the biggest don’t

Don’t share your blog with anyone. Just don’t. You lose your freedom.
I think…

It’s funny who I’ve let into my little sacred corner of the internet. All of my children have been allowed. I don’t write about them often but when I do it’s always positive.
Some of my friends read it. I have no problem at this point in my life if my friends read my most intimate thoughts. They know me for the most part but I’m sure they learn things about me that they didn’t know, maybe what they learn will be what they remember most about me.
My ex-wife will never see it as long as I have anything to say about it. When I began this thing it was essential, and perhaps partially unfair, that I vented my frustrations with my debacle of a marriage that consumed with the appetite of a freshly woken Bear in the Springtime. It helped, it served a purpose and is the bedrock of the relationship I have with her now. The anger that consumed me was vented, discussed and, amazingly enough washed away. She sees the finished product, no reason to show her how I got there.
My lady friend (remember her?) reads my blog. It suppose it is inevitable when you tell someone that you have a blog that they ask to read it. It’s a no-win that you enter into because if you say yes then you have offered the equivalent of dropping your pants on a cold day by saying yes and you invariably are trying to hide something if you don’t cough up the URL. She’s read a lot of it, going back surprisingly far. She’s read the good and bad and she’s read a couple about her. I have been candid, but how candid can I be about her without scaring her off?

I rarely will say anything about anyone that I wouldn’t say to their face in my blog or in my personal life. I do not fear anyone accusing me of saying anything behind their back. I hate gossip and I choose to say nothing if that is my only option. I am, however, a man of strong convictions and I need a space to vent like anyone else. Especially if it is a hot or controversial subject. But I really need a space to be myself. Raw, brutally honest, candid, fearless; all words used by my readers to describe my blog. As I’ve lost my anonymity I have lost almost all of those characteristics.

Here’s the thing. This one is special. She allows me to be myself. She is not judgmental, in fact she is accepting. She actually likes me for me, she appreciates who I am for all of my faults. This naturally relaxes me, a truly rare accomplishment, and in the process allows the prospect of a truly healthy relationship. I’m not sure I’ve ever been relaxed enough around anyone, ex-wife included, enough to say that.

Either way it has allowed me to take a hard look at myself and in my inventory came up with some things. I’m inspired to tell my story. All of it. From the beginning. Prepare yourself for Raw, brutally honest, candid, and fearless again.

As Chuck Norris once said, “I’m going to hit you with so many rights you’ll beg me for a left…”.

Before it’s too late

Often when I take a break from blogging it is because I can’t think of a topic. Sometimes it’s just laziness. Sometimes I just get busy, I’m pretty active for a guy with nothing to do. Then other times I just don’t know where to start.

Last week I suffered so many slaps upside the head that I just couldn’t sort my thoughts. It started with the death of a dear friend, then another old friend of the family passed, and then to top off the shit sandwich that was my weekend I found out that my best friend in the world and his young daughter had contracted the Covid-19 virus. I was floored both metaphorically and actually. I didn’t know where to begin.

The death of my friend, a elderly Freemason whose company I have enjoyed so often and so greatly was not a shock. He was elderly and in declining health. Quarantine issues made it difficult to visit him and he wintered in Florida but I had no excuse not to talk to him more frequently and I am feeling guilt even though I don’t feel that there was anything unsaid between us. It is the worst part of losing someone, wondering if you knew where you stood with them. It is THE reason that I endeavor to always leave someone as if I will never see them again, on the level (as we Masons say) and free of anger and resentment. He was my buddy, regardless of our age difference and I feel that I am a better person for having known him. I miss him terribly.

The family friend was less of a blow. He was 92 and passed peacefully. But he meant something to me as a memory of my childhood. My parents used to Square Dance (mock away I won’t resent you) and they met many solid friendships through it via conventions at Campgrounds every Summer and retreats in Winter. I can think of 5 or 6 families that I met on those occasions and the many lasting friendships with their children that I cherish now. Frank was one of the ones that stands out in my mind the most. A father of 5 awesome kids and a all-around wonderful family man, he represents an era gone by to me. I was so upset that I wasn’t able to go to his funeral. Not being able to attend funerals is one aspect of the Pandemic that is hard to reconcile.

The news that my best friend in the world contracted Covid absolutely floored me. The news may have numbed us with all of the constant talk and actual people can fade into just statistics but by now most of us know someone who has contracted it. Sadly, many of us have lost someone to it. We always hear about those people in the high-risk category. My friend is in it. He’s a big, strong man but he’s overweight. He has a heart condition. He is always tired and his immune system is vulnerable. When I heard the news, I won’t sugarcoat it, I had some very bad thoughts about worse case scenarios. And for his daughter, whom I love like my own daughter…her diagnosis scared the ever loving shit out of me. Fast-forward to today, everyone is on the mend. That is a huge relief. But I was scared.

If you are reading this, I want you to know that I care about you and I hope you never have to endure a weekend like I had last week. Tell those close to you how you feel. Make phone calls. Send emails. Don’t put yourself in a position where you know that you could have done more. We’re social creatures and we need each other more than ever.

no regrets and no hurry

I had a woman I was dating recently tell me that I talk about my ex too much. It was a deal breaker for her. She was the type (I’ve never met another quite as adamant about it) that didn’t talk about the past at all. She felt it accomplished nothing. Of course, with what I know about her she has some good reasons not to relive her past or some of the people in it. As for me, if you have read even one of my posts you will know that I talk about my past ad nauseum. It, and the people in it are a part of me and help to explain the person I am today. My past is my story, it explains everything about how I act, react, feel and think about everything. My ex is a huge part of my story, how can she not be? I spent almost 26 years of my life with her.
But I don’t talk about her because I’m hung up on her. I’m definitely not. That’s where my past lady friend got it wrong.

My new lady is more accepting of my ramblings. She knows that it is part of my process of moving on. Plus, through the benefit of my ramblings she gets frequent opportunity to shake her head in the best of “what the fuck” mannerisms. Some of my marital stories have that effect on the unindoctrinated. She has heard enough to know that my marital reality is that my ex and I are better off divorced. No threat of reconciliation there.

This post is not about my ex. We have a fine relationship now. We get along. I’ve moved on from anger, blame and remorse. She, for her part is quite comfortable with never accepting any blame, responsibility for her actions and anything resembling accountability at all. I’ve moved on from trying to understand. It’s over. This post is about Divorce.

I know a LOT of divorced Men. Some single and many with families. A lot of them have simple regrets, you know the ones, like not fucking the babysitter or new receptionist at work. Others have been through long, drawn out and messy situations. It surprises me how many of them wish they were still married. They wish they weren’t divorced. I couldn’t disagree more.

I like being divorced.

We weren’t good for each other, we get along fine, I have an amazing relationship with my children, and we have each gone on with our lives.

The other camp, the ones who say shit like “I wish I never met her…” , well their argument doesn’t apply to me. I could never say that, if not for marrying her I wouldn’t have 4 amazing kids who mean the absolute world to me and have validated my existence like no other accomplishment I could ever point to.

There are many reasons I am glad I am divorced. I have no-one to answer to. I do what I want. I buy what I want. I am no longer (neither is she) handcuffed by crippling debt. The kids are grown and my relationship with them is more that of a friend and the giver of only solicited advice. On a unique note, I no longer have to deal with the soul-crushing weight of watching someone spiral hopelessly down the drain of mental illness.

I like relationships. I have no problem, in fact I am quite comfortable with monogamy and fidelity. But I am in no terrible hurry to get into another. In fact, the fuzzy nature of my current situation is amenable to me. While I’m incredibly interested in the (married) woman I have been spending time with, I am in no rush to take things to the next level. The fact that she has a whole lot of things to take care of should she take leave of her husband (no guarantees and speculation from me at this point how long it will take if it does at all) doesn’t scare me. I’m not going anywhere for a while and I can wait and see, within reason, what happens. She may be feeling some pressure to move things along but if she is worried about losing me in the interim it shouldn’t. I really care for her and I’m not a shopper. If I like something I stick with it. It’s not like the remote theory, you may be watching a show but constantly search to see what else is on.
That’s not me. Some of my needs are being satisfied. It may surprise you that a good conversation, a nice dinner, the hug and kiss of a beautiful lady and the knowledge that someone cares about me actually go a long way with me. And these can keep me going for a little while more.

I’m a romantic who doesn’t mind being divorced. I can look at it as a failure, because it was, but it isn’t the end of me. The old me. The one that believed in love. He’s still in there somewhere. That guy is ready for a new life.

Eventually

Footprints

Nice idea right?

I’ve always been a lover of the “footprints” meme above. It was shown to me early in life and the message resonated with me. It’s a nice idea. The whole Jesus thing. Walk beside me, keep me company and hey, while you’re at it can you carry me through the rough terrain?
The problem is that I am not really a big “Jesus guy.”
I am not going to go too much into the religious and spiritual beliefs of Billy Mac. I’d done it in previous blogs and I just can’t do it again. I will give a brief synopsis for the sake of understanding what exactly the fuck I’m trying to say in this entry, but that’s it.

Here goes…I’m not an atheist because an atheist believes there is nothing. You’re an arrogant bastard if you believe that there is nothing else out there in the immeasurable vastness of the cosmos. Deductive reasoning therefore concludes that if you can’t say there’s nothing then there has to be something. With that in mind, I reluctantly accepted the possibility of a higher power. Sure, let’s call it GOD. As for a bearded guy in a flowing white robe judging and condemning everyone, I’m not so sure. As for his son, I can’t wrap my head around that part. It’s a nice story but it doesn’t fit my paradigm. But again, it’s in the nice idea department in my world.

But back to the Footprints. There was once a day when I would have resented the notion that I would have had to be carried anywhere, by fictional deity or by any man. Strength mattered the most to me and I swore that the day that I couldn’t deal with the weight of my life that would be the day that I would no longer want to engage in this dance. For the longest time I was able to pull it off.
It’s getting harder every day.

I’m failing in so many ways. My body is simply breaking down. Sure, there are physiological forces at work, understandable ones, I have a disease. I’ve had it for a long time and I have done a pretty impressive job of fooling everyone, especially my family. Until now, now I’m showing the cracks. I’m walking slower, in need of more recovery from the most basic of tasks, uninterested in making plans for fear of not knowing how I will feel when the day comes, I am becoming what I have always feared. Weak.

This morning I tuned in to my church’s online service. I’m not sure why, I rarely do so. The Reverend, a young family man with a fresh perspective, was just wrapping up the musical segment when I tuned in. He welcomed all of us and said, “let’s talk about Footprints.” I knew exactly of what he was speaking. I put my head in my hands and I listened. It was as if he was talking directly to me. I became emotional. I even cried a little. Why do I feel this way? I don’t want help. I hate asking for it. I don’t want to burden anyone. So why?

I have a great support system, I really do. Great friends, amazing family, my Masonic brothers and the resources of the entire fraternity. But I never ask them for anything. I swore that I would never be that guy. But I’m not in a good place lately and maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing if I let someone carry me for a couple of blocks.

It might allow me to garner enough strength to go back to trying to convince people that I’m ok when I’m really not. Or maybe I can grow the fuck up and acknowledge that Plan A is just not working.

Stoned Studio, entry # 1

I mentioned a while back that I would be blogging about some of my favorite TV shows/movies and favorite actors in upcoming posts. I felt it was necessary to justify, if only to myself, what appeal television held when it was always at the bottom of my list of “productive” uses of my time.

Maybe it’s the sheer volume of weed that I have been smoking to bury the myriad health problems I have been experiencing, but in recent months I have been drawn to certain actors and shows/movies that fascinate me with their chameleon-like abilities as they tackle different roles and I even embrace reruns as a means to really absorb their performances. Weed is great for this, it allows one to really focus and, for lack of a better term, to get in the zone.

Today’s post stars no less than the inimitable Vincent D’Onofrio. Did Pyle from Full Metal Jacket come to mind?

If you haven’t seen D’Onofrio’s career turn as Private Pyle in this gritty Vietnam film, I won’t ruin it for you. Only to tell you that it is a must see. A overweight and highly impressionable young recruit joins the Marines and, due to the strains of basic training and the continued abuse at the hands of Drill Sergeant Hartman(the late great R. Lee Ermey) slides headlong and completely into Insanity. The end scene of the first of two parts is an ending I can’t in good conscience tell you. Let’s just say that you will never forget it. While starring in many memorable roles, Full Metal Jacket was Vincent’s first highly acclaimed role.

Early on, his resume consisted of some Broadway and bit parts. Despite his pending fame, he did notable work in supporting roles. Not the least of which was his role as Joe, the loveable lobster fisherman of 1988’s Mystic Pizza. While only a supporting role, I totally bought into his portrayal. The town of Mystic, CT is a real town but Julia Roberts and Annabeth Gish were not residents. Perhaps I related to the film because it bears a striking resemblance to Gloucester, MA, a seaport community close to my home town known for fish, struggling fishermen and class warfare. The hardscrabble working folk go about their lives while the much larger wealthy class go about theirs. Of course, in Mystic Pizza, there is a clash of cultures but our hero Joe is not engaged in it. Instead, he makes you believe in the working class hero who gets up early, drinks beer with his buddies and loves only one woman, he named his boat after her, with a passion. If you like the working man, D’onofrio delivers.

In 2000, D’Onofrio starred in what I think is one of the most visually stunning and remarkably innovative horror movies ever in The Cell. He portrays a very disturbed serial killer who enters a coma and Vince Vaughan and Jennifer Lopez actually enter his dreams to solve his latest abduction. This movie is a must see. Again, it is visually stunning, there just aren’t better words to describe it.

After being nominated for an Emmy for a guest role as a police officer on a now cancelled show, D’Onofrio was offered the role of Detective Goren on Law and Order, Criminal Intent. This was a role that would make him a watercooler name for almost a decade. Quirky, brilliant with a Columbo-esque way of appearing obtuse only to “oh-by-the-way-there-is-one-more-thing” his unsuspecting suspects. Without stating it, I always felt there was a suggestion of highly functional autism in his role. Detective Goren is highly well-read, educated and worldly, and cynical as the day is long. A student of Psychology such as myself can’t get enough of a character such as Goren. He always gets the bad guy and they spend their respective jail terms wondering how he figured them out. He never expresses pleasure or hubris when he solves a case, he just moves onto the next perp, with a perpetual sadness about him.

While I can’t possibly cover his entire filmography, I chose these roles because of course they are my favorites. I chose Vincent D’Onofrio for my first nod because these, and many other roles, have influenced me and stayed with me.

Isn’t that what a good actor does?

Stay tuned for more in my “Stoned Studio” series. LOL, I love that name I may have to use it!

cancel culture

We live in a wonderful age. If you don’t like something, ban it. If you object to a historical event, protest it. If you think that something is offensive, demand that it be removed. Never mind if something can be learned from, if it challenges us to embrace our existing paradigms, or if it promotes excellence. Whatever we can feel bad about, we now have Cancel Culture to supplement the “everyone gets a fucking cookie” mentality so that we discourage those that want to be the best and placate those that do just enough to think they earned a trophy. Honestly, even the kid at the bottom of the class knows that if you have 1 goal and the other has 18, you suck and are indeed losing. Don’t like it cupcake? Get better. But don’t think you won. The scoreboard doesn’t lie.

I am infuriated beyond belief at our newfound lack of desire to want to achieve. To accept the fact that there are winners and losers. Losing sucks, but it used to serve as a motivator to be better. Now it is chalked up to the blame game. After all, nothing is ever anyone’s fault.

The latest outrage is a petition circulated recently demanding that Tom Brady be banned from participating in any more SuperBowl Games.

WHAAAAAATTTT?

While it didn’t gain too much traction, it is clearly one of the most egregious examples of the “Pussification” of America. It is akin to saying, he’s too good, no fair”. And people bought into it. Sorry folks, but in the real world if you don’t like who is sitting on top of the hill…then knock him off. If you can’t then shut the hell up. Not demand that we legislate him down.

Ok, I’m spoiled. I have been following Tom Brady since his days at Michigan. I watched him tirelessly work on improving his game when he was relegated to the role of backup of some very good QB’s. Tom didn’t begrudge their success at the position of QB, he worked to be as good as and then better than them. The starting spot was to be earned, not granted or acquiesced.

He then came to my beloved, and consistently underperforming NE Patriots. A very high draft pick and a uninspired Combine Performance could have easily forced him into the life of the backup but an opportunity arose. When our starter, Drew Bledsoe was badly hurt Brady was given a shot. As Bledsoe recovered, Brady began to win games. Inevitably, Bledsoe recovered and a huge debate raged in NE as they entered the Playoffs as to who the rightful starter should be. They picked Brady, the guy who got them there. We went on to win the Superbowl that year.

Fluke? Anything but. Tom Brady had seized an opportunity and made the most of it. He worked tirelessly to be a great teammate, a better leader and on top of that, the best that he could possibly be and he continued a legacy of winning that no team has ever experienced. It wasn’t an accident. The Lombardi trophy only went to the best. The NFL is the real world.

When Tom left the NE Patriots, I was one of the many fans that continued to support him. He is the G.O.A.T. and I simply enjoy watching him play and I commend him for his dedication to achievement through hard work and nothing else. Not White Privilege, not class superiority, not a Coach or a system designed for him: just by sheer determination. He also feeds off of the misery of his disgruntled opponents.

The man took a new team to the Bowl, in a different conference, defying almost every happenstance, every hater and every team that secretly wishes they had him. He has been in 20% of all Super Bowl games, this one at an age that defies all expectations for a NFL QB. He deserves to be there. Anyone who thinks banning him is the right thing to do because he wins too much is a Generation Cupcake dipshit.

If you want the flag, climb the goddamn hill and take it from him. He isn’t going to hand it to you, you have to earn it. Like he did. Over and over again.

Rant over, that is all.

on wisdom

“If youth is wasted on the young, then wisdom is wasted on the old.”
–George Bernard Shaw

I am as guilty as the next guy when it comes to fantasizing about the “redo”. To go back in time and redo entire parts of my life, the times when I zigged when I should have zagged, taken a right at the crossroads and not the left, said the wrong thing and did something stupid. All of these moments are fresh in my memory and I replay them in my head at 3 AM when sleep evades me. It is a horrible habit and I think that rehashing all of them is incredibly unhealthy. After all, what does it actually accomplish to relive bad experiences except to bring yourself down? I can only think of one, the acquisition of wisdom.

As the Shaw quote clearly states, wisdom is wasted on the young. I believe that wisdom can only be gained through experience, often bad ones that result in a teachable moment. Youth is the time that you make the mistakes that you reflect on later. If, and only if, you learn something from it then and only then do you have the message, the takeaway that can lead to wisdom. Any attempt at wisdom by a teen, unless they can successfully convince you that they are a time traveler, will seem out of place and illegitimate. It just doesn’t fit. At least to me.

So how does the second half of Shaw’s quote work? It is a bit ambiguous and very Pigeon-holing in my eyes. How is wisdom wasted on the old? Most older people can’t wait to share their experiences and for the most part are ok enough with their past to effectively share what happened, why and the end result. My theory is that it can only be wasted on the old if a)they care not to share it, or b) nobody wants to hear it. I know when my dad tried to share it, I mostly brushed it off. I didn’t want to hear it. Of course, now I find myself talking to his stone, telling him how right he was about everything. His wisdom was not wasted on me, it just had a tape-delay.

I like to think I have some wisdom to share with anyone who wants to listen. My wisdom stems from a wide variety of fuck-ups in my life. My scars, of which I have plenty all have a tale to tell, even the ones that you can’t see. I am a walking cautionary tale. But it’s a tale I will gladly tell. But someone needs to solicit it because I am not one to offer up anything unless requested. Maybe that is how it is wasted, young people who tend to “know everything” are unlikely to ask therefore the available resource of wisdom is untapped and therefore wasted.

In closing, just as we have a world of information contained in a single cell phone, we live in the most uninformed and uneducated era in recorded history. Similarly, the older amongst us contain a veritable treasure chest of knowledge about how things happen, why and how to prevent them. But unless asked for, it will die off.

If my experiences can help just one person avoid a life-altering mistake, then all of my scars will have been worthwhile. Not wasted.

Fighting the green eyed monster

I don’t need a reason to withdraw from Social Media. Who would blame me when I am overloaded with disinformation, vitriol, hatred and myriad videos of just plain bad behavior? I used to be able to handle it then I realized that handling it wasn’t necessarily enough, it was getting me down and affecting my already tenuous grip on normalcy (whatever that means). Keeping up with friends near and far, combined with cute puppy videos used to do the job on balancing me out but lately it’s not enough. Even my friends posts are starting to bother me.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a people watcher. Not to analyze them or criticize but instead to further my understanding of people and what makes them unique and of course what binds us together. My desire to keep up with friends and co-workers both past and present has always been my primary reason to have FB. I like knowing what they are up to and it is a form of people watching. I watch what they post, good or bad, and how they behave, good or bad. Some of my FB “friends” are having a rough time, those I support the best I can. Others are doing ok, I’m there with a good word when needed. Then there is the ones that are doing great, or at least they make it look so. Those people I have always tried to be genuinely happy for. Despite my lot in life, I always make sure that I am never a victim of the Green Eyed Monster. I don’t envy wealth, possessions, pics of expensive cigars and liquors and cars. Hey, I’m happy for them and will continue to be so if they are good people.

I try to reject the notion that social media was designed for us to compare lives. That would be alienating and not the stated goal of bringing us together.

But I’m thinking of taking a break from Social Media anyway. For a rather unique reason I suppose. I have fallen into a different kind of people-watching and it is becoming destructive to me and my ability to maintain positivity– people watching as a sick guy and comparing notes with my own situation. It’s a terrible habit in which I observe one of my friends doing something outdoorsy such as hiking or biking, and I ask myself questions such as,
“I wonder if he can walk more than a mile without his legs swelling into balloons?”
“Hey, do you think he can work a whole day without wanting to pass out from nausea?”
“Does he have to take a nap after something so minor as food shopping?”

It’s not envy or jealousy. I’m happy for anyone who has been blessed with wealth or success. I just want their GOOD HEALTH.

If you think about it, it’s a well-established sentiment in our society. When addressing a pregnant woman with “what are you having?”, the answer is invariably met with “as long as he or she is happy and healthy.” As if the minimum expectation in life is good health. Trust me, it can be taken for granted amidst the scramble for education and vocation. I’m here to tell you that good health later in life is not guaranteed and without it all of those other things simply don’t matter. Even out of reach.

You don’t need to feel good to be happy. But it sure helps. Stay healthy my friends, it really is the most important thing in life.



The Tube

I mentioned in a previous post that I have been beating myself up for watching too much television. Today’s entry in the “give myself a frickin’ break” category consists of digging down a bit on my watching habits.

I mention this because I was getting really rough on myself for spending so much time in front of the TV. From a health standpoint yes, TV is bad because you are sitting on your ass for hours on end. Never a good thing. The last thing my body needs, with all of the healing that needs to be done, is inactivity. But it’s not all bad for the brain. I mostly watch documentaries, movies and shows that at least stimulate my mind a bit. Crime dramas mostly; Criminal Minds, Forensic files, Dateline, ID Discovery. I’m fascinated by the human condition, what people are capable of. Both good and bad. There are lessons to be learned from any meaningful story, even if it is a cautionary tale of what not to do and who not to be. In addition, when I’m stoned (I’ve been prone to more of that lately)I love to watch shows I’ve seen before because I notice integral details more and study the acting of my favorite characters closer. Often, I find myself more impressed with the writing or the acting. And sometimes I get critical.

When my brain is tired at the end of the day I watch silly but tried and true sitcoms reruns until bed. After all, I love to laugh.

Expect some posts on my favorite movies, TV shows, actors and characters. It should be fun, stimulate some discussion and give me something to blog about. Hey, at least it’s not politics, right?

If you haven’t noticed…I NEVER write about politics.

Existing vs. living

I feel like I’m coming out of the funk. I can’t say how long I’ve been in it–too long for sure. It probably happened about the time of the time change in November and the short days. About the time that I was driven inside due to the weather. About the time that I had to put my beloved Harley in the garage until Spring.

I certainly haven’t been the avid outdoorsman that I was in the last few years but I do try to be outside whenever possible doing what I can, despite the limitations that my recent decline in health has allowed. I went from being as active as I was able to a state of vegetation. I stayed in. I slept late. I went to my dialysis treatments and did what I had to do and nothing else. I dreamed of being home whenever I was out.

Home is a nice place to be. My mom is a great roommate. I have a wonderful dog. I have tons of books to read. I have a treadmill, kettlebells, and workout DVD’s to condition my ailing body. I have Tai Chi DVD’s and meditation videos on YouTube. With so many things to keep me company and develop myself physically and mentally, all I did was watch television. Thus began the character trait I hate most about myself.
The self-loathing.
I was in a rut like no other before. I wasn’t living, I was merely existing.

Then I met her. She inspired me to do better. To be better. A pretty little fireball with the vitality of a woman half her age. I wanted her on my arm but I had to build myself up to the point that I could even keep up with her sassy and speedy gait. I trimmed my David Letterman beard, I let her take me shopping for new clothes. I began to work out a bit.
Then I got sick again.
My blood pressure began giving me all kinds of problems. My insomnia returned. I developed a mystery stomach ailment that, in addition to heart problems, has put me in the hospital twice. I felt like God was mad at me. He delivered this gift to me and I wasn’t able to enjoy it. My depression deepened. The old me would have gotten angry, instead I drew into myself.
But she’s still there. Waiting for me to get well. Waiting to give me a future that I thought for the longest time wasn’t an option for me. Waiting for me to get my head and body right.

My recent hospital visit was a bit of a bust as far as diagnoses are concerned but I did get my head in a better place. I came home inspired to recapture the piss and vinegar that people know me for and do what is needed to get it back. I started by turning the fucking TV off. I have been reading. I have been making phone calls. Diving into my role as Master of my Masonic lodge and being the leader I was elected to be.

One thing I know about myself. When I am mentally strong there is absolutely NOTHING I can’t do. I genuinely feel sorry for the person who tells me that I can’t do something. I’m the guy that graduated college because my father told me I wouldn’t. I have defied the odds so many times. I have had 3 near-death experiences and I’m still here. There must be a reason why the Universe has chosen to keep me around. It certainly isn’t to watch TV. That much I know.

Whatever it is that I have to do I am willing to do it again. Time to stop merely existing and start living again. I of all people know that life is fleeting, short and meant to be lived.