Tag Archives: year


I had gone to bed very early and was asleep by 9 pm.  Yes, it was New Year’s Eve, but that didn’t matter when I was scheduled to work at 6 the next morning.  I only slept for about three hours when I was awakened around midnight by the sound of fireworks going off all around me.  New Years—2017, I thought as I continued to lie in my bed.  I didn’t want to get up.  Besides, there was no one in the house to celebrate with except the dogs.  And they weren’t a whole lot of fun as they cowered and whimpered and yelped as the loud booming raged on outside the house.

I didn’t mind being alone that night.  I didn’t mind not celebrating.  New Year’s Day isn’t a holiday I observe anyway.  Just putting a shared “Happy New Year” post on Facebook is basically as much acknowledgement as I give the occasion.  I don’t write blogs about it (hhmmm…guess that’s kind of a lie now!).  I don’t sip champagne.  I don’t sit in front of the television watching the ball drop in New York City.  And I don’t kiss or embrace anyone at midnight.

I lay awake for a few minutes as I thought about what makes up a year.  Scientifically, a year is just the number of days it takes the earth to move around the sun.  But isn’t life about the journey, not the destination?  So, what difference does it make when the sun arrives back at its origin?  And where did it actually start anyway?  How do we know exactly where the expedition began?  All right, so maybe I was giving this moment more existential thought than it really deserved.  But some people rejoice with dancing and drinking; I rejoice with reflection and deep thoughts.  Both celebrations, I guess, are ways of moving forward into new experiences.  And I think many people were ready to move on.

2016 was difficult for a lot of people.  It will probably be remembered as a time of death, loss, violence, and hardship.  But is that going to stop just because the clock struck midnight on December 31st?  Why do we think we can lock adversity into a Pandora’s Box marked 2016 and pray it will not be opened again.  We always tend to use years, or months, or days as a way to compartmentalize and contain life situations.

But that’s just an illusion; life doesn’t happen in sections because time actually doesn’t exist.  Time is just a manmade tool that allows us to track our days and put life into some controllable perspective.  Time is just a mechanism that helps us organize our days, like knowing I have to be at work at six in the morning.

But there is no such thing as time and space in heaven.  And if there are no limitations and no boundaries, how can death even be real?  Death is not even a concept because life is continuous.  The human concepts of space, time, and death don’t exist.  I remind myself of this because there are so many things I still want to accomplish.  But in order to reach all of my goals, to complete my life purpose, I cannot let myself be bound by the number of my days on earth or the physical walls that close in around me.  I have to believe I can do anything at any time that I please.  I have to believe I can be anywhere that I choose to be.  I have to shake off my shackles of time and space and fears, especially of death.

Now, as I write this, we have completed the first week of what we consider 2017 and already my life has changed.  I finished writing a new short story; I’m starting a new job; I‘ve have new opportunities to teach at Kansas City Community College, and I will be participating in some upcoming seminars.  Do I owe my sudden good fortune to 2017?  Do I thank the earth for starting a new journey around the sun?  No, I just thank God for all of the many blessings I have received continually in life.

So now, I smile and know that life goes on and that all those things I thought we all lost in 2016 still remain.  Nothing is ever lost in a life with no limits and no boundaries.  Nothing is ever a challenge in a life with no concept of time or space.

And now, I sit here in front of my computer and wonder how in the world I am going to end this essay.  I paced around for a while, took a shower, made a cup of tea…

And then, I smile as I realize…

…There is no end.  Nothing ever really ends….

Definitely to be continued…




On November 1st, 2014, I posted this message on my Facebook page:

“Only two months left of this year.  I vow to be happy and enjoy these last eight weeks.  If I can keep a positive attitude, then maybe I can look back at this year and think, man, 2014 was an amazing year!”

Though I wanted to share my thoughts with my friends, I wasn’t just spouting words of motivation for other people.  My post was completely sincere.  This post was actually a note to self.  It was a reminder that life is going by too fast.  I have to enjoy my life before it all disappears.  I had promised myself that no matter what happened over the next few months, I would keep a positive attitude.  I truly believe that happiness is a choice.


…however, it’s easier to keep a positive attitude when life is going well.

But suddenly I felt that my thoughts and words were being challenged.  Ever since I posted that particular message, my life became difficult.  I suddenly ran in to conflicts at work and home.  I was strangely at odds with friends.  I had unexpected money problems that financially set me back.  My car needed repairs.  My computer picked up a virus.  My work schedule changed.  I caught a bad cold…

Through it all, I kept reminding myself about my Facebook post.  I was going to maintain a positive attitude.

…and the problems continued.

I felt continually challenged by life and the universe.  Did I honestly think that just by making a declaration of positive thinking my life would suddenly get easier?  No, but I hadn’t expected to be so challenged every day either.  Dang!  And everything had actually been going so well before I made that Facebook post!

“I told you,” my friend, Sara, said when I told her about the situation last Saturday.  “You never should have posted that on Facebook.  Whenever you make positive assertions…that’s when everything usually goes wrong!”

“Yeah, it’s so strange,” I told her.  “Everything has become a challenge ever since I made that vow to be happy “

Sara laughed at my words.  I wasn’t insulted.  I felt the same way.  I was laughing, too.  Is this what keeping a happy attitude actually is? I wondered.  Is having a positive attitude actually the ability to find humor in challenging situations?  “It always happens that way,” she laughed.  “You never should have posted that message.”

“Yeah,” I responded.  “I think I’m being tested.  Maybe there’s something great coming for me and I have to prove myself worthy.”

Sara suddenly wasn’t laughing any more.  She grew very quiet as she looked at me solemnly.  “Oh, my gosh,” she sighed, as she contemplated what I had just said.  Suddenly, I realized that Sara had just been joking about the whole situation.  She really hadn’t taken the connection between the Facebook post and my life seriously.  “I hear people say that all the time.  ‘I have to prove myself worthy.’  You don’t really believe that, do you?  I think that’s so wrong.  Why would you be tested?  I don’t believe that at all.  God knows who you are already.  He already knows you are a good person.  You’re human.  Don’t you deserve the best?  Why would you have to prove yourself worthy of a good life?  This is just what we call life.  We have good times and bad.  There is no testing to be worthy.”

I was stunned by her words.  I suddenly realized exactly how right she was.  I wasn’t being tested.  I was just living my life.  I have happy times and I have my challenging moments.  All of those moments have created my life and made the person I am now!  It’s not about proving myself worthy of having a good life.  It is just about creating a life.  Nothing in my life goes right.  Nothing in my life goes wrong.  My life just goes…all according to the way it should be.  I don’t have to be positive.  I don’t have to be negative.  I just have to live.