Anger is an energy…

31 01 2017

Weather: Dear gods, it’s been all over the bloody place,  maxing out at the 60s a couple weeks ago, and now we’re back to grey, dour skies and the occasional bit of snow. Makes for  a constant state of mushy brain.

Sorry for the lengthy absence. The current world situation , and particularly here in the States, has been a bit of a trash fire. 

The constant barrage of discomfiting news and the anger that comes with it can really put the dampers on your creativity, or just thought in general.

I finally started making myself go back to the studio, just so I could start venting some of that energy into art. I’m finishing up a pretty piece at the moment. Have a few darker, angrier pieces on deck.  It happens.

I find it hard to create in a happy little bubble when things are burning outside the walls. My emotions tend to bleed into whatever I’m working on, whether art or writing. I can sometimes look back at something I wrote a while ago and usually can pinpoint when there was a spike in emotion about things.

The title on this post should not be unfamiliar to my fellow PiL Fans. Johnny Lydon does turn a hell of a phrase.

And yes. I’ve been very angry lately. Angry at the lack of compassion and lack of simple comprehension that people are taking with each other and the consequences of their actions.

I’ve joked about punching Nazis. (I’m not really joking.) I’ve made valiant attempts to not reply scathingly to posts and comments by people who should know better. (And given myself chest pains and headaches as a result). I’ve agreed with those who are putting their money and action where their mouth is. (wishing I could do more myself). It’s a fucking frustrating place to be, stuck between just supporting things I feel to be right, and not being able to turn into Galadriel with the ring and just remove the source of my ire, for the betterment of mankind. Mostly because I feel that the ends, while ultimately satisfying, would not be justified by the means.

My path has turned back to my Trad Witch roots. Yes, you read that right. Sometimes, when you have visceral energy that builds to point of hurting yourself, you will find a productive means to re-direct it. Sometimes it helps just to aim it at something. Like screaming out at the open water, knowing it is not literally fixing things, but hoping, with a little tendril of black hearted wistfulness that it just might leave a mark on those that hurt you or others.

So instead of finding light and joy to bring to my work, I have Kali and the Morrigan and the Norn whispering in my ear, nudging things towards righteous anger and achieving balance through less gentle paths. Because balance will always be reached, eventually, and through painful means if it is resisted. The flow of things tends to the middle, not the ends.

Let’s be honest, things can only be pushed in one direction for so long, till even the most sycophantic followers are given pause and decide to dig their heels in. We have become, by large, a loud chorus for our own comforts and conveniences. But there are deeper, more primal things that we all share that will not be compromised. By anyone. And what is a mere inconvenience for one, is devastating to another. We have lost sight of that connection, of that imbalance. Selfishness and fear are awful bed-mates, and they will be the ruination of all things good. The internet, for all its foibles, has managed to connect us on a larger level. And that connection does not stop at borders or with cultural differences. We are, whether you like it or not, a global society. We do not exist in a vacuum and our actions, for good or bad, make ripples both small and large.

This is a very chaotic time. I’m trying my best to keep a firm grip on the idea that we will get through this, and better angels will prevail.

But I will admit that the deeper urge to lash out and shake people until their pettiness, cruelty and stupid myopic view of this beautiful world dissipates, is very strong. I don’t want to give into that urge, but history has proven that if you push people or belittle them with ignorance and spite for long enough, they will push back.
With more power than you are aware they have. Bullies are always surprised when their victim takes them out at the knees.

I’m betting on the angels, but the devil has his merits too right now. Pray for the kinder outcome. The other option will leave more scars.

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Half Century Birthday Postopalooza!

12 01 2017

Weather: Oh dear gods, it’s been icy and rainy and cold and weird for DAYS now!

Yup, it’s my birthday today. Fifty years old. My fingers actually creaked as I typed that. (I kid! Honestly I don’t feel remotely that age, so I suppose that’s a good thing.) 

Fifty years. I was born in 1967. It seems like so long ago and yet, not so much. What really puts weight on the years is that I remember events that current college students only read about in text books. I get that weary head shake thing that my parents used to do when I argued with them from books versus things they experienced first hand.

I get it. I really do. Not that the events were more or less awful or fantastic than the events that happen today. I don’t suffer from nostalgia in either direction.  But it’s the subtle difference of watching events unfold in front of you with all the context of being alive at the time, and reading think pieces by people who filter events through current lenses.

We tend to look backwards with a cursory eye, castigating earlier times with a sniffy condescension or raising them well above their deserved level of wonderful. Neither is right. But the babies born now will do the same to our current era, and the cycle continues.

The things that strike me now are less “old person shouts angrily at sky” and more “I’ve seen some shit, man. This is just the same shit with different set dressing.”

Maybe it’s just the shortening of our collective attention span or the voluminous stream of unexamined information that vomits all over us everyday.  I just see a lot of people being very focused on current events – VERY FOCUSED – until something else pushes it aside as the new important thing. I’m not immune, but I’m finding my tolerance for wading into a constant stream of anger and outrage does little to elevate my understanding of things, mostly because emotions can come at the expense of facts. Not always. Not every time. Just often enough that I’ve started just walking away.

Maybe it’s just the weariness that comes from years of trying to dig that old silver lining out of the big black fart cloud that people just keep adding to in lieu of helping you look for the shiny. It’s not blind optimism or false hope I’m trying to excavate, but a way to find a kernel of useful information that might help cut the cloud down to a manageable size. Sometimes there’re more options than just yelling at strangers or going along to get along. Most people think either of those options accomplish more than they actually do. Awareness is their purported goal, but it’s hard to be aware when four different people are yelling at you that their cause is the most important.

SO — this is turning into a rather sobering birthday post, huh?

Well, here’s something for happier thoughts. My goals for this year seem to keep circling back to a few specific things- firstly, I want to focus hard on getting back in shape. At least a shape other than round and squishy.  If I’m gonna last another half century, which I fully intend to, I’m gonna need to get this flesh suit into better shape.
Another thing I’m going to focus hard on is increasing my creative output. Last year there was a dearth of projects on my part, and the truth is I was in a weird distracted head space that comes from applied laziness and worry. There were other mitigating circumstances, but they would be excuses, and I’m kinda done with excuses.
I’m going to pick my battles this year. So I’m hoping people will not be offended if I sit out various stages of culture wars or trying to maintain a constant state of anger at every little thing that drifts across my timeline. Wasted a lot of time and energy I didn’t have to spare on that. There are plenty of people to fight other battles, so I’m not going to jump in on every single one of them.

One thing though -and this is something I wish more people would consider- A lot of people who you assume are ignoring important situations that are happening in this country, are in fact doing a lot of the warfare offline. Sometimes the most effective progress can be made where there are no eyes on you. Making phone calls to people. Showing up to talk to people. Sharing good info is always helpful, yes, but a thousand people unexpectedly making a phone call to an office will do more good than a thousand people signing an online petition.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned over the years, and it’s been a very harsh lesson to learn, has been to pause before saying or posting things. Verify that what you are sharing is actually true. Verify that what you are saying is necessary and not just noise. If 40 people have shared something, are you actually informing anyone or just mushing down the message in a deluge by sharing it as well? Ultimately intent matters across the board. Schadenfreude feels satisfying but is a hollow victory most times. I have no love for internet mobs, even if their cause seems righteous.

I’m going to try and make my next 50 years into something of a sharp campaign of being better. I want things to be better for everyone. I realize there are some people who are intent on working against their own best interests, and sometimes that is not something I can fix. I’m not interested in fighting people to change their minds if they are dead set against even listening. I’d rather try and set a good example, persuade people with good ideas, rather than bludgeon them into my way of thinking. I’m trying to be a better listener, and less of a talker. I am trying to be supportive ally and not a loud usurper. I have causes that I would defend to the ground, but I also am trying to let those who are better equipped or informed take the lead when it comes to discussion.

If this sounds like I’m defaulting to a passive state, you don’t know me very well. I’ve always found that sometimes working when eyes are not on you, gets more done. I might not get to claim any glory, headlines or trophies, but I get shit done when it needs getting done. I’ve always been a better shadow counsel than Queen. So maybe I’m not the loudest person in defense, but do not doubt my resolution or sincere investment in a cause.

So. Fifty years old seems to have stripped the thin veneer of placid courtesy off my personality. I learned a lot by watching Carrie Fisher. I’m no blunt instrument, but neither am I a coddler or enabler for bad behavior. I celebrate the endeavors of those who at least try to make the best of a shitty situation, but have no tolerance for those who would seek to better themselves on the backs of those less fortunate. I’ve got no patience for bullies or the histrionics of the over zealous, regardless of party, preference or fealty.

I know the next four years are going to be interesting (in the Chinese Curse interpretation of the word) but that in no way excuses anyone’s bad behavior. Mine included.

SO. Just to sum up my usual ramblings, I’m getting older, I’m less inclined to play nice if others insist on kicking the beehive and I’m striving to be the best person I can be, considering the circumstances. Hopefully that will be enough motivation and steel to get me through the rest of my life.

yourlife





Kicking my own ass because it’s necessary.

4 01 2017

Weather: Gray, with hefty winds, which help the air temp drop into single digits. Had to pin my face on as the cold was insisting on tugging it off. High was somewhere in the mid- 20s though you’d be hard pressed to know it.

Work went quickly today. Home for lunch then I had a few errands to run- meds for the kittie and performing my monthly gas tank refill (it’s so nice to live close to where I work- 5 minutes away!) 

When I got home, the urge to just curl up and get under a blanket was mighty strong. But I tempered it.  Got online and did get sucked in for the duration. Damn it. Managed to pry myself loose and do some exercise. We have stairs to the second floor and a full staircase into the basement. I was doing a circular lap from the second floor into the basement and back up pausing to  do pushups between laps. The number of laps was pitiful but I did get my heart rate up to something resembling cardio. May do another round this evening. Trying to at least force myself into some semblance of accountability.

The title is not literal as I don’t have that kind of flexibility at the moment. However, I am a grown goddamn woman with a brain that can talk me out of doing anything I really don’t want to do. Even if the thing is going to benefit me. Stupid brain. So I sometimes take to berating myself like a drill instructor with an axe to grind. It works. I hate having my laziness pointed out. Granted it’s worse coming from others, but it still gets me moving, albeit with grumbling annoyance. The results will be the reward. I just need to start seeing some.

One thing that has become rather evident since I blew a brain gasket a couple of years ago: I seem to have lost some mental capabilities I used to pride myself on having. One is the ability to visualize things that I’m creating. I have to work very hard at this now. I can’t “see” things the way I used to. Husbeast gave me a couple of tricks to work around it, but it’s vexing that  I can’t do it on spec anymore. Another thing is my facility with words has taken a bit of hit. I can write, no problem, but speaking? I draw a blank a lot of the time and I have to pause and dig for the appropriate word. Do I think this is all due to the brain injury? Maybe. But I know some of it comes from the same short term attention span that a lot of the internet generation suffers from- too much information, all the time. I’ve been combating it with books, forcing myself to focus on the words. This was one thing I discovered last year. Where for years I was able to rip through a hardcover in a weekend and retain fairly good details from the book, suddenly I’m finding I have to re-read a page two or three times to get it. And my retention isn’t what it should be.

The good news (that silver lining that  I always insist on finding) is that a lot of this is reversible with training. And working at it. I have no doubt that with effort I’ll be able to get my brain agile again. Kind of like I hope my physical shape will get back to being more functional and a shape other than “sack of mushy potatoes”.

So today I managed to move, to write and after dinner I’m doing some sketches for new mosaic pieces, so there’s my creative output for the day. Still going strong.

And because you have stuck with this meandering musing, here’s some cat pictures for your troubles….(Left is Lord Snooty of Booty, Right is Lady Fern the Derisive.)

 

And here’s your Gif of Wise Wisdom type Stuff for the day:

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Off to sketch and maybe tackle the Stairs of Jointly Torture.





New Year, New Perspective, New Challenges. Hi 2017! How Ya Doing?

1 01 2017

Weather: High: 38° This may be the first New Year in a while that has been unremittingly Sunny! I hope it bodes well for the year. It’s at least a good start!

So yesterday I posted my year end post, which as per expectation was about looking back. This is my new year post. It’ll mostly be about looking forward. 

As a lot of people have been already proffering up their goals and expectations, I see both some foreboding and some hope in generous proportions.  For myself, I am weighing in heavily on the side of hope. As I saw someone else say last year, Hope and Naivete are similar but not the same. Hope requires effort while Naivete is more based on expectation and assumption. So I’m placing my energies on hope for the short term, although I realize that in order for things to pan out in the positive, there will have to be some work to get there.

For my goals, a lot remain the same as last year: more art, more writing, better health. In general, be a better person. I am already working on the health aspect. (Took a  near 4 mile walk today. Yes in winter, in Michigan. It was cold, but sunny. No excuses.)  Art will start tomorrow, as I’m heading back into the studio. Have a lot of projects on deck and I’m being militant about not sliding into bad habits that include making excuses or being easily distracted. Time is a commodity I am not taking lightly anymore. I’m turning 50 in less than 2 weeks. Seeing people of my age bracket dropping dead of health issues in the past year has put a very sobering sword of Damocles over my head. Either commit to self care and make the effort to get things done, or accept the consequences, short and long term. I’m not willing to throw in the towel because it’s difficult. I rather like a challenge, though I will bitch about it in the beginning.

It’s also going to be a financial rebuilding year for us. We invested a lot of funds in house overhaul last year and this year we need to get ourselves a little more above water than just floating on the surface. (Sorry, living lakeside seems to make a lot of metaphors water related. :shrugs:) Some luxuries are going to be curtailed and some trips & expenditures we were contemplating may be back-burnered for the year. But, that’s the adult part of the equation. Sometimes you can play a little looser with the pocketbook , but there comes the time to pay the piper and you can’t put that off forever.

There’s a lot of uncertainty overall going into this year, what with political shenanigans and the usual global instability. But I think that part of my duty, as a good citizen of this country, is to be vigilant that rights are not eroded and that, as a nation, we don’t start moving backwards. I get that things like economics and foreign policy will always be on the pendulum, swinging back and forth, but I don’t agree that having all citizens of this country being treated with dignity and equality is something we should backtrack on. Moving backwards is despicable and only makes us look the villain, and rightly so, in the eyes of the rest of the civilized world. We’ve kind of fallen backwards in a lot of areas, and that is a little depressing. We’re better than that. We just need to realize it and work on it.

One of the things I think is going to be a big change for me this year is scaling back on social media. I’ve made this claim several years in a row, because I know it’s an ongoing distraction. Weirdly enough, I think it’s going to stick this time, only because last year was so unbelievably ugly that I was actually staying offline to avoid the fracas. Even people I agreed with were getting on my nerves. Social media is mostly my way of staying in touch with long distance relatives, friends and the swath of artists that I consider part of my community. Somewhere along the line, it turned into a loudspeaker of political and opinionated blather, until it was a nonstop stream of only that. I started getting bored, then increasingly annoyed with it. Now, I’m trying to decide if there’s a better way to reduce the signal to noise ratio or if I should just take an extended sabbatical. That remains to be seen.

Studio time is going to become a priority for me, because I’m totally buying into the art as rebellion idea. If the world is going to continue to be ugly, then I will combat it with the tools I have. I’m joining the #MakeArtNotWar Challenge this year. It’s a way to carve out time for my creative pursuits and keep me accountable. Also, I hope it will prompt me to blog more often, read more, write more and just in general generate more new creative output. Some of my fave people to interact with are musicians, writers and artists. Some of them wear all three hats (:cough: Ego Likeness : cough:). But regardless of their chosen medium, these people are always working, day or night, in the mood or not. That’s the work ethic I’m hoping to foster by doing this challenge. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo several years now and I always rise to the challenge there. Now I just need to stretch that commitment out for a year. The nice thing is I can fold my health challenge into this one, because self-care is part of the package.  😀

So in general I have some pretty lofty goals and challenges on the ledger. But I’m already in process on most of them, so they’re not unachievable. The challenge is not letting my commitment lag.

Hopefully, people will be along for the ride, but the truth is I’m doing this even if they’re not. Hitting the half century mark carries some deep implications for me. I desperately need to ingrain some good habits now. Here’s hoping I can make the grooves deep enough to stick.

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Mood: Upbeat, but tired
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: 2 cups of java. Probably some tea later. 
Work-Out Minutes Logged today: 1 hour & 20 Minutes (walked 3.5 miles)
Listening To:
Twenty One Pilots, Ego Likeness & the Hamilton Soundtrack on Spotify
Book Last Read: Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher
Movie/TV Show Last Viewed: CBS Sunday Morning & Sherlock (Soon!!!)
Latest Artistic Project: Writing:  Editing  Serpents Trilogy
Mosaics:  Holiday ornaments & working on  Nordic  Mandala

 





NaNoWriMo Day #30- Time for a creative revolt

30 11 2016

Weather: Weird end to a Weird Month. Been in the low 50s and WINDY. Having intermittent rain. Just odd. Next week?  Here’s the snow we’ve been not seeing. Hello December.

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Yep. Got to 50 K. Validated and everything. And it’s a giant mess. Sigh. Well, I was mostly aiming just to get the structure of the thing in place. I think I will feel better once all the jagged edges are better stitched together.

November 2016 has been, for lack of a better phrase, a bit of a dumpster fire. Between this clown car of an election and the crazy series of events that seems to be following and the added deaths that the bloody Grim Reaper that is 2016 has racked up…I’ll be more than happy to see the backside of this year.

I found that I’ve spent more time away from social media and the news, and truth be told, I feel better mentally for it.

Probably a good sign that I need to get out of the online cesspool and back into life again. Studio time has been languishing for no good reason. Creative deep diving always makes me feel better, so I may need to take a moment and analyze why I’ve not been indulging.

I read the below post recently and it’s served as a bit of perspective and calming reassessment of all things that are currently giving me indigestion. Read it and take a  moment to breathe. And consider all the ways there are to battle cruelty and darkness and ugliness in this current time. Not all battles require fists and angry retorts. Sometimes our energy is better spent facing down the awful with overwhelming beauty and compassion. Shame the terrible venom by drowning it out with cavernous shining art and creative output. There is plenty of room  in the battle for both the hard and soft approach. (Keeps ’em off balance. 😉 )

There is no time for despair

I’m off to spend some time away from my keyboard for a bit.

Keep making art. Keep writing. Keep making music. BE CREATIVE.

Bullies and demagogues have no defense against those who refuse to engage and step around them. Sometimes we shine a light on dark things to make sure they don’t take root. Other times we starve them of attention so they wither on the vine. Both methods are effective and they work in concert beautifully.

Art can be reactive and proactive. Do both. Do it all.

Words can be weapons, sharp and subtle in the same breath. Images can soothe and disturb and incite and reassure. Music can inspire  or commiserate. Bring all your emotions and stories and statements out.

Make Art. Everyday.

 





Lord, Is it that time of year again?

31 10 2016

Weather: Halloweeny, in the mid 50s and sunny. 

Okay, to say I fell off the blogging wagon would be a vast and hysterical understatement. It’s been a bastard kind of year. No excuses, I just haven’t felt like I’ve had much in the way of constructive useful things to say.

I’ll side step the ugly carcasses of donkeys and elephants in the room, as our Political Apocalypse is limping its way to the finish line. (One more goddamn week.  Then at least the fucking ads will be done. Did I mention that we’re stuck in the perfect triangulation to receive the shit storm of three states worth of political ads? It’s so bad we don’t even know who’s a candidate for what party in which state. Ugh. ) I’ve already pretty much mentioned which way my political compass points in previous posts, so we don’t need a dissertation on how I’m voting, or why, this year. I think it’s patently obvious.

Anyway.

I’m posting today because, yes, NaNoWriMo starts back up tomorrow. This year is going to be tricky for me because I may end up serving jury duty at the beginning of the month. Still.  I can make it work.  Gonna burn some extra candlelight to make it happen.

Getting back on the daily writing horse is taking more effort than I thought, mostly because of petty distractions and FOMO. Neither are supportable reasons for not making art in any context. Haven’t been to the studio a lot lately either. One contributing factor that isn’t petty, has been dealing with a sick pet (my cat has developed hyperthyroidism, but it was initially diagnosed as a failing liver. Too long to explain, suffice that it’s being properly treated.) and some other offline stress that isn’t going to be discussed here. It’s mostly resolved, but it didn’t help the brain meat function in the way I needed it to.

So, NaNo. I’ll be attempting to do my usual daily wordcount posts, including some links and art related blather.

Have been watching my CW network superhero shows with great relish and am a huge fangirl of Lucifer. I’ve already binge watched Luke Cage and am plowing through Stranger Things as well. They’ve been a nice way to avoid the soul sucking morass on the news.

All right. I’m off to outline and get Scrivener set up for the new manuscript.

For all of you who might be diving in this year, here’s the link to my author’s page, if you want to be writing buddies:
Voila! 

To my fellow NaNo warriors-May the odds be ever in your favor!

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(Image from Chuck Wendig’s fabulous TerribleMinds Blog)

 

 





Final Lap on my Forties

13 01 2016

Weather: January. Snow. Wind. Crappy roads. Lather Rinse Repeat. (Been in the Teens, temps wise. But yeah. Unrelenting winds, snow and shoveling. )

So yesterday was my birthday. And as the second half of my life approaches,  I didn’t post on the day but after.

Had a lot of mulling to do. My Birthday posts tend to have a lot of mulling. I think there’s an obscure law somewhere about that.

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Jack London, who shares my birthday, is saying very much where I landed after a lot of thinky thoughts. And wine.

I decided that, since I was turning 49 and about to face that dubious benchmark year of 50 on the very near horizon, I needed to do something this year to give my forties a proper send off.

My forties have been very good, catastrophic medical incident aside. (Every decade has an outlier.) I’ve managed to accomplish a lot of things: Moving out of Indiana, getting a working studio, buying a house, and finally getting the gumption to get motivated about things again. It’s been a lengthy transition decade.

So I figured, why not do something akin to a bucket list, without the Sword of Damocles of Death hanging over the end of it? An anti-bucket list of sorts. I’m going to try and do something I’ve never done before, every week this year. I’m not making a checklist in advance. Instead, I’m just going to try something new or accomplish some new goal every week. This will give me roughly 50 new experiences by the time my 50th birthday rolls around. I think that’s a doable goal and what the hell, why not?

I’m not making a checklist because things and opportunities crop up all the time,  and then the list either gets longer or things get knocked off because of no time. Nah. I’ll fill in the blanks as I go. And they don’t have to be world changing, life altering things. Just something new.

Truth is…I’m kinda bored with things right now. I find myself slipping back in to old habits, mostly the bad kind, when I get bored. So, I’m giving myself a challenge and a deadline. I love deadlines. Seriously, it’s amazing what I can get done if I have a deadline. And a challenge? Hoo boy. Let me tell you a little secret about me. I’m a ragingly competitive person. I just don’t activate that part of myself very often. Mostly because I can turn into an asshole.

People wonder why I avoid sports or video games– That’s why. Husbeast has seen some glimpses of it, and he gets that worried look when it shows up.  I need a healthy way to be competitive. So I compete with myself. Usually by playing games that don’t require an opponent other than myself. Or I give myself a rigid deadline for some challenging task. (NaNoWriMo is an excellent example. I will  go without sleep or potty breaks to make that deadline. Which is why I tend to “Win” when I decide to do it. )
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I’m hoping that I can direct some of that self-competitive energy into getting healthy as well. Sometimes it’s as easy as daring myself to do something. Go without a particular type of food for a while. Hit a particular fitness goal I may have not reached before.

My biggest obstacle, is sadly ALSO myself. Because I can both talk myself out of doing things with extremely  compelling and elaborate excuses and also enable bad behavior by dressing it up as a reward for good behavior (Went to the gym for 5 days straight–I deserve an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s.) 

So this is a series of challenges wrapped in a bigger challenge. (Challenge Inception?).

The smaller challenges are to keep me from being bored. The bigger over all challenge? To not get derailed and sidelined by my too easily distracted or enabled self.

I think I can do it. And that will make me happy. I’d like to enter the second half of my life with fewer potential regrets (balanced on top of the idea that getting older may not keep you from doing something, but it makes some things a little less easy or possible.)

On a side note, I’m still kind of in denial about Bowie. It’s hard to accept he’s gone, but as many have said, his legacy is long and will last. I intend to keep a small bit of stardust in my soul, to keep his unwavering artistic energy alive. It’s the tiny way I can honor his artistry and spirit.

So that’s pretty much the holy all of it. I’ll be posting at least weekly, updating on the things I’ve accomplished and sharing the experiences. Husbeast is on board as well, at least in the supporting me in doing this. (He’s gonna be along for the ride on a few things. I’m sure he’ll be giving me that raised eyebrow look when he reads that. 😀 )

So 49 years. 49 trips around the sun. Not as much to show for it as I would have hoped, but still plenty to be proud of, so there’s a nice balance there.

Here’s hoping the year unfolds with less stumbling blocks and few more accomplishments I can add to my dusty shelf.

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