New Year. New Me.

New Years and birthdays used to regularly be my worst days . Rather than reflecting on accomplishments or good times I could only use them as a time to obsess on all the things I had not done. All those I had disappointed. All the unacceptable things about my life and about myself that had not changed. Not a bit. Not in any good way. So these otherwise perfectly fine occasions would remind me and I would plummet and want to get off this wrong-train I'd jumped five hundred miles back. And I couldn't devise a plan or take some courageous measure and I certainly wouldn't ask for help lest you find out the truth about me.
Fast forward decades and smash a giant cleaver thru the tracks of that train and I'm in drastically different circumstances having learned to make a few more favorable choices. Not easy by a long shot. But better. Having forgiven a little. Having forgotten a little. Continuing to remember most but framing it in gratitude more often than not.
Alive. Healthy. Living in a spunky and hospitable little town. Making art. Being a father to my two strange and remarkable sons.  
But the mind, like a muscle, remembers and when a thing merely resembles or feels or sounds like something unsavory, it computes, compares, protects, avoids or otherwise tries to make sense of what is almost always a completely unrelated, brand new thing. And so New Years happens and my birthday approaches and the struggle lurks.  
And if experience has shown me anything it's that I have a fighting chance of getting things done and done well if I've started out clear on some kind of plan.  
So here (with my usual dose of vagueness) is how I see it: daily (now, and moving forward) l revel in the brand new moments......these jackpots that have never been and will never again be. I plan for good things and fulfilling outcomes and sweet connections. I do more and bitch less. Gratitude. And my ride is mine and yours is yours and I want for mine to make yours sweeter (or better still, to ride together) and because it's no small task stopping a train in motion and I can sometimes smell disaster (or mediocrity ) ahead, I stay alert so I can smoothly transfer at the next station. 
And I'm under the impression that if I can do this fairly well then I can show up and and I can be OK in my pain and in my joy and right here......which is somewhere in between.
And if I lazy my mind and default back into thinking that this life is not a gift, that my friends are not my angels, that my work is unimportant or that things have not gotten better, or if it turns out that I am indeed on the wrong train, I'd be touched if you'd elbow your way thru the rush hour crowd. And if when we reach the next stop, and I lean back to let the doors open, you'd give me a little shove.

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