I have a little blue bear on my desk at work. He’s a Ty beanie baby named America and I bought him when he came out after 9/11, which was shortly after I began working here (I’m writing this Friday lunchtime and will schedule it to post Saturday morning). On the left side of his tag it says that 100% of the profits from the purchase of the bear will go to Red Cross Disaster Relief. On the right side it says: “In memory of those who lost their lives in the national catastrophe that took place on September 11, 2001. We mourn for them and express our deepest sympathy to their families. God Bless America.”
A lot has changed in 18 years. My parents have both passed on. I’m divorced. My two daughters both graduated college and have gotten married. One of them has a baby, which magically makes me a grandma. I’ve moved five times. I had a relationship with a married man for two and a half years. If you believe in “bad karma,” then this gave me mine and I’ve been unable to have a happy/successful romance since. I also had a couple minor car accidents, which were horribly upsetting at the time, but in the grand scheme of things, not so bad really.
In these 18 years, I’ve been a flame warrior on Usenet, made enemies and turned them into Facebook “friends,” and since I quit FB most of them have forgotten my existence again. Perhaps that’s a good thing. I’ve been on Friendster and Twitter and Snapchat and G+ and other “social sites” too dark and dirty to mention here. I’ve experimented with different lifestyles to see if they were for me (no), and they’ve greatly enriched my fiction and poetry writing.
I’ve written a lot during these years. So so much. Poetry, novels, short stories. Zillions of blog posts and tweets. Loads of emails and texts. Have had interesting text chats with many men that I thought might “go somewhere,” but they didn’t and here I am alone, which isn’t a bad thing after all. I’m not sure anyone could really put up with me now… and vice versa.
I find that as I trudge toward my seventh decade I’m more or less the same person I was at age 14. I like to read romance novels and write poetry. I love games and puzzles, kittens and puppies, cookies and pizza. I’m not a sophisticated adult type person with advanced tastes in wine and music. Give me rock & roll and mac & cheese, woo! I’m a homebody and enjoy simple comforts. A hot shower is bliss. As I age, I’ve learned that I get more easily stressed out by other people, so I have to limit my interactions with them.
But through all this, I’ve had a good job, where I’ve been treated well. And every work day, little blue bear has been there to greet me, no matter what else is going on. I am grateful/thankful for my job and for my side work too… and for my book sales even though I wish there were more. (I’ll keep writing regardless.) When I began this post, I assumed at some point I’d say something political, but really there’s no need.❤️🧁💙
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