PERSONAL NOTES: January 13th, 2015

Each year, life offers itself to me in an endless number of ways.  Each moment comes to me with gifts, adventures, opportunities, and challenges. But I seldom see the possibilities around me because I’m too caught up in my own ego; my own pity and selfishness.  This is my life- MY ONE AND ONLY LIFE- and I can determine what’s possible in it by making choices, taking steps, asking questions.

Choices- we must make them everyday!  But sometimes we run right into major crossroads, ones that change and shape our lives’ forever going forward…ones that once you make, you can never look back.

I am at a turning point.  This is the time I can leap over the abyss to the other side.  I can create a NEW NORMAL.   I can cross the great divide and begin a new life…a life that will be completely different than the one I had for the past 30+ years. I have a choice to make.  I can choose the more self-satisfying, pleasurable, yet possibly self-destructive one… Or, I can choose the tougher, scarier, yet “proper”, correct, and obvious one.  This seems to be my moment of truth, but maybe it’s nothing more than a brief awakening to what more life has to offer me.

When I glimpse at what’s possible on the other side of the “great divide”, I pause and hesitate…I think, no way…that’s too far for me to jump.  HOW BRAVE AM I?  What’s the use of being a “happy-go-lucky” person, living an exciting well-dressed life, full of parties, cocktails, and drunken laughter when…a year from now, I end up with a broken family? I want my life to be a glorious romance, an exhilarating adventure full of happiness, pleasure, and excitement!  But maybe I need to dedicate more of my life to a cause greater than myself?

I have been climbing a mountain, long and strenuous, and I’m almost at the top.  But I keep looking back.  I could easily turn around and run back to what feels easy and safe.  Maybe if I just breathe deeply and move slowly forward in confidence and faith, I will find what I’m fighting for.

Endings and changes in lifestyle are not easy.  I am trying to postpone the inevitable grieving process that accompanies endings, out of fear of the unknown and unchartered territory.  A faint voice is urging me to…Let go of fear!  Move forward!  Let Go!  Move on!  There must be good reason for the waiting- the struggle, the pain, and finally the release.  Sometimes it appears to be wasted time and effort, because I cannot see the final product yet.  But I need to come back to today, the present moment.  I cannot obsess.  I cannot become fearful.  I need to wait…and expect good things.  Endings create new beginnings!

When I am tired and overwhelmed I think, will this problem last forever?  Will I constantly obsess with what was taken away from me?  How long can I live in unhappiness, forever wanting something I can’t have?  This new journey has been hard, and I have been tested.  It can become unnerving!  I have believed in my decision whole-heartedly, then doubted myself, then worked at believing again, and then doubted.  Quite often, what motivates me to get through a particularly hard time is anger, blame, and fear.  The deepest part of me knows the truth- knows the right decision to make, but that decision can seem the most painful, the most troubling, yet maybe the most surprising.

We create our own world by the way we choose to see it.  We can focus on fear, worry, despair, negativity…Or, we can choose to seek confidence, optimism, and opportunity.  I need to let go of my past hurts.  Feelings of resentment or blame drag one down, and they are worthless! If I just stopped worrying about what might happen tomorrow, it would most likely give me more time to enjoy and savor today.  And, I need to remember to think for myself.  Who are “they” who exercise so much power over our lives?  Who are “they” that we compete with, that judge us?  Who are “they” that we need approval from?  Either you are living out someone else’s dream, or you are setting your own course.  I will try to not let other people tell me who I am.

“Listen to the MUSTN’TS child, listen to the DON’TS.  Listen to the SHOULDN’TS, the IMPOSSIBLE, the WON’TS.  Listen to the NEVER HAVES, then listen close to me- anything can happen child.  ANYTHING can be.”  -Shel Silverstein

The ride is the thing.  Hang on tight!   I think the most you can hope for at the end of life is that “your hair is messed up, you’re out of breath, and you didn’t throw up.”  I want to have one HELL of a good time!  Life is too short to be craving something I can’t have.  Life is too short to be “white-knuckling” my way through the day.

I definitely feel like I’m standing on the edge, looking down.  This is it, I have a choice to make and I’m at a crossroads.  Which path shall I take?  I’m at a point in my life where I have to make a life-changing decision.  I’m torn between what I know I SHOULD do versus what I WANT to do.

What I WANT to do is pick up a glass of wine again!  I miss the security it gives me, the excitement, the adrenaline-filled anticipation of that first sip.  I miss the BUZZ, the joy, the escape!  It’s always been a part of who I am, the center ring of my circus.  How can I part with it and leave it behind?  I will never have happiness like I had when wine was pulsing through my veins.  I truly don’t want to live without it-  I often believe my life just won’t be as satisfying and there will be no place to escape!  When I look out my window sober, everything looks cheap, boring, and ugly.  But when I look out of it drunk, life seems fun and beautiful.

Why is it that what I love the most, will hurt and possibly destroy the life around me?  What choice will I make?  Will I find a new happiness?  A NEW NORMAL?   Maybe alcohol is holding me back and preventing the best that is in me?

Maybe I could admit defeat.  Maybe I could just lose this exhausting battle.  When will the search be over so that life can begin?  I must believe that for every ending, there’s a beginning…and every defeat gets me closer to winning!

I cannot afford to live AND drink.  It robs me of time with my family, love for others, and peace of mind.  Whatever I pour in, I get back..guilt, unhappiness, self-loathing.  I had 30+ years in which I was the STAR of the show and the DIRECTOR of all my desires, actions, and choices.   I gave drinking my best shot.  I put all of my energy and wisdom in it, and lost!

I seem to have run out of time.  I always believed that anything that is worth doing, is worth doing to excess!  But where do you go when the excess isn’t enough?   I guess sooner or later every one of us has to come back HOME.  I will try to start each day anew, with no yesterdays and no tomorrows.  We’re always changing and everyday is a new beginning.  This thing called LIFE is RIGOROUS SELF-HONESTY!  When I can perform according to the best I know, I can get real peace of mind.  What’s the most important thing to me in life?   To put others above myself.   To love others, so in return they love me back.  I guess my priorities can get mixed up, and I need to put them back where they belong.

Maybe it isn’t what we know and want that makes life interesting, it’s what we don’t know and what we don’t have yet?  What makes life so fantastic is the discoveries ahead of us.  I need to LET MYSELF OUT OF MY OWN WAY and loosen my grip on trying to control the world around me. If I want to continue to “grow up”, I have to reverse everything that I was conditioned to believe.

I’m constantly trying to win a battle that’s fighting inside my head.  Should I or shouldn’t I…why can’t I have both…a drink in my hand and my family at my side?  But, “A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF CAN’T STAND”.  We can change a lot in life, but the only thing we can’t change about our lives is that we’re stuck with ourselves, forever.  You can get away from a bad job, a bad relationship, a bad habit…but you can’t get away from YOU.

So ultimately my mission in life is to learn to have the ability to live comfortably, peacefully, and joyously with ME.  I think I was having trouble integrating myself into the life around me.  I was born into a society that was tough to swallow.  Maybe my problem is my search for unity.  Unity with life around me.  I definitely found it in the bottle- it seemed to be the missing ingredient and let me live a little bit more comfortably with myself.  I thought I found the perfect answer, until it betrayed me and became the problem.

The gift of life is mine.  It is an amazing journey full of surprises and sharp turns.  And life is about the choices I make, one day at a time!  “You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  You’re on your own and you know what you know.  And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.”  -Dr.  Seuss


A FEW TO-DO’S FOR 2015 and beyond…..


Mentor Someone.  Keep Your Word.  Not Only Give What You Know, But Give Who You Are.  Be Grateful.  Trust Your Intuition.  Be A Big Person To A Little Person.  Look Up And Down.  Believe In The Unknown.  Pick Up The Phone.  Feel The Sun On Your Face.  Feel Your Soul Sing At Coachella.  Run Wild At The Burning Man Festival.  Take A Deep Breath.  Thank A Teacher.  Travel To Many Places.  Live With Flowers, Books, Music, And Art.  Learn To Read Well.  Learn To Speak Well.  Learn To Listen Well.  Look For The Second Right Answer.  Run With The Bulls.  Cheer From The Bleachers. Think Big. Take Care Of Yourself.  Smile. Write A Heartfelt, Handwritten Letter To Someone.  Do Something For The First Time.  Laugh.  If You Have Something To Say, Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow.  Be Good To Those Around You.  Live With Passion.  Be The Answer To Someone’s Prayers.  Be The Hero Of Your Own Story.

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