Thursday, December 24, 2009


Take off your shoes, Take off yourself
Take off your rented mental health
Take off your raincoat, settle down
Take off your nightmare and your frown
There is a place for you to go
To see another ringer in a rock show
Take my pretense for a time
Cause I want to say to you...

I will pull no punches. This Christmas is going to hurt.
To cite the obvious, things are tough all over. There's not one person I know who isn't feeling at least the slightest pinch in the wallet and their livelihoods, thanks to the economic malaise gripping the country. Many of those same people -- I won't mention names, other than to say I'm one of them -- also feel their lives have gone askew, the paths to their goals no longer as straight as they once were. Or even going in the same direction.
The holiday -- Holy Day -- season isn't the time to focus on what you don't have, of course. Or, so the optimists of the world tell us. No, this is the time to be glad for what you do have. Family. Health. A roof over your head, and bread on your table.
Sometimes, that is very hard to do.

If you're not here to hear me scream
Am I silent like a dream?
Where all the dragons are my friends
Each night we meet our bitter ends
Do I need you to make me real?
Like Wheeler spinning his own wheel
Quantum strings within my brain
Popping sanities insane
And I'm nobody... without you.

This Christmas, I am blessed with a wonderful family. Blessed doesn't begin to cover it. My parents are two of my very best friends. When I was younger, I gravitated towards my Mom; when I got older, I started to understand everything I had in common with my Dad. There are very few decisions I've made, where I haven't been able to immediately see whose outlook on life influenced me more. The three of us have seen a lot, have been through hell and back and back into hell again.
For all our failings, the strengths that have been forged in those fires are what I try to focus on every day.

Not everybody has a brain
Not everybody's going sane
Not everybody wishes well
Not everybody's heaven's hell
Sometimes there's someone to blame
A place for shame
Sometimes good's better than bad
Sometimes good's better than bad
Sometimes good's better than bad
Sometimes you're better than me

I am also blessed to have some wonderful friends -- a precious few lifelong friends who are like family, as well many as wonderful people I've gotten to know through the years... at various jobs, among the aviation community, and in my current occupation. I am incredibly lucky for all these people, the love I have been shown and have given, and the experiences we've shared.

Heaven fell on herself tonight
As the devil met me in the wishing well
And in that moment I found myself knowing
That in the end it's just about you and me
Nothing smaller or larger
Though dragons are good for the soul
Nothing can be better than baring yourself for another
Open for ridicule, scrutiny, and indulgence
Therein lies the balls, and the mind, and the heart
As fear is truly the Mindkiller
When nothing is left, everything is gained
You see... I wish I was a poet
But I know as we go round and round
Though endings are never ever happy
It's the happy moments along the way
That make it OK...

When you put it like that... the occasional bumps in the road (and even deep chasms) are worth it. Merry Christmas, everybody... and may 2010 be a damn sight better for us all, while keeping the good of 2009 in our hearts.

Lyrics from "Nobody," by John Ondrasik. You may watch the video here.