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Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

Hanging on

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Like these leaves, a lot of us are hanging on. Some financially. Some emotionally. Some physically. Some spiritually. The path ahead is cloudy. The way uncertain. Hey, but then the sun comes out and its clear you should head to the beach. Well I can at least think like that now, even though it’s not practical and we are in the season of winter. But its a thought and action that keeps me hanging on.

Hanging on. Photo by Mike Hartley

Hanging on.
Photo by Mike Hartley

It is a tough time of year. Elements to deal with. You get on a scale. You look at your bank account. You hear the word TAXES. Your commute is hell again with everyone headed back to work. Everyone (management) at the job is all fired up with all kinds of new initiatives and goals, task and marching orders to start the New Year. In other words lets cram in a years worth of work into a couple of months. A lot of people emotionally are spent. Holidays are tough times for many. Family issues can’t be ignored. Family loses are magnified and the hurt of missing them and friends who have passed can alone be enough to shake people to their core.

I don’t have any magic words of wisdom, otherwise I would have used them myself. All I know that making it through some holidays is a real gut check for myself and many more. But its contrasted with the joy and energy and outlook of the young. The happiness and love and expressions of laughter have helped me balance my loss. And while nothing can replace that, we allow new memories and events to help lift us back up.

I’ve been fortunate enough that my children have made time for us at the holiday and days in between. It has made for many more happy moments than sad.

Yes there are a couple of holidays mixed in January and February but they aren’t the family gathering type. Football season will end for many and that creates a vacuum. Of course I survive on College basketball so I’m good to go till spring comes around.

As we go into the New Year, everyone gets inspired to work out, lose weight, take on new challenges, improve themselves and their lot in life. Most aren’t sustained, but some are. Every good thing has a starting point. I feel like I’m at a good starting point again in life in regards to how I’m living it, how I view it and how I appreciate it.

For instance last night gave me something to start doing each year from now on. I’m going to take my father and mother in-law out to look at Christmas lights. We did the Symphony of Lights in Columbia for the first time in a few decades being the kids are well-grown now. I like that funds go towards the Hospital and I was glad we could help out. But my wife’s parents had never been through it. We enjoyed it, but that isn’t what we are going to do in the future because that is pretty much unchanged.  But what we enjoyed was a trip through a few neighborhoods even more I feel.

It was a nice chance to talk, relax and say ohh and ahh. It was quality time together. And I can think of nothing better than having quality time with friends and family. That drive and a wonderful dinner at Alexandra’s at Turf Valley that followed made it a wonderful evening. So I’m off again this weekend to find some good neighborhoods for decorations for the trip in 2017 with them. So we can hang on together, again and again.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

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