Right before Labor Day weekend I was finally offered a job. I accepted the offer on the Tuesday after the holiday. After twenty-three years of living in Greenville, SC, I moved to Florence, SC mid-September. I’d lived in Greenville my entire adult working life, longer than I’d ever lived anywhere, and I felt like we grew into adulthood together. I enjoyed watching Greenville develop into what it has become, a city that routinely lands near the top of those lists published about the best places to live in the country. It is a beautiful place. But, it is no longer home. I’ve gone from that “best place to live” to a place nobody has heard of outside of South Carolina. And in South Carolina, it’s known as the town you stop in for gas on the way to the beach. Oh, and the Lady in Black (Darlington Raceway) is right down the road. Yet, I love it here, and it’s been a good reminder that change is all about what you make of it. We have a new beginning here, and if you know me you’ve probably heard me quote Bob a time or two. “That he not busy being born is busy dying.”
I’ve obviously missed my deadline to have Persy’s Song out by end of September. I give myself a mulligan. I am 48 years old. Moving a family of three was never easy. Today, it is borderline insanity. Fortunately, with my age has come some wisdom, and I know my limitations. And I don’t feel the need to prove myself any longer. I am also getting (a little, not a lot) better at learning from my mistakes. So, there will be no new Persy’s Song deadline. It will be released when it is ready. (And let me tell you I wrote a doozy of a scene this morning!). I’ve settled into a writing pace very similar to what I managed with Everything is Broken, and it’s fun watching this story hurl itself towards the climax. A very minor character from Broken is coming into her own in this one. I’m very excited to share this story.
The new beginning doesn’t end there. Since I accepted the offer on that Tuesday, I have lost twenty-two pounds, and currently weigh less than I did when I graduated college back in 1995. I’ve begun running again, and have found a nice green-way here in Florence for my Sunday long runs. Two Sundays ago I met a beautiful doe on my run, who let me get within about 10 yards of her before she hopped back off into the marshland that the trail weaves through. I’ve learned a little on this endeavor as well, and I’m not pushing myself. No trying to prove anything. I’m slow as hell, and I’ve embraced it, because I’m also remembering how cathartic these runs (especially the Sunday long ones) are. That first Sunday was a little like hell on earth, partly I think because I still struggled to find my natural pace and not push myself (have I mentioned sometimes I’m a slow learner?). But now I’ve gotten to that beautiful meditative state, I finished my 4-1/2 mile last Sunday with no huffing and puffing. No wildlife encounters, but still a peaceful mind… as I’ve come expect on my outdoor traverses. It was also 33F on this morning, and I learned something (woot) from the previous Sunday, and donned a second pair of underwear!
I’ll run a Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving morning. It will be my first race since the Kiawah Island Half-Marathon in December 2012. My goal will be same, as I had with that one…finish standing up.
Life is beautiful. It is a gift. Whether you believe it comes from a creator, or your mother and father, or both, it truly is. It is also a struggle, and what I’m learning (again) is that the struggle is part of the gift.*
*As with all of my posts, this is me speaking to myself. The “you” is Tony. I say this because if you are a reader in the throes of a struggle right now, I am not making light of that struggle. And I’m here, even if all you need is for someone to ask if you are okay.