Fair warning: this post will probably lack continuity.

So here we are, one month into the new year and I’m finally writing my first post of 2016. My last entry was way back on October 2, 2015. I’ll admit it: I’m not a committed writer. And I’m going to resist the feeling I have to apologize for it. Nor am I going to enter a blood oath to faithfully keep a writing regimen. If writing were my career, my passion or something at which I aspired to reach great heights, maybe I’d reconsider. But this blog is solely for leisure. It’s to explore some thoughts and opinions, to chronicle a few events in my life…and if the practice makes me a little better at writing, then that’d be great too.

This time last year I mentioned that my best friend Mike had been diagnosed with colon cancer. He’d had his surgery in late January 2015 and was looking at seven months of chemotherapy. That’s where I left off in the story. For the sake of finishing what I started, here’s a brief synopsis of what transpired after that: to my great relief, everything went as well as, or better than, could be expected. There were no complications regarding his surgery. He was able to make it through all seven months of chemotherapy, although he said the last two were extra miserable. A month after chemo he had another checkup to see if there were still signs of cancer. There wasn’t. All the news is good. I’m so happy for him and his family. I simply wouldn’t have known if I would’ve been strong enough to take it if things had gone south. I thank God and the lucky stars for this wonderful outcome!

Unlike new years in the past, I didn’t make any resolutions this year. For me, it’s just a list of crap I end up disregarding anyway. However there’s one thing I need to do, and not because of the new year: get healthy. I just turned 51 a couple of weeks ago. Because of Mikey’s cancer ordeal, I was went in for the first part of a full physical in December. The doctor said my heart sounded good but my blood pressure was on the very high end of the “acceptable” range. He recommended that I start controlling those things that affect blood pressure, such as salt and caffeine intake, and begin some kind of exercise now in order that I may avoid blood pressure medication or at least delay when I might have to start taking them. I quit drinking diet cokes daily. It was surprisingly easier than I thought it would be. I still indulge now and then but now instead of drinking at least one diet soda per day, I might have one or two in a week. I’m hoping to eventually reduce it to none. Thirty-one days into the new year and I’ve yet to do one minute of cardio. Terrible. My next step is to schedule my blood work which will happen in February. I’m hoping that comes back normal. I’m nervous that my prolonged drug use (back when I was that other, imbalanced person) might’ve affected the healthy functioning of some organs. Keeping my fingers crossed for good results.

Another milestone of 2015: my goddaughter turned 15. WTF. The tiny, pink thing is now a wonderful person! And I just love hanging out with her! Ok, let me brag briefly: she’s so smart (she’s in advanced placement English and math); she’s so talented (she plays guitar and piano and was in three bands, although recently she quit two in order to be more focused), she’s so beautiful (you’re probably thinking I’m obligated to say that because she’s my goddaughter but the truth is she is very beautiful); she’s sooo funny (she’s got her father’s sense of humor and I’d like to think I had a bit of influence as well). I get to hang out with her every two or three weeks depending on her schedule. I’ll be going to visit with her as often as possible since I think it’s just a matter of time before she inevitably starts being the typical teen: wanting to be alone in her bedroom; always on her smart phone; out hanging with her friends. Mike and I often talk about how in the hell we’re supposed to get through all the stuff that life’s going to throw at her without jumping in to shield her from it. For instance, she just started dating a boy. So now there’s the joys and heartaches that go along with that, not to mention the tingling body parts! I mean, I’m not even her father and you bet I was trolling all over this boy’s social media trying to glean anything I could to get a sense of the kind of person he is. Good news: he seems like a really nice kid. My anxiety was assuaged. Whew.

So I’m looking forward to 2016 being a year of refocus. I have some tough trials ahead of me that will probably keep me rather poor for the next few years. But it’s critical that I begin taking corrective measures, however difficult, so that I may get these hurdles behind me and starting living like a normal person again. I know this statement is broad and cryptic. It’s purposefully so. To be completely honest would be to expose something of which I’m ashamed. Suffice it to say I’m finally confronting it.

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