Welcome to the Capture Life Writing Year in Review. I promise not to end with a list of celebrities who have left us this past year. 2017 marked my first year of intentionally living perpetual happiness. It was remarkable in terms of milestones. Smiles! I reconnected to my holistic interest of aromatherapy and delved into herbal remedies. With a fond farewell to all of my Facebook friends I deleted my account; preferring to scroll through my thoughts via Myfi and revisiting my old passion of reading hand held books of the paper kind. Love it! I also helped celebrate three good friends into retirement, so now they walk around with what I call that retirement glow; may it never fade. Singing the “Make new friends and keep the old; one is silver and the other is gold” song, I was privileged to meet some new people who like to converse face to face and share food, one of my favorite activities.
Speaking of favorites, in September I put the finishing touches on my memoir based on my life centered around love. Although this is an ongoing story, writing Volume 1 was a gift in terms of evaluating my life; confirming my true self in the process. I’m grateful for those words having spilled out on paper. As the book unfolded, the chapter on my vocational life evolved in amazing ways with the acceptance of my dream job offer. It is a dying breed in opportunity, one that involves much live personal and phone interaction with customers. Our office is a small unit of eight dedicated staff led by a nurturing director. I was welcomed with open arms to this family-like setting. During what will be my transitional time from UB to piloting Capture Life Writing, the work is perfect.
With a parting call to my psychiatric provider, I made the separation from the traditional mental health system that I was a part of for 19 years. I entered as a novice “bipolar” in 1998 and graduated symptom free after extensive research, personal reflection and experience and some really good people showed me the alternatives. I was able to peel off my label for good. It is a favor I will spend the remainder of my life returning.
Which brings me to 2018. Last week I took some liberties and declared this the year of kind words and fun. One week in I’m up to my eyeballs in joy already. The biggest example came during a snowstorm stranding this past week. You may have seen this in the form of a 75-car pile up which made national news. After two hours of waiting for the shuttle bus, I knew the drivers wouldn’t be there so I prepared to hunker down in my office for the night. An extraordinary act of kindness said otherwise. A coworker who was on duty grabbed his jacket and said, “Come on, you’ve waited long enough. I’m taking you to your car.” It was seven miles away, and It took us an hour and twenty minutes to crawl through the displaced traffic. He was practically a stranger, and he risked his reputation and job to take me. All he could offer was, “I want to. If more people did things like this, the world would be a better place.” Speaking my language.
The other things that brought smiles this week are simple. The irony of an empty Hershey Kiss wrapper discarded on the floor of the fitness center, fruit delivered to my desk with humor from a coworker with a smile and the statement, “Don’t be mean, eat a tangerine.” And, wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, the Bills are in the playoffs…Woot! Western New Yorkers have been lauding the Cincinnati Bengals. “Thank you!” I pray that has a trickle down effect and we learn to thank each other. A lot. Out loud. For everything.
I will end with these kind words. The Sanctuary is currently under several inches of snow. Although the sunsets are still spectacular, I’m a fair weather nature fan content with taking them in from my kitchen window. So Hat’s Off (definitely a humorous salute given the situation) to the man dressed in a fluorescent green snow suit that I just watched dump my garbage into the back of the truck on this rare subzero temperature day. I so appreciate your efforts and if I could find a way to reach a human being via your company’s website, I would tell them so right now. Next week I promise there will be a Thank You note taped to the garbage can lid.
Spread the kind words and have fun!