Friday, January 03, 2003

day 1, year 34

Yes, I just turned 34 a day ago and thus, as always, stand at the boundary of a new timeline I know next to nothing about. We are all burning sunlight.

What do I have at the start? Certainly not a guidebook (though I wish I had one), not an all-encompassing plan (unless you count good intentions), not a map with highlights (excepting, of course, my moral compass). The direction I move is forward, as time drags me along whether I like it or not.

This is that time of year when I take stock of what I have, what I've accomplished and what I've become. Sometimes, the reality is just too painful. Other times, I am bemused by the little achievements I've managed to eke out.

So, what DO I have going for me, here, looking at 2003's starting line?

1. My marriage. Seven years going on eight, one of the most precious elements that make up my life. Nikki is my best friend, partner and kakampi. The marriage provides me with things too many to list.

2. My daughter. She'll turn a year old next month, on Valentine's Day. Whenever I see my daughter, I get this sense of unreality - I can't believe, up to this day, that I had something to do with her wondrous appearance in the world. Sage also locks down time because she consumes it like air. She inhales the present and exhales the future. With her around, I cannot deny the passage of time.

3. My company. If Marc and I plus the Pipeline crew keep to the plan, we'll have something to crow about by this time next year. I believe in Pipe and its people. I cannot control many elements that influence the market (political instability, terrorism, inflation) but I do directly control Pipe's attitude towards the incessant challenges. Therefore, much in the same way that I can choose my attitude, I can select how Pipe will react to the slings and arrows of fortune. We've managed to survive so far and now its time to grow.

4. My writing. Outside of family, writing continues to be escape, comfort, therapy and ego-booster. I carry, for the rest of my life, the gossamer value of several awards for my plays and fiction. But I understand the nature of laurels and see through the emptiness of its perceived value. Far better to write for any other reason that to win something. Far better to write well, and be read. And sometimes, even get paid!

5. My accumulated lessons of the past. I detest making mistakes and make it a point to remember that I did wrong so as never to repeat them. What kills me though is the fact that sometimes the right decision is to make a wrong one.

6. My family and friends. Relations by blood or marriage, confessors, allies, fellow wordworkers or keepers of common timestamped memories. For friends - I am lucky to have a number I can count as true. For family - I'm tickled to see my siblings awash on the same tide as I am.

7. My "consider, decide, then jump" attitude. In essence, that is the reason I do not fear change. Things happens, you adjust. Quickly.

I did not list anything material (well, apart from the assets of Pipe) because in the end, what matters is not what you have, but what you really have.

So.

34. Here I go.



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