For the last twenty-five years, my life has gone nothing as planned. From the day I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma back in 1988, one thing I learned very quickly in my life, there was no such thing as being in control of my life. All I was able to do was recognize, accept, and move on, one direction…forward. One of my favorite expressions is ” if you spill grape juice on your white carpet are you going to stand there looking at it asking ‘why?’ Or are you going to clean it up before the stain gets too bad?”
2013 a lot of “grape juice” was spilled. I was rushed to the emergency room for the third time in less than a year. Some late side effects from my cancer days were requiring attention. My second and final campaign for our local school board fizzled into oblivion. My most loyal companion and furry friend Pollo was laid to rest just shy of his fifteenth birthday (not too shabby for a golden retriever). And the biggest event of 2013, the end of my second marriage.
As all of these things occurred, I was never in any control of their outcomes or consequences. I could only move in one direction…forward. My health is always going to have something pop up. But I can make better decisions that can help prevent many things from happening. Stress reduction has had major impact on me already. Confirmed by my doctors, certain vital signs and blood results have improved to the point that medications are being ceased. Even some of the permanent late side effects are less in severity without the large amount of stress.
Local politics was an interesting venture. For all the hype of the last presidential election it was only natural to think that while turnout would not match the levels of 2012, a local election that had major implications surely had to make a difference and could have come down to “one vote making a difference.” But instead voter apathy tumbled far below even two years prior, another off-year election.
I still miss Pollo so much. I have finally stopped automatically going for his feed bowl or the back door to let him out first thing in the morning. But I do still miss his faithful tail wag and inability to get mad for any reason. But the loss has been so painful.
As for the divorce, the end will come. But my attention now has to focus on my daughters. I will not discuss the circumstances of the divorce. But the effects are showing on my daughters. I know what it is like to be caught in the middle of a bitter custody situation and I am doing my best to make sure that they know that both of their parents are going to be a part of their lives not just for 2014, but for years after that. Both of us will have wonderful new changes for the girls providing them plenty of wonderful experiences, just not the misery and stress of watching us not getting along with each other. For everyone else in our lives, I do hope that in 2014 you realize that what led to our breakup was best kept between she and , and had nothing to do with anyone else.
I have lots of hopes for 2014 for the one direction I am making. But I will not forget those that will also be struggling with either their employment, finances, health, or their relationships.
I prefer to clean up the “grape juice.” Not ask why it spilled. To all of you reading this and “Paul’s Heart,” I wish you all a happy, healthy, prosperous new year.
Happy New Year everyone.