“I only wanted to have fun…learning to fly…Learning to run.

Sometimes a particular album or artist will be so incredibly connected to a time or person I can smell the perfume, taste the first brush of lips, hear my name whispered against the nape of my neck. Other music will transport me to places I haven’t been yet, make me dance, or laugh, or sing along even if I don’t speak the language.

Rare artists sing my heart, speak a pain I can’t name, or shout a love I won’t acknowledge with a voice that would transfix me even if all it made was unintelligible sounds.

Adele is one of those artists. She is modern Dusty Springfield, my twenty-first century Joni Mitchell, with any luck she will become a British Ute Lemper. Her “25” seems customized to close my 2015. My favorite song is “Million Years Ago,” hence the title.

2015 was the seismic after shock and tsunami wave from 2014’s lifequake.  Like any natural disaster there have been soul searing smiles of service and fortune, there have been tears and major losses, and things right now may look pretty shattered but I am still standing.

I survived at time only because my roommate or my friends or family held my head above water when my own arms were too tired to swim.

Just as important to 2015 were the times the universe used me to serve others; my nursing and CPR skills got a complete workout this year(once in the middle of a movie, I still can’t watch Melissa McCarthy, but that’s a story in itself) and I spent time in Washington supporting my sister’s family through Ben and Marilyn’s deaths.

There are also so many highlights and moments of pure joy and laughter.  I had an unforgettable road trip with my friend Cathy, which included meeting an award-winning gastronomical artist and snake closed ghost towns.  In Washington I visited with Debbie Macomber and saw the Yarn Shop. I had HighTea at the Camelback Biltmore, the tea was incredible, the food tasty but there are no adequate words for the tea Sommelier’s level of awesome.

I even fell in love again, unwisely as ever it seems, in 2015. Not as intensely or recklessly as with S in 2014, more like a slow slide into a new comfortable life. I got to believe for a bit that with everything and everyone else shifting away,  at least this time I actually had love and safety.

I regret none of 2015. Considering the physical, mental and emotional toll of my illnesses, bad decisions and betrayals of 2014 I am okay with having survived and learned a little bit more about me and what I can and cannot do or be, but especially who I actually am. My song for 2015 was Amanda Palmer’s “In My Mind,”  and I am happier with myself than I was 365 days ago.

But I need to rebuild more lifequake resistent physical, mental and spiritual structures, and that I have not done. I am still a nomad in this world, my financial and physical worlds are just as debris and debt filled as last year this time, and I am in worse shape than ever.

The good news is that my word for 2015 was “Present” and I was present for others, and I still am, in ways I never was before; by making life not about me and being present for you, one word has changed me enough that I can’t wait to see what this year will bring.

My word for 2016 is “Accountable.”  I am holding myself accountable for me, my choices. Now that I have finally learned not to take you personally, I am going to finally learn to take myself seriously.

Namaste and Happy New Year.


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