Wednesday, January 28, 2009

During the time I was away…

I have been neglectful of a great many things. Excuses notwithstanding, these are important things and I am feeling ashamed that I did not honor them in the way I should have. To those concerned, I offer my humblest apologies. I hope you will accept this belated, but no less heartfelt, recognition and the fullest measure of blessing that rightfully accompanies the moment.

1. Chili’s birthday: You are a source of strength and inspiration to an ever-growing circle of people. I admire your activism and the forthright way in which you approach the world and your relationships. I am so very grateful that you made the choice to be part of my life, and it is my hope that I honor well all of the facets of our unique and special connection. May you be blessed, as I am with you, by all those who enter your world.

2. Kizz’ birthday: Kizz had a challenging year last year (anyone who has 108 things on her list of New Year’s resolutions, by definition, has a challenging year ahead of them). I am coming to know her as a remarkable person who, whatever the trials, will find ways to keep moving forward. In the spirit of the coming year’s energy, I wish for her that all her efforts will be rewarded, and that her circle of friends (myself included, for my part), will be there for her whenever and however she needs them.

3. JRH’s marathon run: To run a marathon is an awesome achievement. In such challenges, one is forced to look into oneself and come to grips with the fact that, although we are imperfect, we are capable of amazing things if we would but have the strength, bravery and determination to choose to do them. It is a test of body, mind and spirit to prepare for an endurance race, and to undergo that ordeal for the benefit of someone else makes that endeavor all the more worthy of honor. It demonstrates a kind of compassion and service that all of us should take note of, so that we may recognize its value and emulate it. I don’t know how the run itself went, Julie (I hope you kicked its ass!). However you crossed the finish, I’m certain that it was a great and generous act to even have shown up at the starting line.

4. Bessie’s new job: I’ve written about this before, but I want to make mention of Bessie again because she is modeling exactly the kind of purpose-driven life I wish for everyone. A couple of years ago, Bessie decided that it was time to realize her dream of “right livelihood”. She sucked it up, took on the debt (monetary, karmic and other) so she could go to school to get licensed as a hairdresser, she stayed the course through some very trying and difficult times and got the piece of paper and the training she needed to pursue her dream. She put herself out there, nervous about her skills, but not willing to settle for a job that would not make her happy in the long haul. She worked long hours, put up with less for her and her daughter, sweated bills for a long time, but is now about to finally start a new and exciting job--as a hairdresser. She’s not home free just yet; she’s still got a second job and her client base will take a good while to build up, but she understands that these things are just another part of the path to walk, and they will not last forever. I’m very proud of her, and I’m honored that she is part of our chosen family.

5. The National Day of Service: As it happened, I was really sick on that day so I would have found it difficult to get out and do something, but the truth is that I didn’t have any plans to participate in this event. I didn’t learn about it until the last minute, but I wouldn’t accept that as an excuse from anyone else, so I won’t offer it as one now. Service is number one on the list of Shen Kung principles, and one I very much value, and I feel like I failed to take advantage of an important opportunity here. The President asked people to make “an ongoing commitment to our communities”, and I am determined to do just that. I don’t have a specific thing in place yet, but I’ll include it as part of this year’s goals. Does anyone have any ideas?

6. The Adventuring Campaign: The players are at death’s door, and the story is reaching epic, cliffhanger-like tension. Will they live or die? What about the friends they’ve been searching so long for? Will evil overcome them? They’re being incredibly patient with me as I work out the details of this very complex, complicated part of the adventure so it can be written well, and with a minimum of tedious involvement on their part. I have made some progress on this, but it has been slow and I’ve not been able to devote as much time to this as I’d hoped during the last couple of weeks. I must continue to beg your patience, Heroes. I’ll post things as soon as I have them. I hope the wait will be worth it.

7. The Community School: I took time away from this work to prepare for my speaking gig in Charlotte back in November, but I’ve not picked up the yoke again and it needs to be done. We’re so close to being able to move to the next stage of development, but it cannot happen until I finish the couple of projects I’ve started. I simply need to commit the time, energy and attention to this work. It’s on me, and there’s no avoiding that fact.

8. (this last one is mine alone) Training and Diet: I have not completely abandoned my endurance training, but it has proven to be a real challenge to do anything but hold my own, and I’m slowly losing the fight to keep my weight where it was at the end of the summer. The winter is about halfway over, and I am goddamned determined to regain some ground by the time the season’s change. I do NOT want to be giggling when I run my triathlons this year. Kizz posted a picture on her blog [HERE], and I am using it as a sort of mantra to remind me of where I want to be. No, of course I won’t look like that really! I have a lot more hair.


Kizz said...

But is your tan line so pronounced? (Psst, the links are wonky, you have both your blog url and the url you want to link to in there so it doesn't point to anything.)

Thanks for the shout out. Twas a good birthday and I don't know that I'm done celebrating it yet.

JRH said...

Hey, thanks! I DID kick its ass. And it only kicked half of mine. Well, my thighs really. And my big toe. But I digress.

I agree wholeheartedly re: the birthday girls.

Good luck with your tri training. Anyone who'll run AFTER biking and swimming has my awe (or relief that there's someone out there nuttier than me)!

Mrs. Chili said...

Thank you for the birthday love. I aspire to be (to continue to be?) the person you think I am.