Yuletide Morning

Our little tree, a living being in a bright red pot I bought at the grocery store for under $20, stands wrapped in bright lights on top of the second-hand bookshelf by the front door.

Upstairs, the dog and my boys are snoring, slumbering into the morning.

Soon, there will be the pitter-patter of dog-paws, as it’s near time for his morning piss and breakfast. As per usual. Like clockwork. He’s as regular as breathing and a heartbeat. His consistency has become something I lean on for my own regularity. I didn’t know I was adopting a life coach and therapist when I scooped up the pup from the shelter, a fortieth birthday gift to myself, over five years ago.

This morning, my thoughts are all over the map. I keep wondering when my life will return to the simplicity of my childhood, except now, and especially after 2022’s revelations and therapy sessions, I’m realizing that childhood was fraught and those moments of simple living are but pages and sections, and not the full story. I wonder what simplicity I am actually chasing?

What would my life be without credit card debt, student loans, that check engine light, the empty spaces in the cupboards? What would my world feel like without the multitude of plates that I’m responsible for? Is that the escape I keep dreaming about? That world where time is measured in coffee cups and cloud patterns?

This will be my 45th Yule. This will be my 45th dip into the darkest part of the year, and my 45th attempt at setting reasonable, measurable, achievable goals for myself and the year to follow. As though I can set intention for the unknown future. As though I have any semblance of control over what the Universe will throw my way over the next twelve months. I suppose, if anything, I’ve learned to be reasonable about what I set for myself.

Perhaps this time, I’ll set my sights a little lower. Instead of massive changes in my current situation, be it with my overall health, or finances, or living arrangements, I’ll keep things on a longer time-scale. I have twenty years until the government has determined I’m not as viable as a worker as I’ve been so far. In the time I have left, I need to take and make concrete steps towards the kind of freedom I want my last years on this planet to be full of. I want a retirement full of trees and paths and magic and calm. To get there, I need to set small goals, incremental in nature, and stick to them daily.

In the meantime, I probably ought to really separate out the things that I can control and alter, and the things that really live outside of my scope of influence. I don’t know who is going to come or go, into or out of, my life. I don’t know what state or shape the community I live in will be in, come this time next year. I don’t know, and I have no control over, who’ll be in charge or what they’ll decree as law or process. I don’t know and cannot control the pressures that will be placed upon my mind and body.

I can control my reactions to these changes, though. If I continue to shrink my lens a bit, narrow my focus down, maybe I’ll feel less overwhelmed by this time next year.

Maybe this time next year, by the light of the tiny tree, I’ll feel like I’m a bit closer to the simple bliss of my post-adulthood life, and a bit closer to that boy I left on that rocky outcropping back in Maine on that warm summer day, staring to the west and dreaming of a better life.

A Shift

I’ve spent a lot of time over on Twitter these past few years.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Twitter became my go-to for information, communication, connection to the outside world, and a source of joy while the world around me seemed to be undergoing a seismic shift. I leaned into my connections, shared so much of my life, and found new ways of perceiving things, while also being entertained and feeling like I was part of something bigger, part of a community that spanned the globe.

These days, with a new CEO and lots of new, up-ending changes over on that site, my engagement with things over there has waned. Because I also do not engage with Facebook or Instagram, suddenly and without warning, I’m finding that social media in general has lost my attention. I don’t want to play a part in the whims of so-called billionaires, nor do I find that I have much that I feel I need to share about my life.

I recognize that I’m here, on this blog, sharing my thoughts to the wider world, and that part of me will always exist in the online world. Hell, I came out on gay dot com and America Online before I came out in the physical realm. I have always enjoyed finding new creators and writers and thoughts out there online, along with the plethora of ways that humans express themselves with their bodies, words, and clothes. I will probably always enjoy those elements of social media and the internet, but I do not, and will not, enjoy watching these spaces be perverted and contorted into the needs and whims of those who run them, as some sort of thought experiment or cry for help or replacement for therapy and medication.

So? In the interim, until the Next Big Thing comes along, there’s this blog, this collection of images and thoughts that are mine, and I’ve resumed my usage of Tumblr. Going back to that platform feels like I’ve dialed back my life about a decade, and while it’s still rather clunky and weird, I rather like the fact it’s clunky and weird, and that I have total control over what I see, who I connect with, and that there’s a light-touch algorithm shoving information into my face day after day.


There’s also this massive urge to just hermit for a while. I know I am dependent on social media for my fitness business, and that’s fine, but it’s also possible to make that separate and apart from my personal life, as well. I haven’t quite sorted out all of the thoughts and details.

Maybe it’s time to finally read the books I’ve been meaning to get to.