“The beginning is always today.” ~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
I had to share so you can laugh with me at the world’s worst camera angle on two people at once (wide angle lens helps with that). By the way, this was not the look, or the picture, I was going for. I don’t remember what I was going for, but this wasn’t it, though I can see a nose job as a real possibility now. And all these years I thought it would be a facelift that compelled me to the surgeon’s knife. I’m kidding, of course. I would never get a facelift. I wear my saggy jowls with pride.
“The grass is greener where you water it.” ~ Neil Barringham
I really must be living right because every year I am showered with kindness from friends near and far as my birthday comes and goes. Plus, many of my friends also share Capricorn status with me, so we celebrate their trip around the sun as well. It all makes my heart swell with happiness.
“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck someplace you don’t belong.” ~ Unknown
Elvis didn’t make it. David Bowie didn’t make it. I made it! Today marked another revolution around the sun for yours truly. I took a cue from Crystal Heis and took the afternoon off (she’s takes the whole day on her birthday, but I couldn’t do that). I have to say I like the way she thinks. First thing this morning I got a delightful phone call replete with the harmonizing parent’s rendition of Happy Birthday. Sweet birthday cards awaited when I got to work and my co-workers were just as kind and huggy as could be, which was really nice. Then, I picked up Stacy Yelton and off to Red Lobster we went for an exceptional seafood lunch. I kinda think their lunch crew is the best because our meal was like seaside good, not the usual landlocked good we’re used to in Kentucky. If that had been all the gifts the day had handed me I would have been tickled, but it wasn’t. Stacy gave me two hard-to-find Henri Nouwen books I’ve been wanting, and even agreed to go to Jospeh-Beth Booksellers with me where I spent a generous Christmas gift card on A Man Called Ove and a book I really, really wanted from the second I saw it: A Walk in the Wood. But what’s that adorable little Scottie dog, you ask? When I got home I opened the door to find said Scotty dog tin full of Walker’s Shortbreads and a card from BFFs Becky and Gordon. I was bowled over. Those two always make me smile. My day has been sprinkled with phone calls, texts, and facebook messages of warm wishes from my besties across the country. I am humbled by the kindness shown me. Each one played a big part in making this a great day start to finish.
“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe” ~ Unknown
I said I was busy last year and here’s more proof. I finally got to meet rental niece Cassie’s second-born, Ellie Rose. She turned one year old yesterday, a fellow Capricorn, and this morning, Cassie and Jeff had a birthday party for the big girl. It came as no surprise at all to find her completely adorable and fun. She was all decked out in her pink dress with matching silky underpants and rosie cheeks. Big brother Grier helped with her cake and her cousins helped with her presents. She enjoyed eating the wrapping paper almost as much as she enjoyed her incredible cake from Servatii Pastry & Deli. I think she had a great time. I know I did. Even though it took a year to meet her, she was totally worth the wait. It won’t be another year before I see her again. I look forward to watching her grow.
“As you work on breaking habitual tendencies (eliminating greed, hatred, or ignorance from your life, for example), don’t be discouraged if you’re not there yet. A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of persistence.” ~ Timber Hawkeye
Mike Moore turns 50 later this week. His wife Missy took advantage of the weekend and planned a surprise party at Jalepeño’s today. Twenty-eight hearty friends and family showed up to celebrate him. He really was surprised to see us all. We laughed and talked and ate and laughed some more. I told him I’d been saving him a seat in the 50 Club. When I was leaving he said he’s left instructions with the family in case he dies before me. I am to play drums at his funeral. Doesn’t matter what I play or if I’m accompanied by any other instrument; he just wants me to play. I told him I’d brush up on Wipe-Out and end with some Zepplin. That tickled him, and honestly, I’m honored he would ask for such a thing. I wish our lives had been a little more connected when I was playing constantly so he could have made it to more gigs. But I was busy touring and playing and they were busy making money and babies. I’ve always liked Mike, but as the years have rolled by I have come to utterly adore him. He’s hilarious and we have a lot in common. And now that he’s warming that seat next to me in the 50 Club, we’ll have plenty of time to catch up on all those years we missed. I’m sure glad Missy married him. He’s a keeper.
“We won’t be distracted by comparison if we are captivated by purpose.” ~ Bob Goff
I had such a restful break last week that I’m having trouble getting up before dawn again. For those who don’t know, I’m so not a morning person. I never have been and I never will be. I’m just not made that way. I’ve always been at my best in the late, late evenings, but the only time I can stay up that late is during the Christmas break. Otherwise, I’m so tired that I’m no good any time. That’s neither here nor there except to say my lack of sleep means I’ve already finished a novel this year and it’s only January 3. This morning, bleary eyed coffee in hand, I was thinking about how important reading is to me. Plus, I love it so much. So, I decided to write down the books I’d finished in 2018. I say finished because I’ll bounce between three or four books at once until I finish all of them, or until I fall in love with one that I can’t put down until it’s done. Knowing that I am currently reading as many titles as listed here, the books I actually finished in 2018 were (in no particular order):
All The Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
Southernmost – Silas House
Lincoln In The Bardo – George Saunders
Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry
Melmoth – Sarah Perry
From Here to Eternity – Caitlyn Doughty
Just Us Kids – Patti Smith
Country Dark – Chris Offutt
Birds of Opulence – Crystal Wilkinson
Night Garden – Carrie Mullins
Stardust – Neil Gaiman
Dodger – Terry Pratchett
Above The Waterfall – Ron Rash
One Foot In Eden – Ron Rash
I’m disappointed in how few books are on this list, though I am hardly surprised. If you’re as busy as I was in the fall, watch too much TV as I do, and are generally a slow reader as I am, you’re not going to finish a lot of books, especially if you read four at a time (I don’t recommend it). Part of my goal in 2019 is less TV, less extracurricular work, and fewer posts. That should help make time for more reading. One of the reasons reading is important to me is because good writers read a lot. I’m a slow reader and an even slower writer, so it’s already an uphill battle for me. Add a billion other distractions and things churn like molasses. But what I really want from reading is to absorb the goodness of language; the poetry of a single sentence; the essence of thought; so that maybe one day I create my own beautiful sentence that inspires and provokes others. As far as this list, every one of the books was awesome in one way or another (or I wouldn’t have finished it) so I’ll just say this; All The Light We Cannot See is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read, the characters from Birds of Opulence and Country Dark will stay with me forever, and Sarah Perry is an unexpected extraordinary storyteller. I’m looking forward to more characters and great stories in 2019.
“Start by doing 1 pushup.
Start by drinking 1 cup of water.
Start by paying toward 1 debt.
Start by reading 1 page.
Start by making 1 sale.
Start by deleting 1 old contact.
Start by walking 1 lap.
Start by attending 1 event.
Start by writing 1 paragraph.
Start today. Repeat tomorrow.”