Too many things are rattling through my head this morning. At 2:30 am, I got up to calm my thoughts. It is Christmas eve 2016. I look back and believe this has been the craziest year of my life. Too many “news”. Some of them a product of decisions I have made. Others were handed to me to figure out. New partners, new places, new circumstances, new routines, new homes, new friends, new cars, new locations, and new normals. It has been a mind boggling year.
One year ago, I enjoyed this time of year with my family in sunny Florida walking beaches, swimming in the pool and cooking for nine relatives. This year, I sit alone in Illinois stuck inside and cooking for myself. Out of the 30 Christmas cards hanging on the door, one is from my side of the family and it was handed to me. I bought family Christmas presents for one grandson who I never got to see because he was traveling with his mother. The twins, I have not seen since August. I can’t remember a time when I was in the position where no one really needs you but I am now.
On the positive side, I am healthy and in good shape. I weigh 179. My parents are alive and well. As far as I know, my family is healthy but not particularly happy with me. I am warm and comfortable in a small apartment on Chicago’s North Shore. The refrigerator is full, I have a new car with 6,000 miles covered in salt and sitting outside in guest parking. I am communicating with my two sons frequently, my bank account is in good shape, and I own properties in a great city in South America. Today, my apartment in Medellin, sits empty but the rentals are full.
I look at the Christmas tree in front of me. It is under six foot, alive, 600 colored lights, and heavy with family ornaments. One is mine - a 3/4” snowman with wings that has 2005 written on it. I don’t remember it’s history but Z handed it to me last week saying he saved it for me. It represents symbolism of what has become my reality. In my former life, I was surrounded by family and material things. Today, my life is dramatically changed.
I am not sure where 2017 will take me. I believe Medellin will be a big part of my life. I do not expect my time living there will match this year where I had over 200 days in Colombia but it will be substantial. I will find something new to occupy my mind and time - you can only walk so far, study Spanish so much, and read so often. I walked over 1,200 miles in Medellin this year. I logged 300 hours of Spanish lessons. I read 10 books. I flew internationally 10 times this past year. I drove less than 10,000 miles for the first time in 40 years and expect it to be less next year. I lost 13 pounds and expect to stay where I am in that category.
I hope to find more of a routine in some areas of my life. My father taught me the meaning and value of routine. He lived a breathed it his entire life. You could set clocks on my father’s routines. I use to make fun of it and now I crave it. I hope to fight my way back to my children. I pray for that opportunity. I pray for their health and they find answers to so many questions that permeate their lives. I hope for continued good health and happiness for my parents. They earned these days and hopefully they will be blessed with a peaceful year.
I pray for my family and all people I know. This year I made choices that negatively impacted many people. I pray for all of their health and happiness. I pray they find peace with the circumstances and able to find a way to move on in a meaningful way.
I too seek peace of mind. I will continue to find my way down a new road that is dark and unknown. In the shadows lurk many potential problems. Hopefully, I will accept what I have, be more patient, and more loving. Live. Love. Matter.