that when things are going well, I have all of you to celebrate and share the joy with, and when things have all gone pear shape I have you to commiserate with, which leads me to the last thing I said two years ago, and which is no less true today:

“I love each and every one of you, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it!”


WB. Bro. Adam Thayer is the Senior Warden of Lancaster Lodge No. 54 in Lincoln (NE) and a past master of Oliver Lodge No. 38 in Seward (NE). He’s an active member in the Knights of Saint Andrew, and on occasion remembers to visit the Scottish and York Rites as well. He continues to be reappointed to the Grand Lodge of Nebraska Education Committee, and serves with fervency and zeal. He is a sub-host on The Whence Came You podcast, and may be reached at He will not help you get your whites whiter or your brights brighter, but he does enjoy conversing with brothers from around the world!

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