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I haven’t posted for several days because I was thinking and assessing my life and the new year. So where do we start? Do we go on the way we have been for the last year or do we take the reins of our lives and steer the sleigh in a better direction. And when I say we I mean me. Going around in circles has yielded little.

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come whispering, ‘it will be happier…'”
Alfred Tennyson

In WordPress, when you publish a post, pause a moment and look at the grey left hand column, at the bottom below the suggested tags. You’ll find a list of words like the tags you just used in the post. It’ll also have a number of tags suggested by WordPress. If you click on one, like I did, for example “happiness”, you’ll be connected to a long list of blogs that wrote a post about happiness today.

As you would expect, almost every one had something to say about resolutions and how to be happier. I found several new blogs I added to my bookmarks and also all kinds of ideas on improving my life.

I’ve never been big on resolutions. It seems my life was just mapped out for me and I went along with it because it seemed to be going just fine. Well, after the person I was married to burned the map, I’ve been wandering in circles, hence the first paragraph. For a while I was exceedingly angry but then read a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness”.

Thus you and I find me, generally lost with no idea of where to go or what to do. I’ve never experienced this kind of lack of direction or focus.

Writing this blog is one of the few disciplines I’ve maintained. Everything else fell by the wayside. I know this makes no sense because I’m not giving you the details but I feel like I’m slowly coming out of a long coma. I think I’ve mentioned this before, or not (but not in the mood to look it up). Have you ever felt alive but suddenly realized that you’re not living. It’s an eerie feeling because everyone has moved on with their lives and you’re left alone, directionless.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
Oscar Wilde

Coma patients often have to relearn skills that once came naturally and that’s what I feel like. Take a look at my amazement at cooking techniques I recently mentioned learning and the fact that I’d forgotten where pantry items were located. This is all so new and unfamiliar.

My life if anything was always familiar. Not in a shrinking violet kind of way…I’ve traveled a lot, moved around the country, remodeled five or six houses, had a variety of jobs in the field of art and started two successful businesses from scratch. Life always appeared to work a certain way that I could count on no matter what roads I took.

Now I know my life will never be the same again. I hang on to things that no longer serve me and this has led to clutter and dead weight which I must be free of to move on. Why did it take so long for me to see this? Seems clear as day right now. See what I mean, existing but not living?

Don’t know if I’m making any sense to you as I talk in vagaries without specifics. But I think this must be my conscious path for the new year. To finish recovering from the end of life as I knew it and start shedding the unnecessary baggage. As a result my “resolutions” won’t be specific since I’m going to discover them as I go.

So today, out of the blue and without planning it, I attacked the kitchen which had become a dumping ground for almost anything coming in the door. Why put it away? Just put it on the counter.

That was fine for awhile, however, as I gain more interest in actually preparing meals so not every meal is a Trader Joe’s salad and I try to redevelop an interest in eating more than one meal a day, a messy kitchen doesn’t cut it.

How do I chop veggies when there’s no counter space? I think the tipping point was the last two weeks. I desperately wanted to make tuna pasta salad and “settled” for tuna, elbow noodles and mayo in a bowl because there was nowhere to chop celery or onions.

So today, suddenly, out of the blue I cleared and wiped down all but the small counter in the kitchen by the stove and the kitchen/living room divider. I was shocked at myself! But it felt so good. And the vase that the flowers from my brother came in…into the garbage. My normal “guilt trip courtesy of my mom” would have been to save it. I looked at it and asked myself, for what? Voila, guilt gone.

Also while reading assorted new blogs today with the tag happiness, I found a few words that spoke to me. “You want to be happier, but you can’t because of X. Notice what excuses are holding you back, and let them go. You create your excuses out of thin air. They are not real.”

So that may be how I determine my “resolutions” by looking at what excuse is causing me unhappiness or discomfort and dismiss it. I’m sure there’ll be more on this in the ensuing days. For now have a lovely evening.

P.S. I was shocked as hell to get flowers for Christmas from my bro since we hadn’t been talking. They were from ProFlowers. The bouquet arrived on December 20 and lasted till last Friday, and it included roses. Today I plucked the still good ones out and put them in a glass of water. Isn’t that amazing?