December 01, 2008

I've Been This Way Before...

I really detest cold weather.  It, like the cast of The Hills, does nothing for me except put me in the foulest of moods.

On one particular nasty day outside, I was forced to forgo my usual habit and skip my daily walk in the park.  Now I realize that most of you probably think I use walk in the park as some sort of dirty euphemism, but I assure you, I don’t.  The only thing that’s cruising these days is my slightly less but still fat ass up, down, and through the park’s walking trails in my continuing journey of hope that when the end of days is near I won’t be so large I’ll have to be buried in a piano case.  Your version is probably more exciting.

Out of sheer desperation to keep to my routine, I ended up dragging my miserable self over to my parent’s house to use their treadmill, which, between you and me, is not my ideal scenario.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love my parents.  It’s just that one of the things I enjoy most about my walking trips is the time to myself.  For at least one hour out of the day, I don’t need to worry about anyone else but myself.  It puts me in my happy place.  I can use this time to think, or, sometimes, I can just shut everything off and enjoy the silence.  This is easy to do in the woods, not so much at parent’s house, particularly with my Mother present, who, and God love her, has never a met a silence that she didn’t know how to fill.

But I digress.  

So there I am on my parent’s treadmill, which ironically is stationed in their kitchen (don’t ask). There my parents are sitting at the table opposite the treadmill, my Dad lost in the latest car race blaring on the television, Mother talking a mile a minute to who I’m still not sure, and their various animals (one dog, three cats) alternately glaring between us and each other with looks on their little faces that seemed to be saying, “The round one with the funny hair looks pissed off.  Do you think the one staring at the box with the moving pictures is aware of this?  And seriously, who the hell is the female talking to?  Anyone?” 

It was all a bit much for me and I was definitely not in my happy place. 

What’s a poor soul to do?  That, dear readers, leads me to my holiday message to all of you.

Walking on that treadmill, staring out the large window facing it, and tuning out my family in the background with the aid of my trusty iPod and the music of the always dependable Sarah Brightman (you really should run down to your local music store and get her new holiday inspired CD, Winter Symphony, once you’re finished reading this, of course!), I began to realize that life doesn’t always happen in a perfect atmosphere.  There will always be roadblocks and obstacles on your way to your happy place.  And you know what?  That’s okay.  It’s how you persevere that counts.  We all have things that could potentially derail us.  For you it may be an unhealthy relationship or a stressful work environment.  For me it’s an overwhelming family and an unseemly habit of reaching for a fork every time I get stressed out.  But whatever the case or cause, nothing life throws at you, big or small, is insurmountable.  You can accomplish anything  if you set your mind to it.  Just ask the fella who was just elected to clean up the last eight years of governmental affairs. He knows a thing or two about having a strong will in the face of daunting circumstances.

With that, I wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season and something to remember in the New Year ahead: life is what you make it.  No matter how rough and tumbley your path might be at times, make yours the best you can.

Perhaps I should tape that mantra to the control panel of this treadmill.


Essential Download: "I've Been This Way Before"
Sarah Brightman
Available On:
Winter Symphony

Originally published in the
December 2008 issue of The Empty Closet, New York State’s Oldest Continuously-Published LGTB newspaper since 1973, through the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley.