Happier Times

Steve & Barb Signed & Framed

Happier Times

Happier times?  The holidays can bring on the ‘melancholies’ if you’re not careful—especially if you’re far, far away from what used to be home.  There were many things that I loved about having a wife and family, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But life can play dirty tricks on you when you’re not paying attention.

I am a self-confessed loner; I spend many hours alone, but I am rarely lonely.  My wife used to say:  “You don’t NEED anyone.”  And I suppose she was right.  I don’t think that I NEED anyone in particular in my life, but I do choose to include certain people in my life.  I may be splitting hairs, but I would think it’s better to be chosen than needed—of course that might simply be a male (lone wolf) kind of distinction.  I chose her to be in my life—until I didn’t.  We were just too mean to one another.

I choose to have my children in my life, but they’re all at an age now where they have their own lives to live.  And their lives are busy, just like my life was back then.  But I do miss family and friends this time of year—I guess it’s only natural.  Basically, it’s just brother Joel and me now—mom and dad passed many years ago at ages 53 and 64 respectively, and we lost our youngest brother last year at age 59.  Most of my dogs have already crossed over the Rainbow Bridge (and are hopefully waiting for me):  Sarge, Schatzie, Sandy, Smokey, Major and recently Hunter—may you all Rest in Peace.  And Sophie and Jewel are getting really old, and haven’t got too much longer I’m afraid.

My life has changed dramatically over the past few years.  And it ain’t all bad.  In fact, life is pretty damn good (even if very different).  The economy blowing up in 2007 just rushed things a mite—working for the nation’s largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, was no protection whatsoever:  Having once been a ‘minor somebody’ I was destined to become a ‘major nobody.’  No longer the prestigious bank Vice President, I lost my health, I lost my job, I lost my house, my savings, my 401k retirement plan and finally my wife.

So completing a divorce, a bankruptcy and a foreclosure I have been forced to live the simple life of an expat abroad.  I love most of my new life:  I like that it’s simple, I like that it’s cheap and I like that I am free to discover myself after almost 50 years of being crammed into other people’s boxes.  The freedom is exhilarating, and I never tire of it.  I am now pursuing my photography at a professional level, and actually making a few nickels with it. Arriving in Mexico almost two years ago (dead broke), I have managed to accumulate a five-figure savings account once again.  I am traveling extensively, and will be leaving Merida, Yucatan no later than April to recommence the world tour.  Life is good.

But the holidays—they do bring to mind some very fond memories.  Spending time with family, sipping my whisky and petting my dogs in front of the fireplace, and overindulging in great food.  I miss the little girl that my wife could become during the holidays, her excitement her generosity.  I miss the cold snap in the air, and the Christmas music that seems to follow everywhere you go.  I miss buying gifts for others, and watching their faces light up with anticipation and appreciation.  I miss snuggling up under the covers with that someone special.  I miss loving, and being loved.

But I have my memories.  Be grateful for yours.  Sometimes it’s all we have.

Barbara Lou, I wish you every happiness (I hope life is better for you now).  Shawn, Michael and Kristina:  I love you my children (even though you are adults).  I’m sorry we won’t be together for the holidays, but know that my heart and spirit are with you all. 

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4 responses to “Happier Times

    • Happy Thanksgiving to you too my dear friend. BTW, do you have Thanksgiving in Canada? And as Christmas draws closer, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas (it will probably be white, huh?). Take care.

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