Archive for December 31st, 2011

The Last Few Hours of 2011

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Well, here I sit reflecting on the last year. I have a range of emotions to deal with, but first and foremost I feel very fortunate to be alive. Sometimes we are confronted with a gentle reminder that we are not immortal. In early October, after my doctor called me at work, I instantly realized how quickly one’s life can change. Although I’ve always known it, the feeling was much different when I received the phone call that I had serious issues that needed to be addressed.

Before my surgery a week and a half ago I didn’t know what to expect. I’m pretty sure that most of my friends and family were more worried than I was. As I’ve always told everyone, I feel like I’ve lived a very complete life. I’ve accomplished things in life that I set out to accomplish when I was much younger and I’ve done the things I’ve always dreamed of doing.

When I received the phone call from the surgeon last Wednesday evening my family was very relieved to find out the tumor the surgeon removed was not cancerous. The operation took longer than anticipated and the battle scar I have from it is impressive to some people. I guess it was only to be expected after removing something the size of a baseball. I’m beginning to feel better by the day, so hopefully I won’t have to walk with a limp for very long. If it’s permanent I can still be thankful that in general terms I’m “okay.”

I’m not sure what’s in store for the coming year. It appears that there might be a few more surgeries, but I’ll tackle them as they come. I can’t think that far ahead right now because each day is a gift, that’s why they call it the present.

Since I’m laid up and can’t do much I’m sitting home tonight by myself. My dog Theo (who’s health has been failing rapidly lately) is lying on the floor next to me. I love that dog. It makes me sad to see him sleeping. I’m pretty sure he won’t be with me at this time next year, but like me he has lived a pretty good life. I hope I’ve given him a quarter of the joy and happiness he has given to me.

They’re doing the top 40 musical performances of New Year’s Eve on the Dick Clark show on TV right now. I couldn’t help but smile when they did one from 1998. It seems so long ago, but it was only 13 years ago. That was the night I finally got married. As a kid growing up I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to be married. After I settled into the working world when I graduated from college I met up with a very dear childhood friend of mine who I had lost touch with while I was away at college. Somehow we became close, as we had been growing up, and it seemed destined to happen.

Although she might see it differently, I always tried to be there for her as a friend when she needed me. On New Year’s Eve in 1995 she called for a ride home. Since I don’t drink and I never really went out I told her I would come get her to make sure she got home safely. It was 2 0’clock in the morning, but I didn’t mind at all because she was always close to me. She had a special place in my heart. Three years later on New Year’s Eve we got married.  Yeah, in some ways it was like a fairy tale. Go through school, go away to college, meet up with the girl next door who you grew up with, get married and fade of into the sunset.

Well, as years passed the fairy tale didn’t quite end that way and we went in our own directions. Many people like to blame the other person. I’m not that type and I would never do that. After all, it takes two for everything to happen. I’ve always accepted my blame and I’ve tried learning from the experience. I do feel bad at times because I know I probably wasn’t the best person in the world, but in the end I also know that I did try, but it wasn’t meant to be.

As I sit here tonight I think about a quote I came across in the summer. It reads something like this: I will never regret love. No matter how blind it improved my world. No matter how foolish it made me wiser. And no matter how generous it made me more.

We learn from each experience. Some of us are lucky enough to love many people in our lives and a few of us love only a few. No matter what the circumstance, the experience makes us whole. If we don’t learn from our mistakes and grow from them we’ll keep repeating them. Right now I’m quite content with my life. In some ways I feel very much like I did while I was growing up. I would never say I will never get married again, but at the present time it’s not anything I really think about. If it happens it happens. I’m sure it would probably be good for me, but I don’t feel like it’s something I need to validate myself or make myself feel complete. I’m sure a few of you can understand what I’m saying.

Since we’re going into a new year beginning tomorrow I’m going to try to simplify my life. I’m going to try to follow a few simple rules from a quote I read today. As you can see, I’m a quote kind of person. Quotes give me direction and challenge me to think about different things from different perspectives.

Here it is: Always know when to let go. When a thought is bringing you more misery than peace, let go of the thought; when a person is bringing you more pain than joy to your life, let go…You cannot be your best if you lack joy and peace.

It sounds simple, but I’ve always struggled a little bit with this type of thing. Many times I’ve found myself lost in thought. No matter what I do I hold on to nagging thoughts. I’m going to try to dismiss them as they come this year. Once we engage the thought it takes a life of its own. I’ll try my best to steer away from that this year. I’m also going to try to avoid any type of drama that other people bring into my life. I’ll still lend my hand and ears to the people who need me, but I will not let them control my actions.

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new year. Hopefully these health issues will find a backseat for a while. However, if I’m confronted with more unsettling news I’ll face it as I’ve faced the other hurdles in my life. I’ll keep my head down, run fast and leap as far and high as I can. I’m bound to catch and ankle now and then, but I’ll finish the race if I don’t fall face first when my balance is suddenly knocked out from under me.

This night 13 years ago was memorable for me. I got to spend it with all of my closest friends and family. Really…………..what more could I ever ask for? I learned from that relationship and have grown in many ways. Tonight is a lot like that night. I’m just thankful to be alive, surrounded by my friends and family. Some things are meant to be and some aren’t. I’m just glad that I was meant to live in 2012 because a few months ago I’m sure a few people were quite worried about that.

I feel great about the upcoming year. I’ll be at a lot of book signings, outdoor shows, author fairs and many other things. I feel like the sky is the limit now. I’ll keep pushing forward, experience new things, meet new people and just enjoy my life to the fullest. It’s good to be internally happy. It really, really is. God bless, good night and Happy New Year!!!