Things to be thankful for heading into 2022 – San Francisco Bay Times

By Liam P. Mayclem–

1 – Relationship

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

more fully, more selflessly for my partner and best friend Rick Camargo (age 16). This “me” tense certainly makes a better “we” tense. Conclusion: love yourself; you have to do it especially on the most difficult days when you don’t see the light.

2 – Family

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

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

3 – Community

Whether it’s a smile from the postman, a wink from a passerby at your favorite cocktail ready when you walk into your favorite bar (440), a nudge or a hug from a friend at 18th & Castro is about community, feeling part of something and connected to people you are familiar with and have a history with. We are lucky to have this in San Francisco in the Castro and in the Noe Valley, the two districts of San Francisco of which I am a part.

4 – Passions and interests

I’ve been talking to chefs for work as 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 has given me the opportunity to cook more and try new dishes. Friends always joke that being invited to dine with us is like coming to eat a shepherd’s pie. I changed my narrative last year and learned new dishes like coq au vin and homemade soups: exotic mushrooms or noodles with chicken. Cooking, I’ve found, is therapy more than ever. It’s a nice transition between my work day and my time “at home”.

There’s nothing more comforting than cooking for others and it’s even better when they ask for a few seconds or more!

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

5 – Mental well-being

I lost my mother to suicide in 1998 and she was a psychiatric nurse herself. Over the past year, the isolation felt by so many has resulted in too many people coming out too soon. On the positive side, people are now talking about their state of mind more than ever: in sports, at work, in the community and among friends. Take the time to check on this friend who may be alone. That one call could make all the difference and help pull a friend out of a very dark place.

6 – Morning Mantra

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

It’s my daily mantra – the words that motivate me to get up and go on days when I feel like staying under the covers.

7 – Time

The pandemic has given us all time to reflect on what matters, what really matters in life. And that gave us the opportunity to take stock of the value of time. Working from home has given us time out of our cars and time away from commentary. It freed us all in a way we never had before. I used that time wisely by making more time for calls and FaceTimes with friends, more time for cooking, more time for relationships, and more time for myself. I am so grateful for the gift of mothers time.

8 – Nature

Go outside and smell the roses, feel the breeze and listen to the birds. Again, the past two years have reminded me of the joy of being outdoors in nature. It’s free and accessible to everyone! Instead of sitting at my desk at home, I take my morning calls while walking. Friends I met for coffee or naughty breakfasts with whom I now plan walks. It’s a great way to start the day. Having a friend to take these walks with helps you show off. Try it! You might surprise yourself, and before you know it, you’ll be taking 10,000 steps a day and over 50,000 in a week.

9 – Work is a passion

“I’ve never worked a day in my life,” Elton John said 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 broadcasting career in the UK at the age of 16 and have never looked back. Although I’m still on the air on KCBS and KPIX (Friday mornings), there’s a new line of work as a charity auctioneer that has excited me for the past few years. I run about 50 charity auctions a year for all kinds of local and national causes that are close to my heart:

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

10 – The Golden Gate Bridge

This iconic bridge is what first drew me to San Francisco on vacation with a friend in 1992 – yes, almost 30 years ago. I moved to San Francisco a year later, in 1993, and the first day I walked through the Golden Gate. On the second day, I crossed it. Now, three decades later, the beauty and majesty of this magnificent bridge cannot escape me. For many years, I saw him on my birthday (February 18). It’s usually cold, but that doesn’t stop me. The Golden Gate invited me here, welcomed me here, and still reminds me of the joyful, fully expressed life I live here in San Francisco. Thank you with all the gratitude in my heart to the Golden Gate Bridge because you are the reason I am here. Thank you and many more!

Happy new year everyone. Make 2022 your best year!

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 her husband, photographer Rick Camargo. For more information: https://www.bookliam.com/

Posted on January 13, 2022

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