It’s been a while…

It’s November already.

October was a busy month, at least it seemed busy, but it really wasn’t. I did two live story telling shows and had to travel to Nashville for five days for work. When there’s a business trip looming, the month always seems hectic.

I didn’t do any stand up or mics all month long. I’m not sure why. I kept telling myself it was because I had nothing new to contribute. That was true, but it was more than that. At one point, I’m sure I even considered quitting. The more distance you put between yourself and something, the easier it becomes to ignore.

So it was probably best that I did step back and take a break from it. I do want to keep going and I’ve been working on some new material during the break. The rest of the year will go by so fast so it’s a good time of year to reevaluate and refresh.

We lost Riley two weeks ago. The cancer had finally reached a point where we knew it was becoming unbearable. Unfortunately, we had to say good-bye the day before I had to leave for Nashville. I still don’t feel like I’ve had time to grieve.

Mario has been a blessing. He definitely had a place and a purpose in our lives. It’s strange only having one dog in the house now but he’s getting lots of love and attention, and so are we.

Then I got sick after returning from Nashville, battling pneumonia and a heavy cough that will not break. I haven’t had a good solid night’s rest in over a week.

I looked out the kitchen window last night just after darkness fell. Our backyard was blanketed in black but I could make out the well known and comfortable silhouettes of the fence and the neighbors’ tree.

I looked past our property line and into the yard of a neighbor behind us who we do not know. There’s a cloudy window facing their back yard and in that window twinkled bright starry lights of red, green, and blue; a strand of holiday lights perhaps or the presence of a Christmas tree already.

Seeing those lights in the distance served as both a comforting and uncomfortable reminder that Christmas is coming. Whether you like it or not, it’ll be front and center next weekend when we grocery shop for Thanksgiving.

Dad loved Christmas and this will be my second one without him.

There will be presents to buy and wrap. Miles to drive. Meals to eat. Gifts to open. Smiles to fake. I wish it was somehow different.

But it’s fortunate that it comes and goes so quickly and there’s a new calendar waiting to take the old one’s place on the wall. We flip to the new year and start over again.

Time to reevaluate and refresh.

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