Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Long And Winding Road

"Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small.  A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." - Lao Tzu

It's been a while.  Thanks for the notes, the messages and the emails asking how I am, if I'm OK and when I'd be posting again.  I know I left things dangling with the last entry about the night Annie Groves came up to the Beaver.  I'll come back to that.  First things first.

On September 13, 2015 I turned 59 years young and like most women the thought of that next birthday and the benchmark of turning six decades old triggered a lot of introspective thought. I realized in those thoughts that I wasn't in a good place.  This wasn't about me turning 60, it was more about me not feeling right in my own skin.  It's difficult to find the appropriate words to articulate it but I'm sure there is someone out there who will say "Yes, I know exactly what she's talking about."  I struggled when I was awake.  I struggled when I was asleep.  I was never at rest. My emotional balance was off its center mark.  My body ached.  I had trouble concentrating.  I was exhausted just walking a flight of stairs.  Excess became a part of my daily routine.  Too many late nights.  Too many late mornings. Too much food. Too many drive thru's. Too much alcohol.  Too much coffee. Too much time on a sofa. Too much time with a remote control in my hand.  Too much time on the phone.  Too much time online.  Too much time in traffic. Too much time with an ATM card at my beck and call. Too much time fighting battles on Hamburger Hill followed by those moments of wondering how on earth I ever got to that place.

So I decided that it was time to begin my journey of recovering who I was, what was truly important to me, why I was here and where I wanted to go.  One. Step. At. A. Time.

In October of last year I began keeping a notebook. This wasn't one of those Dear Diary things.  In it I wrote down all sorts of stuff.  Things that most of us took for granted and never give a second thought to. Things like what time I woke up.  What time I went to bed.  Where I was spending all my nickels and dimes. Every bill and every credit card statement I paid. Every single glass of booze I slurped up.  How much TV I watched that day and what it was that I was actually watching.  I wrote down how much time I spent in my car, on the phone, online, in the grocery store, in the mall, in my office. I wrote down how much I laughed, how much I cried, how often I felt absolutely nothing at all. Numbness is an all consuming black hole.  Nothing was off limits.  I wrote it all down.  Day after day. Night after night.  Moment after moment.  How was I going to figure out where I was going until I could figure out where I had been?