Where to begin? I finished writing the book, typed the table of contents into it last night. Now the editing begins. I’ll probably be completely finished with it…when I’m finished with it. I don’t want to jinx it. This book started out as one thing and became something else as I found strength in my own voice again. I’ve said a lot of quiet prayers while writing this one. I’ve felt a definite shift in things lately. I’ve felt a sense of relief and release and peace. I’ve worked very hard over the last several years to get myself back to this place mentally and emotionally, but finally, I can account for this change in feeling in no other way but then to attribute it to God. It’s been a year of making peace with myself and learning to love me, and to love life, again. I made it really difficult to love me for a while. I’ve had some tough things to face and work out and all of a sudden, everything clicked again. I’ve even made peace with all my previous wrestling about social media, not that I want to talk about that anymore. None of those things was on the list of resolutions I made last December but I will take it. I know I would have never arrived at this place with myself had I not quit drinking three years ago. This is the longest I’ve gone without consuming any alcohol since I was fifteen years old, and alcohol wasn’t even my thing back in the day but just the same, I drank. I wouldn’t have said that before. I am incredibly thankful every day and for every day.
Thanksgiving was good. I’ve got all but a few of the Christmas decorations up, and the only reason I’ve not completed that task is that it’s been raining every day for the last week so I haven’t quite been able to get outside. I’ve finally got my office sorted out again after a major re-arranging. Am I working my ass off at all this, to make the most of everything that I can? You better believe it. Have I accomplished many of these tasks whilst clad in lounge pants or sweats? You better believe that too. Living life to the fullest that you can is a lot of hard work. Especially when you’re dealing with all the usual things that life doles out, or in my case, arthritis and chronic fatigue. These things are not accomplished without effort, I am actively looking for and seeking beauty in everyday moments all the time. One of the reasons why I take photographs of nature, of flowers, of trees, of the changing seasons, the moon, is because the beauty and wonder of nature are all around us all the time, and it’s free for everyone to access, to see and enjoy. Every moment is a gift, not a given.
For no reason that I can determine, other than my own aging process, over the last year, I found my thoughts wandering around the subject of death. This contemplation began around the time I turned fifty. I began to feel something of a low-ebbing anxiety about whether or not I’ll manage to do the things I want to do before my time on earth is over. I realized that I probably won’t, and in accepting that, a great weight was lifted. Then I managed to make it to my next birthday, by the grace of God as is everything, and I thought, “Okay, from here on out, it’s just every day as it comes.” I remember, way back when, thinking that I wouldn’t make it to twenty. When I was thirty, I got so sick I almost didn’t make it to thirty-one. I don’t even want to talk about my early forties except to say I’m glad that time is over with. What I’m telling you is that I think that every one of us walking around on this earth is a miracle, I mean, I believe that. I’ve let go of worrying about my own mortality, or what there is after. It’s all been the strangest thing, really. Perhaps, though, this far into this life, now would be a good time to learn to thoroughly enjoy all the good there is, whatever good there is, when it is, and while it is.
(This is where I’m not going to offer up a lengthy sidebar defending the right to be happy. Wouldn’t you be happy if you could? And when you’re happy or at least feeling good, aren’t you able to give more to others, in whatever way? Oh, but I know, misery loves company…)
So, that said, I’m writing. I’m collecting albums (vinyl) again and thoroughly enjoying it. (Probably write a post about that, I’ve picked up some great finds for next to nothing, not even kidding, like fifty cents to two bucks…) I’m making delicious food and trying not to eat too much of it. I’m maintaining my sobriety. I’m recording old Christmas Shows on the DVR thingy because I miss that sort of thing. I miss the wholesome variety hour with a cavalcade of stars wearing evening gowns and tuxedos for the holidays. The other night I watched a Mac Davis Christmas show from the 70s, and his guest stars were Gladys Night and the Pips, Ronnie Milsap, and Barbara Mandrell, and it was great. I’m still reading Sandburg’s big book of Abraham Lincoln. I am appreciating my life.
This is the last month of this decade, December I am in you, fantastically so.
I don’t drink anymore, but I do miss these old commercials. For those of you who remember this stuff, it wasn’t really the Christmas season until this commercial started to show up in the rotation…