How I Deal with Life.....

How I Deal with Life.....

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Danger, Will Robinson!

I make no bones about the fact that I am what, I guess, one would call "irreligious".  I am not anti- religious, but I'm extremely dubious when it comes to organized religion for many personal, as well as, intellectual reasons. I will be the first to admit that religion can bring a sense of camaraderie, support and belonging to its members, but it can also control and abuse those same members through a network of half truths, out and out lies, and the instillation of fear.  All religions are not sinister. A great many offer thought provoking discourse that advances our understanding of the hows and whys of our place in this universe, but please, be aware of the dangers. Human beings are a needy lot; we will fall for any assertions that ensure us of a better life in the hereafter and/or a heavenly reward for the hardships of this life.

The following is a quick checklist to Religion as Comforter vs. Religion as Control Mechanism.  These should be red flags that a religion's aim is not a spiritual journey of enlightenment that works for the betterment of its members.
These religions seek to control the intellectual and emotional potential of human beings, and are an abomination to the very essence of what being fully human, and humane, means. So listen up, Will Robinson.

These religions:

1.  Profess that their leaders have a one way pipeline to God's wishes and edicts
2. Establish a gender hierarchy that places women on an unequal footing and undermines the independence of women through minimal educational opportunities and exert control over women's sexuality and reproductive decisions
3. Insist that the only way to an afterlife is through THEIR religion and/or god and that all other people of different religions must be converted to the one true religion (theirs) in order to be "saved"
4.  Pick and choose from scientific fact in order to uphold their own religious beliefs, texts, and laws
5. Use guilt as a way of controlling its members
6. Refuse to revise aspects of their beliefs that are proven to be illogical and not in keeping with the ever-expanding base of human knowledge
7. Seek to destroy any and all countries/communities/people who do not agree with their belief system
8. Exhibit an arrogant and/or superior attitude toward people with beliefs that don't coincide with theirs
9. Believe it is their sacred responsibility to intervene (interfere) in others' private sex lives and sexuality

Choose wisely, choose with the heart as well as the brain, be prepared to seek answers and be prepared to hear/recognize the truth when it is revealed.  Just because a religion worked for the parents and grandparents does not mean it might work for the children as they grow into adulthood.  Most people never question what they are taught as children, but they follow like meek lambs and end up with a life that is less about their own beliefs and needs and more about their family or societal traditions.  Seek, even when that seeking leads to the sands shifting uncomfortably. Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn't mean it's right.  The subjugation of any person based on gender, race, culture, sexual orientation, or economic status is subjugation even in when it is done in the name of a god. And that is wrong no matter how you slice and dice it, Dr. Smith.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

My Message to You about Autoimmune Arthritis. Yes, YOU!

August is Psoriatic Arthritis Awareness Month.

I have been living with psoriatic arthritis (Psa) for fourteen years.  PsA involves way more than skin issues. And it is not just the "arthritis" that most people associate with wear and tear osteoarthritis. What I have is autoimmune. I was thirty-eight years old when I came down with PsA. It hit virtually overnight causing me to reevaluate how I proceeded in every aspect of my life.

PsA destroys joints, damages bone, causes excruciating, debilitating pain, limits activities, and invades every shadow of one's life. I have continued to teach full time and contribute as a meaningful member of society while battling this monster, but it has been difficult at best. I take a weekly injection of a biologic medication whose side effects include non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, respiratory disorders, and neurologic episodes. I also take weekly dosages of methotrexate- a medication that has a high risk for liver damage.  And a pill to make me sleep. And a pill to battle the chronic fatigue. And pills to address my chronically low B12 and Vit D levels.  I almost rattle when I walk.  I put myself at risk taking all these medications because I want to continue to contribute to society, I want to be useful, I want my life to have meaning.  I can't just stop and quit. I can't just give up all that I worked for in order to sit on my ass and moan. I will not do that.

If someone tells you they have autoimmune arthritis, remember it is not the "old person's" arthritis, so please don't even compare the two. My body is attacking itself. A person with psoriatic arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis spends most of their days in pain. They have no idea when they will have a "good" day or a "bad" day and the pain can hit out of nowhere within a matter of hours.  We also deal with chronic fatigue issues, plus, oftentimes, other autoimmune diseases (they do so love to band together). If we tell you we can't do something, we can't. It's not that we don't want to, we just can't, so don't pull the old, "But you were okay yesterday" trip on us. We might not have been okay, We learn to hide the pain rather well. We don't want pity, but we do want understanding. We can't just "get over it" or think ourselves well. It doesn't work that way.

 I am doing the best I can, and that is pretty damned excellent by anyone's standards.  I am Super Woman. So, fuck you, PsA. You don't get to take over my entire life just yet.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

War.. What is it Good for?

I hate war. War creates unspeakable horrors.  A humanitarian war cannot be waged. "Humanitarian" and "war" are an oxymoron. But, as much as I hate war and the ensuing horrors, I am pragmatic enough to realize that sometimes war is necessary to protect ourselves from those who see the world THEIR way and will stop at nothing to impose THEIR way on others.

Human beings have a supreme, honed talent for killing the innocent in their quest to impose THEIR way. I see photos and read historical accounts of the starving Jews in the WW II concentration camps, the napalm burned children of Vietnam, the stacked skulls of the victims of the Khmer Rogue, the almost three million people killed by Stalin in his quest for "greatness", the decimation of the American Indian populations, the Assyrian genocide that Turkey committed during WW I, and the still shots of people plummeting out of the raging infernos of the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 and I have little hope that humans will ever change. No nation possesses hands that are free from the stain of human blood.

But I also know, as much as I hate war, if I were ever attacked I would put my loved ones as far out of harm's way as possible and then I would pick up a weapon and protect myself. I expect my country to do the same. I want to live and let live, but I know this isn't always possible. With the advent of a modern Global Economy most countries just want to be left alone to live in peace and prosper. We are more interconnected than we have ever been, and maybe that's the problem.  It is religious extremist organizations who freely filter back and forth over myriad borders who have become the bane of 21st century man's existence.

And what do THEY want? Mostly for others to believe in THEIR god and to live according the THEIR religious laws of control. These are the most dangerous types of human beings that exist. Their ignorance, their lack of education, their blind faith, their unresolved fears of their eternal existence (no matter their verbal assertions, they all have that quiet voice inside that says that maybe this life is all there is. Most humans possess an ego that can't even fathom the possibility of non-existence after death).  All wars, and the horrors and atrocities that accompany them, have their roots in this one basic fear of non-existence after death. THEY draw comfort from converting, by force if needed,  massive numbers of people who believe they way THEY do because numbers give more weight and validity to the beliefs.  If nine million people believe the same thing then that belief has to be more correct than if only a hundred people believe, right?

Until we can change the basic nature of mankind and ease the fears, war will be with us. The faces and the players may change, but the atrocities will stay the same. But can we change the basic nature of mankind? Can we ease mankind's fears and make people impervious to extremism? History proves we cannot. If nothing else, history has taught us that a zealot belief in a god can be very bad for one's life expectancy and the condition of peace. But the beat goes on and the children keep dying and the answers grow more tangled. Which sides are merely protecting themselves and which are attempting invasions? Which god will save us and which will condemn us?  Does it even matter? I think that, in itself, is the answer.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Out of Step in Time (or How I Discovered That Humans are Pretty Stupid, But I Have to be One Anyway).

The world I grew up in has quickly slipped away and I almost feel like a visitor to this era.  An out of place alien who doesn't quite know the rules and who doesn't recognize the landscape of politics, religion, values, the lack of common sense, or other people's views on right vs wrong. Then again I am currently in the middle of teaching Lord of the Flies, quite possibly the most hopeless literary P.O.V on the human condition that exists. (Except Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.. That is some REAL messed up stuff. That evil dude going around in the brightly decorated cart kidnapping children that he throws into a dungeon. Gives me chills even thinking about it).

This is called back story:

After work I had to go Rite Aid to get some Mucinex DM, and thanks to meth manufacturers I had to give my DOB before I could even buy it. AND the clerk told me that they have started hiding the batteries behind the counter because teens are stealing them. Seems they are taking something out of the batteries that they can mix with something else to get high. Who even thought of this crap? Yeah, I was a stupid teen once upon a time but even I wouldn't have taken apart a battery and thought, "Gee, I wonder if something in this battery can get me high?". I mean, WTF??

Then I come home and read the news headlines and I start thinking about all the headlines over the past two years. Some definite horror movie stuff.  I mean, 60s horror flicks vastly underrated the true state of possibilities. We are almost Soylent Green times six here, except that, if it came down to it, we couldn't even eat people because the bodies would be too poisoned with toxic environmental crap for us to ingest (and if you don't know what Soylent Green is, then you're part of the problem).

Russia is invading the Ukraine (are my grandkids going to have to live through another Cold War?); the minimum wage hasn't been raised in three years; food prices have increased exponentially; Monsato is poisoning our food; Detroit is a ghost town; industrial companies are poisoning our water supply; teachers have been made the scapegoat for the sorry state of education in this country; we have a government that rushed/passed a health care mandate that is too full of holes and vastly questionable, but that will, in the bloody end, effect millions of people who are the middle class (the very ones who support this country by the sweat of their brow and the bloody blood in their veins); and the two political parties in this country can't even get along with one another long enough to do what is BEST for this country. They're too caught up in their images, the vast network of lobbyists, and their political careers. They're all a bunch of self serving assholes, as far as I'm concerned.

And what about America's obsession with reality television and our penchant for gullible ignorance and cell phone "selfies" ( I can't believe I even typed that word..)?  And then there's this Simon guy from American Idol. I totally don't get him. Or Justin Bieber. My brain fucking locks up when I even read his name in print.
          On a more serious note, cancer is hitting way too many people that I know and love (a side benefit of  poisoning our environment, our food, and our water!) and Alzheimer's cases are increasing at a rate that medical science and our health care system can't even keep pace with.

 I am out of step. I don't get it. I don't understand.  I didn't think I would feel this way until at least age seventy. But here I am at the grand old age of fifty-two thanking my lucky stars that in about thirty years (on the outside) I will be dead and won't have to think about this crap. I will be worm food and I can leave all of this to the living (bless their hearts). They can worry, fret, attempt to sort out the unmanageable shit, and try and solve the myriad ills of society.
          Sadly, my generation is to blame for a lot of the FUBAR state of affairs and we are doing nothing about it except making bigger messes out the already made messes. To future generations: I apologize for our actions and/or inactions...  but the next generation AND the one following that one aren't looking so hot either. You are all sooooooo screwed for about the next eighty years, at least.

Just keeping it real. The beat goes on....

 And this is what started all of this:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Soundtrack of My Life

As with everyone who has ever lived, there have been defining moments that have turned me like wet clay and then fired hot in life's kiln to create who I am and how I look at life. A myriad of experiences: the birth of my brother when I was almost four; my father leaving for Vietnam when I was six; kissing a boy on my thirteenth birthday and reading Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle a few months later; smoking pot when I was fourteen (highly overrated); reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens when I was fifteen, giving birth to my first child at age twenty-three; starting college when I was thirty-four; my divorce at age thirty-eight; deciding to become a teacher during my final year of my B.A; marrying for all the right reasons at age forty-seven, watching my father die at the age of fifty-one. All little bits and pieces.

These important and altering events are mirrored by a soundtrack  of music. A few are not merely songs, but entire albums. Opuses that encompass where I have been in this life. The albums of my life, so to speak. Thus far, the soundtrack is as follows:

Get your Wings by Aerosmith: I was thirteen years old, walking down my short neighborhood street of Stonehouse in San Antonio. An older, cute, Camaro owning boy lived a few doors down from me.  It must have been spring. The Camaro was black, the day was warm. The boy had his eight track stereo blaring from the car’s speakers while he meticulously waxed the car. "Train Kept ‘a Rolling" began to play.

Well on a train, I met a dame
She rather handsome
We kinda look the same
She was pretty
From New York City
I'm walkin' down that old fair lane
I'm in heat, I'm in love.
But I just couldn't tell her so.

I stopped dead cold, riveted. Somehow I got the nerve to yell over the blare of the music, “Who is that? The boy screamed back, “Aerosmith”. The hard driving blues/rock sound seeped into my bones. The next week I started lining up babysitting jobs. I had to have the new Toys in the Attic album by Aerosmith. Three weeks later it was mine. I still have that album. The cover is badly worn, the record scratched beyond imagining.  It took me another month to buy Get Your Wings, the album that contained the song, "Train Kept a Rolling."
          A love affair had begun. One with music. My music, the music that spoke to me.

Let There Be Rock by AC/DC: July 27, 1977. I was fifteen. Riding in a beat up Toyota heading to a mall in downtown San Antonio. There were only three of us. The boy driving lit up a joint.  He said we were going to meet AC/DC; they were signing copies of their new album that day pre-concert opening. The stoner driver pushed an AC/DC eight track in. I heard Bon Scott singing, “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll)”, a song title that would later become my mantra whenever life threw me curve balls.
             I remember getting to the mall. I remember going inside,  I remember seeing Angus Young and Bon Scott seated on folding chairs at a card table piled high with their latest album. They were just outside the entrance of a record store, surrounded by teen fans. I also remember being much more interested in the people weaving in and out through the corridors of the mall. They looked very strange: midgets, skinny giants, huge eyes, lopping oversized ears. Must of been the pot.  I glanced at AC/DC and then immediately become reabsorbed into the task of people watching. I never even approached AC/DC, much to my eternal shame,
            The next night I rode with my friend, Bill Ogle, to see with my own two eyes and hear with my own two ears what AC/DC could do live. I ended up eleven rows from the stage watching Angus Young prancing, running, dodging and ducking in his school boy attire, attacking the guitar until it screamed. His wet hair plastered to his skull. Fingers flying over the chords. Grinning, daring the audience to push him farther, faster, louder. Bon Scott, strutting like a caged lion, hitting ear splitting vocals that punched the auditory senses like hot dripping honey.
            AC/DC opened for Moxy that night, but there was no way in hell Moxy was going to get that show back after AC/DC walked off the stage.  Out of all the concerts I have ever been to, and I have been to quite a few, I think seeing AC/DC that night way back in 1977 was one of the most ethereal musical experiences I have ever had. Two and half years later Bon Scott was dead.
            But for the record I think the two greatest albums AC/DC ever made were High Voltage and Highway to Hell. Angus, Malcolm, and Bon forever enshrined. Timeless..
            And yes, it’s still A Long Way to the Top If You Wanna Rock and Roll.

War Child by Jethro Tull: The first lyrics I ever listened to that had double meanings and begged to be interpreted were from Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull.  The lyrics became my gateway to a later hobby and academic pursuit of interpreting poetry, short stories, and novels. The concept of double entendre slapping me in the face like a Flora-Bama mackerel began with War Child and lyrics like:

So as you push off from the shore,
won't you turn your head once more --- and make your peace with everyone?
For those who choose to stay,
will live just one more day ---
to do the things they should have done.
And as you cross the wilderness, spinning in your emptiness:
you feel you have to pray.
Looking for a sign
that the Universal Mind (!) has written you into the Passion Play.

At fifteen the heavy meaning of those words and how they apply to life sunk in and I was a goner for all time. If not for the very pressing need to actually work towards a paying profession after I graduated college I might have become a philosopher, and the ensuing poverty would have been Ian Anderson’s fault.

Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette: Divorcing at age thirty-eight while still in the midst of earning a college degree AND raising three kids at the same time was not the most fun thing I have ever attempted.  To get through something like that you need energy. Energy that comes from determined simmering anger. It doesn’t even matter if that anger is misdirected, you just sometimes need it. You think I can’t do this? You motherfucker, I’ll show you. Three years later I had that degree and the name TERI F COLEY was written on it. MY maiden name. So....

I don't wanna be the filler if the void is solely yours
I don't wanna be your glass of single malt whiskey
Hidden in the bottom drawer and
I don't want to be a bandage if the wound is not mine
Lend me some fresh air, ah

Heroes by Willie Nelson: The last Father’s Day I spent with Dad was in 2012. He was still home and  was able to walk, go places with Mom, but he couldn’t be left alone. He was slipping away a little more each day, but he still loved music.  I bought the new Willie Nelson CD Heroes for my father.  I had never even heard the CD, but had read that Ray Price performed on it and that it was heavy on steel guitar; the artist that my dad had loved and the instrument my dad had played. He was at my house about a week before Father’s Day and I played him one of the title tracks, “My Home in San Antone.” Dad always said he should have retired in San Antonio. He might have been a Georgia boy by birth, but he was Texan by heart and the music in his blood.  I played him the San Antone song. His eyes lit up, his right thumb started keeping time with the melody. He and I stood in my dining room and listened to the entire track, When it was over he said, “That was good.” 
            The next week I gave him the CD, then burned a copy onto my laptop. But when I listened to the CD by myself it wasn’t the San Antonio song with its steel chords and its upbeat Bob Wills-like tune that drew me in, but a song called “Hero”.

And where is our hero today?
Can we just tag along, we'll stay out his way.
Does he still write the sad songs and can he still play
Where is our hero today?

After Dad was admitted to the V.A I couldn’t play the CD for him anymore because he would cry. I guess Mom still has it somewhere.  Where is my hero today?

There are other songs, perhaps a million that come to mind that will forever remind me of a time, a place, a love, a heartbreak, a kiss, a smile.  But they're songs, not entire albums. They're scattered scraps, not entire completed pieces like the albums.
What speaks for me and will continue to do so long after I’m gone? The music, my dear. The music.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Stepping Out of my Closet.

I am coming out of the closet with all of my opinions and beliefs. No more hiding what I think or believe just because someone might not "like" me anymore. If you don't like me go away.

I don't think Obama is doing a good job. In fact, I think he's doing a very piss poor job. I don't think he has ever possessed the leadership abilities that the job demands. I think he has managed to take this country down by so many notches that we may never recover. And yes, he inherited some of the crap, but it's been how many years, folks? That excuse doesn't wash anymore.
        Obama lives in the bottomless pockets of big corporations and the elite 1%, and that is who is really running this country. And stop squawking about how I am a privileged white woman who is only saying this because he is black. Please. This has nothing to do with my being racist. I am not racist. I don't care what color he is. President Obama isn't doing a good job. And yes, other presidents have done piss poor jobs at leading this country also, but I'm not talking about them. There is nothing I can do about them. It's in the past. I am concerned with NOW because that is what we can still do something about.

I think 90% of all politicians are in it for the money only. Like our president, they are nothing but bought and paid for errand boys/girls of big business and corporations. They may go into politics with good intentions, but after years of serving they get so bogged down in the Who-Owes-What-to-Whom score keeping card that they end up not working for the people who elect them.
I am in favor of strict term limits.

Anyone who thinks that politicians can tell a woman what to do with her own body is a jackass. I may not agree with what another woman decides to do with her body, but it isn't my rodeo. It's hers.

I believe in marriage rights for everyone, And don't tell me that if we allow gays to marry then we will have to allow people to marry cats. Or goats. That's bullshit. This is about PEOPLE. Human beings. If two consenting adults love one another and want to make a life together we have no right to tell them that their love isn't valuable or meaningful. When we deny them the right to marry that is the message we are sending.
        And when you say, "I have a gay friend and I like him/her but I believe what he/she is doing is wrong and he/she is going to go to hell and burn if he/she doesn't change", then no, you do not have a gay friend because if that person were really your friend you would realize that who they choose to love does not deserve an everlasting burning in the fiery pits of hell (if hell existed *see below*), YOU are a very sucky friend, and your gay friend doesn't need friends like you. So go away.

I am a humanist which means that I do not believe in an almighty invisible creator up in the sky..  I believe in the power of the individual human.  And no, I am not going to hell for believing the way I do because there isn't a hell (refer to above). This isn't some idea I just woke up with one morning, but one that came from years of soul searching, reading, studying, and pondering. Don't try and "save" me. I am very happy and at peace with my belief system. It works for me. Go do what works for you. You want me to respect your religious beliefs? Then respect mine.

So to summarize: I am an Obama hating, elite corporation hating, term limit supporting, pro choice, pro gay rights humanist.  I think that about sums it up.

Wow. That felt really good.
Now, shall we talk about Coke versus Pepsi?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Another Auld Lang Syne

Another year come and gone. I am not sentimental about New Year’s. I never have been, although, I admit, I have tried.  I have tried to summon misty tears as the old year melts away into the new. I have tried to make New Year’s Eve kisses touch my heart in a romantic fiction quality way. I have tried to allow confetti and a room full of drunks to scratch the pragmatic soul I carry inside. To no avail.

            Years ago I realized I was a failure at New Year’s sentimentality and I gave up, to the good of myself and others.  New Year’s invokes no feelings of Auld Lang Syne, tearful declarations of love, or nostalgia in my heart. Thus, I have no grand resolutions for 2014, no mind-blowing notions on suddenly recreating myself or the world. Hell, it’s enough merely trying to keep my own little corner of the world status quo. I’m not about to start rocking the proverbial boat. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it just because the calendar happens to flip over another day. So, enough about the New Year. What about the old one?

            For me it was a year of many changes; mentally, physically, and spiritually. This time last year I had just returned from the UAE and was trying to comprehend that my dad was probably not going to see the end of 2013. He didn’t.  He passed away August 15th, fighting until the very end.  I thought the sense of loss and grief had reached a zenith with his passing, but in the past two weeks there have been moments when the grief has welled up anew inside of me from beyond the peripheral, and blindsided me with its force.  Something about the holidays takes recent grief and tailspins it into a fresh place where tears come unbidden at the most inconvenient times.  I am learning to go with it. To just let it wash and roll over me.  In the past few days when I have found myself sobbing, I have also found myself critically analyzing the moment. My self steps back a little and observes “So this is how grief feels as time passes? Interesting”.  One detaches, I suppose, in order to come out the other side. Each day from now until August 15th will be a year anniversary of something without my dad. I have learned to expect and accept the inevitability of that.

            This time last year: I was jobless having decided not to go back to the UAE after Christmas. I decided instead to stay in Georgia and try to help my mother deal with a difficult and heart ripping situation.  My being jobless was a choice, and one I do not regret, as it gave me time to be with my dad. Precious time. I knew when the opportunity arose I would find another job. I trusted in my instincts, but still I had no notion that a teaching job would open up that would not only fulfill me, but challenge me as a teacher.  One in which I would feel valued, appreciated, and respected. One in which my students would be entertaining, good, kind, and funny as hell. I really can’t believe that I am actually paid to hang out with ‘my” kids, but don’t tell the school board that.

            However, there is a price to everything, even the good things in life, so I have had to split myself in two between the home I have with my husband and my work home. So here I am, maintaining ties to my REAL home and my work apartment home, traveling up and down highway 129 on an every other week basis, trying to remember which kitchen has salt and which needs it, in which dresser drawer my red socks are residing, in which house I left the new Klosterman book. It can be confusing and yes, lonely at times. Other times it's liberating in that after work I can sprawl decadently across the entire bed at night, listen to Leonard Cohen sing the same song over and over, be alone with the voices in my head that suggest new short stories, and write all night long if I want to without having to consider the needs of anyone else.  And highway 129 leads quickly and easily back to my family, my flower garden, my study. Being 6900 miles closer to all that is familiar and loved makes the difference between my old teaching job in the UAE and my new teaching job. That and I can now understand what my principal is saying when he speaks to me. The things we take for granted never cease to amaze me. The mental, physical, and spiritual journey of 2013 is behind me.  Behind you too. Now we have new ones, many as of yet undreamed, unplanned, unseen.

            My birthday is just eighteen days after the New Year, and every year on January 1st I am pushed toward the acceptance of my own aging self. I will turn fifty-two soon. The thought of turning fifty-two rocks me to the tips of my toes for some reason. I am beginning to feel old finally.  Just the first whisperings, but it is there. Milestone birthdays coupled with witnessing the death of someone you love will start you thinking about your own mortality, your place in the world, and what you are leaving behind to stand as a witness for the life you lived.  

            I am past the halfway mark of my life, unless I live to be one hundred and four, and I think that is highly doubtful. There’s not much time left to do all the things I  want to do.  I think I can ditch the ballet dancer dream and the bass player in a rock band fantasy. Also the five foot six inches height goal has pretty much flown by the wayside, In fact, I seem to be shrinking. No one ever said that life didn’t have a sense of humor.

            Being past life’s halfway mark means that more and more I contemplate what my life has become and is becoming, what I have become and am becoming.  And I am cushioned in the dawning self-universal thought that in a hundred years I probably won’t even be remembered. My existence will fade into a forgotten footnote. But nevertheless, what I do daily does impact others and my own perceptions about myself. That in itself is enough reason to get out of bed every day and try to be a better person than I was the day before. This one simple self philosophy took years to develop. Slow and almost unnoticeable like morning fog burning out over a lake. I have never been one for epiphanies. I do not matter, but I do matter. Life is a paradox in that way.

            Each day takes me one day away from the person I was, and one day toward the person I am to become. And if I keep that in mind, if I wake up everyday expecting just a little more of myself, if I am kind to just one more person than I was kind to yesterday, if I help one more person in one small way, won’t that add up?  And if I die tomorrow, having paid close attention to my day-to-day life and my interactions, doesn’t that mean that I will indeed leave something of myself behind, consciously remembered or not?  The answer, of course, is yes. Now that, my friends, is a real resolution. To allow myself to become me. A better me.

            I am older, but so is everyone else.  So is the world. A year older. This blue planet we live on keeps spinning on its axis, I keep learning, I keep loving, I keep trying.  I struggle to remember that no one day is ever promised and that no hug should go unappreciated. Maybe I am a little sentimental, after all..

Happy New Year.