I definitely won’t be writing one blog post every day in 2020… it was a great little exercise while it lasted, but I’ve had enough of the daily obligation. And, I don’t imagine the audience for this type of writing will miss it when I stop. That’s one barometer that I heard Seth Godin speak to about “products” or brands, etc… If I stop offering a specific service or good, will people miss it once it’s gone. People will not likely reach out to me to let me know that they really miss this daily post. If I stop showing art in Nashville, people will probably not miss it enough to let me know. I have not made an impact with what I have done in that sort of way. In 2019, I came to terms with this fact. I reflected much on what I am doing, and made peace with not having offered something that lots of people want/need… and, I made peace with not needing to be needed/wanted in that way.
That being said, I then began restructuring my internal compass and figuring out what direction I felt pulled to go next. That’s when Jim’s Spaghetti Sauce resurfaced. Now, I am not far from launching that business and offering a simple solution to family’s eternal question, “What’s for dinner.” I’ll keep folks informed, but not really on this blog… I’ll link the connection for you some time.
Now, on to 2020. I made some resolutions, like a seem to do, and there is not a daily obligations, really. I’d love to find a more consistent commitment to a meditation practice, but, that’s not a resolution…
Here’s what I resolve for 2020:
- Less cussing/rage in the car – more grace with other drivers
- Tell more people that I love them (when appropriate)
- Complete a book of haikus and paintings
- Launch Jim’s Spaghetti Sauce
Well, thanks to you if you have stopped by during this year long blog project. It was not intended for anything other than a practice of discipline and writing… a space and opportunity to flesh out some ideas in words. I wish each of you a fantastic year, with large quantities of joy and peace and Love.
Today, I followed up last night’s blog post with a social media post about my night and jail and subsequent sobriety. It feels appropriate to catalog it here. I am truly grateful to have escaped the poor choices of my twenties without dying or killing someone. I am also grateful that I only have one more blog post to complete my resolution.
Here’s the post from today:
December 30, 1999, I woke up in jail after being charged with driving under the influence. I had driven in such a state hundreds of times over that decade, and looking back, it was certainly a death wish, challenge of authority, and cry for help. Depression and alcoholism/addiction had ruled my days, and, fortunately, this night in jail was the beginning of the end of that way of life for me. After a term in “DUI school, I was given an additional “punishment” of 72 mandatory AA meetings and 21 weeks of group counseling. A couple of months into this sober endeavor, the moment of clarity struck me in the midst of conversation with a friend in recovery, and my Life was forever changed. I realized that I didn’t have to ever drink or drug again, and that the only way to accomplish that was “one day at a time.” It’s cliche because it’s so true… it is the Way, the present moment lifestyle, pure Now.
Over the last twenty years, more and more has been revealed; the ugly and beautiful truth has slowly been exposed. After nineteen years in recovery, I’m still excavating and peeling away the layers of damage that led to depression and addiction, and it’s a wonderful exploration of me/humanity. Just this year, I pulled some of the deepest rooted weeds yet.
I would have never imagined this twist of fate, and I wouldn’t change a thing if I could go back. I remain grateful for all of the forces that led me to where I am today… perfect imperfection. If you, or anyone you know, struggles with depression and/or addiction, please know that there is a “solution”… BUT, it is not for those that NEED it, but for those that WANT it; it is a daily decision to choose life over death, Love over fear.
If I can be of service in any way, please message me. I love you all, and wish you a wonderful 2020.
December 29th, 1999, I spent the night in jail. After nearly a decade of lots of drinking and driving, I was finally brought to justice. That deflating and humbling evening was the first of a series of events that has now amounted to nineteen and a half years sober. I never would have imagined a more rewarding twist of fate… I could not force myself to make a change in my life at that time, so God and the law intervened. That evening feels like a lifetime ago, as though I’m hardly related to that person. Life is fascinating, and the examination of all of its fantastic details leaves me breathless…
Thank you, Life
Ultimately, I’m a city boy. Not that I was raised in the big city or anything like that, but I never learned to use a chainsaw or a tractor or any similar rural/farm skills. A couple of years ago, I bought a chainsaw to help turn the tides of that lack of useful knowledge that had been passed down to me. Since then, I have operated the chainsaw successfully several times, but I’m still not smooth with its operation. Just yesterday, I needed to clean up some dead branches, and was going to build a fire with the wood. I started with my hand saw, but quickly realized that the job was larger than that manual tool would make efficient. So, I pulled the dormant chainsaw out of the shed, and did my best to bring it up to season… Clumsily, but not spotted with error, I readied the chainsaw, and before long had cleaned the branches easily. Then, it seemed the next best thing to do was to split the larger logs to make them better to burn. I had also never split wood… just haven’t found myself in a situation that called for that. I have a small axe, and after a little learning curve, I had made my way through the batch that needed halved. It was a perfect winter chore, and the grey day set a perfect stage for the task. I may always be a city boy by birth, but I’m intent on continuing to build a set of skills that makes me a more well rounded man and father.
These three, along with my wife, are Everything to me. I’ve certainly found a “purpose” for what to do with my life/time, but these are the why I do it, for the most part. The why seems more important than the what. I’ll let it be at that, as the holiday season has me a little bit tired. The year is drawing to a fast end, and thus a big beginning is coming…
New Moon, new decade-
Every moment, forever-
Me, you, transcending.
We spend so much time with input coming in, and there is an unfed hunger for silence, that’s often not even named. The noise is not all heard, but just a general onslaught of information and distraction. I am guilty of avoiding the Silence, and that will work its way into a new year’s resolution, I believe. The epidemic has grown exponentially over the past ten years, and the side effects are visible all over our behaviors. This will be one of the more detrimental health concerns of the future… we can’t maintain this much interconnectedness to the trivial flood of information. We will come unhinged from our Divine nature, and we will slip further and further away from love.
Christmas was wonderful today… lots of family, and not too much holiday food. Carder Christmas, which always happens on the 26th, has been postponed due to several people’s experience with a stomach bug last night… Nobody wants that. So, tomorrow will be a bit weird without my family’s tradition… we will do it Saturday. With plans cast aside, the doors of opportunity are flung wide open for us. I hope that your holiday celebration was pleasant.
Whatever you celebrate,
May it be with love.
Often enough, I am awestruck by the texture of Life… there’s thick layers above and below everything I see, and the paintings by OSGEMEOS at the Frist illustrate this idea so beautifully. You’ve got about three weeks left to see this exhibit, so, if you’re inclined, make your plans.
Including this post, I have only ten posts left to complete my “one blog post for every day of the year” New Years’ Resolution that I made last year. It’s had it’s ups and down, as most everything has, and I am ready to move into days without this obligation. I have to reflect at some point about what I learned/gained from this, and consider whether or not it was “successful.” Really, as you could imagine, I don’t “have to,” but that sort of work helps refine the living as I move forward.
I’ve got an idea for a large undertaking in the coming year, and it has to do with about a decade worth of digital photos…