Sunday, January 1, 2012


It’s a new year, and instead of starting with resolutions (which I’m always bad about keeping anyway), I’d like to begin with thanksgiving for all of the things I experienced, all of the things I learned, and all of the blessings I received in 2011.

I learned about disability. A bulging disc pressed a nerve and turned my life upside down. I learned dependence upon others. I learned to slow down because I had to slow down. An activity that had been a big part of my life for more than six years – biking – suddenly wasn’t. I learned a little about patience.

I learned about writing. I wrote more than I ever have before. If what I write on this blog is representative of my writing overall, and it is, then I wrote more poetry than I ever have before.

I read more than I have in recent years (possibly because I wasn’t biking). My reading was almost exactly, if unintentionally, in “thirds” – one third fiction, one third poetry and one third non-fiction. That’s a shift from previous years – more poetry. And of the non-fiction I read, a significant chunk was about writing fiction and poetry.

I learned that I like ebook readers (Kindle) and tablets (iPad).

I learned that I still cry at movies. And it’s still embarrassing. (I even cried at “The Muppet Movie.”)

I learned about publishing a book. I’m still rather amazed that it happened. It’s a lot of work. Writers generally don’t like to hear that they have to promote their work, and learn marketing and publicity. Writers want to write. But these days, writers have to promote and publicize, too.

I learned publishing also means trust. I trusted my editor, my publisher, my cover photographer and my cover designer. Trusting them was the smartest thing I did in publishing Dancing Priest.

And publishing means learning how readers respond. You hope people will like what you write, or be inspired or provoked or encouraged or challenged or something. But I’m still surprised. I’ve read blog posts and reviews and emails about my book, and I don’t feel gratified; I feel humbled. I’ve been brought to tears a few times.

I learned how much I don’t know. The older I get, the more I realize how much I don’t know.  I was a lot smarter in my 20s and 30s, or at least I knew a lot more then than I do now.

I learned about family. My oldest discovered he was to become a father again, which meant I discovered I was going to be a grandfather again. My youngest moved from Kansas City to Florida, and I learned, or relearned, that distance involves the pain of separation. I learned that my wife is a rather extraordinary project manager, with the remodeling of our kitchen, laundry and bathrooms and new flooring everywhere. I learned that my grandson loves to dance, and that he creates music in my heart.

I learned that my grandson and I are a lot alike – especially in how we’re learning about the world, learning with a child’s heart. I hope that’s something he and I never lose.

I learned I have much to be thankful for.

Photograph: Candles in Church by Vera Kratochvil via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.


Megan Willome said...

I cried at the new Muppet movie, too.

Monika said...

The metamorphosis of our emotions and our thinking is so spontaneous that sometimes we don't even realize unless we sit for some time and introspect.
Continue with your learning.

Doug Spurling said...

thank you

JofIndia said...

Wishing you a very happy new year, Glynn, and a well behaved back!

Cheryl said...

I cry at movies too! I'm pretty sure I would cry watching that grandson of yours dance a jig.

Prayers this day for a year of health for you!

Fatha Frank said...

Glynn, you inspire and encourage me. If I can only learn half of what you have over the past year, I'll be better for it.

Maureen said...

Happy New Year, Glynn!

A really lovely post. . . so much better than resolutions.

senses of soul said...

just check out the pix.. =) happy new year.. greeting from Malaysia =)

S. Etole said...

What a great list to remember the year.

Louise Gallagher said...

Yes. Crying and laughing and dancing and feeling humbled by life and praise and kindness and humanity.

Yes to feeling grateful.

Thanking you for all you are and give and do and mean to this world

Happy New Year

diana said...

What a lovely reflection. Thank you for it. So sorry for all the pain and interruption - but so grateful for the writing you did. So grateful.

nance marie said...

I totally cried at war horse,
and i forgot to take tissues...

caryjo said...

We all have so much to be grateful for... and SO MUCH TO LEARN, even we ain't young any more. A bit of a challenge. You, however, had quite a challenging year, both wonderful and fairly serious. But YOU were a blessing. That's a good part for all of us.