64 year old pipeline to remain in operation
By Ken DeLaat
Despite recommendations from the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board (MPSAB) put forward at the Board’s meeting in December and dealing with the operation of the Line 5 pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac,Governor Rick Snyder responded by letter to their resolutions by declining to take action on any of the three.
Line 5 is the 64 year old pipeline that begins in Superior, Wisconsin, and ends in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. The pipeline transports up to 540,000 barrels a day of light crude oil and natural gas liquids and passes through the waters of the Straits.
The PSAB was created by Governor Snyder through Executive Order in 2015 and tasked with:the following duties:
.Resolution 1: Shut down Line 5 operations in the Straits until all areas of the dual pipelines can be inspected for gaps in the external coating and all the gaps are repaired.
Governor Snyder-“I do not believe an immediate and extended shutdown of the pipeline in the middle of the winter is a proper approach that safeguards the health and welfare of Michigan citizens. An immediate and unexpected shutdown of the pipeline for several months would very likely create a propane supply crisis.”
“It is highly unlikely that Enbridge would agree to voluntarily suspend pipeline operation for months, pending further external coating inspections and repairs.”
Resolution 2: That the State seek to revise the “Sustained Adverse Weather Conditions” portion of the November 27, 2017 Agreement.
“There was no requirement for a shutdown due to any weather conditions prior to the November 27, 2017 Agreement. Given the amount of negotiating time and effort that went into that specific provision, a request to reopen that provision would be extremely unlikely to result in an agreement to move in the direction envisioned by the resolution.”
Resolution 3: Michigan should undertake a more thorough assessment of Michigan-focused alternatives, including alternative pipeline capacity re-routing options and ways to supply propane and oil to meet Michigan’s needs currently met by Line 5.
“The State is considering the possibility of obtaining the services of outside transportation consultants to better define the feasibility and costs of alternatives to meeting Michigan propane and Michigan-produced crude oil transportation needs that would not depend upon Line 5.”
The governor also felt the third resolution lacked clarity and he questioned what was being proposed due to lack of specifics.
He also questioned the results due to an issue regarding the voting rules for passing the three resolutions.
While the role of the MPSAB is advisory it seems the Governor has opted to brush aside the advice being delivered by the group he created.
While every day over half a million gallons of oil run through 64 year old pipes at the floor of the dividing line between two of the Great Lakes and hub of the tourist industry that supports so many of our Northern residents and businesses.
Look, I truly get it about what a pain in the behind it would be to shut it down. I’m certain when the Enbridge folks say on their site they are doing many things to protect the Great Lakes it is a sincere position.
But please don’t try to sell me on how the Kalamazoo River is better than ever since the Enbridge oil spill nor attempt to convince me that such a catastrophe in the Straits can be ‘contained’ because I cannot believe either.
To put it in perspective? I mean in the really, really big picture?
These are the freaking Great Lakes!
The largest bodies of freshwater in the World!
And water, with already incalculable value, is becoming more precious a commodity by the day.
Water has even begun to outsell carbonated drinks.
Think of that fellow baby boomers.
Because in those early days known as the 50’s (when those pipes were constructed) and for another several decades selling water would have been a colossal joke. Those of us who eschewed any attempt at appearing classy would sneer at a bottle of Perrier and wonder why anyone would purchase water.
Seems things have changed a smidge in those 60+ years.
The ecological devastation that would likely ensue from a malfunction would cripple the tourist industry as swiftly and significantly as a hurricane with lingering effects continuing well into any foreseeable future.
I understand the need for the oil. I get the cost entailed in getting it over to its Canada home if the pipelines were to shut down and how it will most certainly be passed on to customers in our state because the company sells a portion of its propane to Michigan customers.
And I know our Guv is a business guy so his stance is predictable if a bit disappointing.
But then don’t tout tourism as being such a priority and you might want to make sure the Pure Michigan folks have a backup name if the inevitable comes to pass.
Because this one is a total game changer and those involved will have nothing else attached to their legacy save the despoiling of this most precious natural resource.
By Ken DeLaat
Years ago when freelancing for our fine local weekly I was introduced to someone who said ‘My wife said I should know who you are because you’re in the paper but to tell you the truth I don’t read your paper.”
In a rather lame attempt to be clever my unfiltered response was ‘Well, I assumed that, but wondered perhaps if anyone ever read it to you?”
Yeah, we never got to be close.
During my time toiling for a human service agency a few of us were yukking it up at lunchtime over one thing or another when the head honcho appeared in the doorway with a rather serious look stating they were there for “Administrative Presence”.
“We’re getting presents?” I blurted with enhanced enthusiasm, a response that brought rolls of laughter to all in the room….
Well, all but one.
At a very critical meeting involving a merger between entities and filled with the subsequent tension associated with such matters the urgency of the speaker seemed to create a collective perturbation among my colleagues. There was that distinct air of anxiety floating about the room thus when she asked if there were any questions my hand rose as if somehow attached to that pesky seemingly automatic reaction mechanism by telekinesis.
“Over there,” she said pointing toward me.”Question?”
“Yes, I was wondering why you see so many shoes along the side of the road?”
My later explanation to my boss at the time referenced that she hadn’t been specific as to the nature or subject manner of the questions she had agreed to entertain but it fell on rather deaf ears.
So you see there’s been a distinct tendency toward pretty much coming across as a smartass regardless of the situation or setting it seems. While there are some immediate rewards to such reactions (albeit exclusively internal ones) they tend to create a bit of distance from others and rarely endear one to authority figures, new acquaintances, a few family members and the other folks one encounters on a more or less daily basis.
Then there’s the whole reputation thing that follows.
Of course these occurred in my younger days (which technically could be last week I suppose but actually references days of more hair on the head , and less around the ears) when possession of any level of impulse control was pretty nebulous.
Nowadays as an older guy I find himself making periodic attempts to be a smidge more mature if not discernibly wiser. Screamingly unsuccessful attempts for the most part but attempts nonetheless. One such effort has been to temper those spontaneous and ultimately untrustworthy reactions.
When confronted with certain sticky situations or what seem to be seriously insipid statements from others or during high angst moments in time my mind races to any number of decidedly inappropriate responses ranging from snarky cynicism to perhaps a pubescent riposte or two.
Don’t get me wrong, these can be fun in certain settings. For instance a noteworthy hunting camp I have attended (where no one brings anything to hunt with, much less actually engages in the sport) is an ideal venue since there exists no trace of social decorum whatsoever. In this venue slanderous disparagement is not merely welcomed but heartily embraced and returned with alarming rapidity.
However, within the confines of the usual interactions of the day such commentary can fall a tad short of being well received.
Thus far the most efficient way found to tether the tongue has been to commit to saying little of consequence, expressing few opinions and becoming more of an audience than a participant.
To say this has been difficult is akin to saying that passing a kidney stone can be a bit dicey. Never one to embrace change, the action of managing and mentoring a truly fallible filter has not come easy.
And these days with any number of situations begging for a shred of sarcasm presenting themselves the barriers can seem insurmountable.
For the most part there have been limited inroads. I can reply to questionable queries without spewing sardonic responses for the most part and while perhaps a bit too agreeable with the views of others I find doing so contains the spontaneous and ill considered thoughts wanting badly to be given voice.
Overall a good deal of progress if not perfection.
Then the other day...
A minor relapse.
I had gotten out of my car in a parking lot with far too many items in hand. One, of course, flew out and not knowing whether it was a vital one or destined for the trash can I stuffed the others back in the car and hunted it down. It was a windy day and it blew about finally coming to rest dead center under a Subaru. I got down and inched under the vehicle to get a grab at it.
Being considerably less swift at this type of action these days I was still under when a voice with a definite tone of accusatory irritation said firmly “Why are you under my car?!”
Caught off guard and jarred from my commitment to think before speaking…..
“I’m not sure, Ma’am, but everyone has to be somewhere, don’t they?”
Yeah, she didn’t laugh either.
Megan Again: Parental Perfection
By Megan Wirts
I am not perfect.
I don’t know any human being that is, since we all have our faults. I don’t care what you post on your Facebook or Instagram page. None of us are perfect. Stop your blaming and shaming of each other. Stop comparing yourself to that shiny, sparkly well put together mom with perfect makeup and stain free clothing. She’s probably struggling just as much, if not more, than you are with your stretched-out yoga pants and sweatshirt with coffee spilled down the front. Stop telling people that your way is the only way and the only truth. Just because it’s good for you, doesn’t mean it’s good for me and my family. Just because you were raised that way and you turned out alright, doesn’t mean everyone does.
Even though I know I am not perfect, I have spent my entire life striving for it. It’s one of my many flaws. I need people to like me and I feel like if my life is perfect people will love me and give me that approval that I have long desired. Some might say that is due to my astrological sign, I’m a Virgo and apparently that’s one of their personality traits. I know plenty of people that aren’t Virgos that I would call perfectionists and I know some Virgos that are definitely not perfect. So, to me that’s really a bunch of bologna.
I attribute my drive for perfection to the way I was raised, my desire to do things well and be the best at them. I know I’m not the best at everything I do, but I want to always do my best. I also know that the more I try to be perfect, the more I will fail. There aren’t any perfect parents, perfect spouses, perfect friends, or perfect children. We can only be the best that we can be in any given moment. So, try to be a little less hard on yourself when you mess up. Humans make mistakes. Forgive yourself, apologize, and move on. Just don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over, then you have a problem.
When I became disabled due to dystonia, I had to let go of my idea of a perfect life and not see my disability as a failure. I was no longer going to be that healthy, energetic wife and mother that I had tried so hard to become. I wasn’t going to be able to drive my kids to their soccer practices, pick them up from school or take them to the mall anymore. I wasn’t going to be able to provide for them some of their wants any longer because we had lost a significant amount of income when I had to stop working. My husband had to pick up a lot of what I could no longer physically do. I have felt guilty and have struggled greatly with accepting that my “perfect life” was over. I worried, and still do worry, that my dystonia and how I have dealt with it, will ruin my children in some way and they will have to spend thousands of dollars of therapy because of me.
My mom guilt is huge! I am learning to forgive myself though and learning to let go of the things that I have no control over. I also realize that because of my disability, I have more time to give to my children. More time to listen to their stories, no matter how long and drawn out they are. More time to snuggle and just be with them. Just because I can’t be the mom I had imagined I would be in my mind, doesn’t mean I can’t still be a good mother. A good mother, doesn’t equal perfect mother though.
If parenthood has taught me anything, it has taught me that perfection is an illusion, unobtainable and trying to control everything is a fool’s game. Guess what? Your parents were not perfect, and neither were theirs, so you definitely aren’t going to be perfect. We can just try to be better. With every generation we learn something new, like seatbelts are good idea and lead paint is bad for your health. That’s how humans evolve and change as the years pass by. We learn from our parents, what to do, or in some cases, what not to do, and take those lessons and apply them to our lives.
When I became a mother, I vowed that would never use my children’s fears to punish them. I don’t want my children to fear me, I want them to respect me and know they also have my respect. Children are humans too and like I have said before, humans are not perfect. How can we expect our children to be perfect if we ourselves are completely flawed? We cannot. I want to be better and because of that desire for being better, I sometimes still strive for that unattainable perfection. Which means, I have to forgive myself when my idea of perfection is not reached.
Sometimes, I yell. I hate that I am a yeller. When I am mid yell, I feel terrible about it and I cringe inside with every word that comes out of my mouth in anger. So, when I feel like I am about to lose my crap, I will take a few deep breaths and sometimes I need to just simply walk away so that I can collect myself. Their father, on the other hand, he is not a yeller. He is gentle and calm. He is the complete opposite of my father. I’m so incredibly thankful for his patience and cool head when my head is steaming hot and my patience flew out the window long ago. He will look at me and say, “Meg, I got this, take a break.” Have I ever mentioned how lucky I am to have him? I am. Anyway, because I can take a break, I can come back to the situation with a calmer demeanor and actually speak to my children like they are humans. I am able to forgive myself for messing up, we will apologize to each other, resolve the issue and move on. It’s a beautiful thing.
I don’t always feed my children perfectly healthy meals. We eat pizza, greasy deep fried french fries, drink drinks filled with high fructose corn syrup and eat all kinds of garbage foods when I am too exhausted to cook a good meal. I have forgotten to put the tooth fairy’s money under their pillows more times than I can count. I get super annoyed and stressed out when my kids ask the same questions over and over or can’t seem to find their hat when it’s literally in front of their face! My laundry is never done. I have accidently given away their favorite pair of shoes because I didn’t realize they weren’t supposed to be in the Goodwill pile. Sometimes everything you have planned for their birthday party falls through and you have to go with plan X, Y or Z. I have yelled and said words that I regret and hope that those words do not become the voice in their heads. I have apologized and let them know that their mom is far from perfect, but she is doing her best.
All a parent can do is love their children unconditionally and try to raise them to be kind and contributing members of society. Don’t compare yourself or your children to others. Throw your idea of perfection out and just be the best you can be with the circumstance you are given.
Be a real parent, not a perfect one.
From the Sheriff’s Office:
During the annual FOP Winter Dinner this past weekend, Sheriff Mendham presented two Deputies with 'Deputy of the Year" honors. This award is presented to for outstanding service and deeds to their office, community and profession.
This year’s recipients are Deputy Christopher Freriks and Deputy David Cook.
Deputy Freriks conducts himself with the highest level of professionalism whether on traffic stop or handling complaints. Deputy Freriks has proven himself as a leader, and someone dedicated to protecting the public. His service and dedication has shown with removing more than 50 drunk drivers off the roadways in 2017. Deputy Freriks is an FTO, Range Officer, and recently assigned to the Traffic Division.
Deputy Cook is assigned to the Corrections Division. No matter whether on duty or off duty, Deputy Cook carries himself with the same demeanor, always treats people with respect and portrays outstanding integrity. Deputy Cook is an assistant team leader of the Corrections Emergency Response Team, Taser instructor and most recently added to the county wide Honor Guard detail.
Both of these individuals represent the Sheriff's Office in a noble fashion and serve the profession with pride and honor.
Congrats to you both!
Fire Chief Lauds Lifesaving Efforts
On Monday November 6, 2017 at 07:20 hours the Newaygo Fire Department was dispatched to an unresponsive male at an address in Brooks Township. Personnel arrived on scene and assessed the patient, who would later go into cardiac arrest. Our personnel worked with Life EMS to provide lifesaving care on scene as well as during transport to the hospital. The patient regained a pulse and was breathing on his own upon arrival at the hospital.
Per the American Heart Association, almost 90% of people who suffer out of hospital cardiac arrest will die. Effective CPR, especially if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. This further proves that effective training and continuing education are vital to the successful service delivery provided by our personnel.
Members present on this call were:
FF Sara Bird, FF Christopher Crittendon, FF Keith Durnell, FF Nigel O’Connor
Due to extraordinary efforts made by all personnel, the victim has made a full recovery.
You are hereby commended for your hard work and dedication to duty resulting in the preservation of another life!
Jason Wolford, Fire Chief Newaygo Fire Protection District
Pickleball? We Have A Club For That
Newaygo County Group 80+ and looking to expand
Christie Pollock saw an article in the Grand Rapids Press about pickleball and took it to Tamarac asking them to incorporate it in their offerings as a way to keep seniors active and competitive in addition to other fitness activities they offered.
That request several years ago has now turned into daily recreational play, leagues, and has recently formed the Newaygo County Pickleball Club, with more than 80 members currently registered .
“Pickleball is played every morning, Monday through Friday and many Saturday mornings at the Fremont Rec Center (the old high school),” said Bob Pinder, NCPC Chairperson. “We have about 80 members and are looking for more people to come and play.”
Tuesday and/or Thursday mornings or Thursday evenings are the best time for beginners, he added, but anyone is welcome on any day. The courts are set up in the gym, which can hold four courts which can accommodate four people per court. After each game, people are reshuffled so every game has different opponents and teammates. Cost is $5 for a daily guest pass, or a Rec Center membership.
The group is currently collaborating with the City of Fremont to build six outdoor courts in a parking lot adjacent to the Rec Center as part of the beautification project and the closing of Darling Street between the Rec Center and the Fremont Area District Library, said Pinder of Fremont. The Club will soon begin fundraising to help offset the cost of the new outdoor pickleball courts.
In the summer, the group also plays pickleball outdoors on tennis courts that have been resurfaced and lined with pickleball court dimensions, in collaboration with the Newaygo County Parks Department, at Henning Park in Newaygo.
“Pickleball is one of those sports that anyone can play no matter what age or skill. It is a good workout but easy on the body,” said John Sinicki, NCPC Vice Chair.
Pickleball is a cross between tennis, table tennis/ping pong, and badminton and played on a court approximately the size of a badminton court (20 ft. x 44 ft.) with a no-volley line 7 feet from the net. It is played with a solid paddle like a ping pong paddle but bigger and with a whiffle ball. It can be played in singles or doubles. If you’re curious to see it in action, there are many videos available on Youtube, just search pickleball.
“It says a lot about what fun pickleball is, from a single court in a parking lot four years ago with a handful of seniors, to more than 80 players now aged from twenty-somethings to eighty-somethings playing on a regular basis and the need for more courts,” said Pollock, NCPC board member from Fremont
For more information or just to play, contact the group at email@example.com, or just stop by any weekday morning from 9:00 am – 11:00 am at the Fremont Rec Center.
Treasury: New Federal Tax Law Does Not Affect 2017 Tax Year
LANSING – With the passage of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the Michigan Department of Treasury reminds taxpayers the 2017 tax year will not be affected when tax season begins later this month.
Taxpayers should file their taxes like they have in previous years when the state Treasury Department begins accepting 2017 state income tax returns on Jan. 29. Any changes to tax laws will be experienced during the 2018 tax year and next year’s state income tax filing season.
“The new federal tax law does not affect the 2017 tax year,” said Deputy State Treasurer Glenn White, head of Treasury’s Tax Administration Group. “Please continue to file your income tax returns as you have in previous years.”
Taxpayers are encouraged to gather tax-related documents and update their home addresses with current and former employers so W-2s and other financial documents can be mailed to the correct address. Incorrect addresses typically lead to information being mailed to the wrong location and could cause delays when filing tax returns.
When tax season opens, taxpayers can e-file their state tax returns instead of mailing a paper return. To learn more, go to www.mifastfile.org.
Later this month, forms and instructions may be viewed and downloaded from www.michigan.gov/taxes. In addition, commonly used forms will continue to be available at Treasury offices, most public libraries, northern Michigan post offices and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services county offices.
All state income tax returns must be e-filed or postmarked by April 17, 2018. For the benefit and convenience of taxpayers, both the beginning and end of the state income tax filing season are the same as the Internal Revenue Service.
To learn more about the state of Michigan’s state income tax, go to www.michigan.gov/incometax. Federal tax information is available at www.irs.gov.
A Few Minutes With NCRC Manager Kelly Smith
Since its closing during the summer of 2016 the Colonial ave bridge has received more attention from the public than normal. While it has always been an interesting landmark for the area, closing it made it an even more interesting topic of discussion.
What most do not know is, we have been working on replacing this structure for 7 years.
Yes, I know what you are thinking here’s another example of “government at its best”.
As manager of the Road Commission, everything that has less than the desired outcome here is going to land on my lap. It comes with job title. And here is where I came up short. I assumed this would be an easy task. After all, here we have a bridge constructed in the early 1900’s that has certainly lived well past it’s intended life cycle and served the area quite well, but it is time for an upgrade. The typical process would be to submit the structure to the local bridge program for funding ( both state and federal dollars) where it is graded on a point system with those that rank highest being funded. Of course the program has a budget so not all the needed structures can be funded.
There has been a lot of questions regarding the length of time that has elapsed since the bridge was closed so I thought a brief synopsis of the events to date might help shed a bit of light
First and foremost, the bridge was not ours. It was constructed in the mid 1920’s by Pere Marquette Railway and maintained by them or the RxR company that owned that stretch of rail until around 2009. At that time the rail was leased to another company and we were informed that they would no longer maintain it as they didn’t own it.
Of course this got our attention after much discussion we came to the conclusion that a plan of replacement must be set in motion. Oh, and before you ask, yes, we considered other options which included a ground level crossing as well as just having the road end on each side. The decision was made to have a bridge constructed, and that leads us back to the “normal” process.
First task, funding. If the RxR does not want to own the bridge they certainly do not want to fund its replacement. So in order for us to get it funded we must own it which sounds easy right? Well it has not been.
Now let me preface this with stating I am in no way wanting to paint the folks at the rail division in a negative way.Like any organization they have their policies and procedures for a reason. However, that being said, it has been an agonizing and painful experience to see a much needed resolution to a glaring issue take so long. After all, we are agreeing to take on a structure that really should be their legacy and we are willing to take that legacy on and work to get it funded in order to follow through with a replacement structure that will serve the area in a much better capacity.
Fast forward a couple years. Now we have acquired the structure and it is time to get it funded. There is a 3 year gap from bridge submittal, to its acceptance for funding, to it being let out for bid for the selection of a contractor. That all has happened except the letting for bid portion and had that happened we were hoping for a 2017 letting and a late 2017 -2018 construction. That gets us to today and back to the “what’s taking so long?” question.
If you remember the RxR denied ownership of the structure. Well, they were also unwilling to grant us ownership at first. Some of you may see where this is leading, after all how can they grant us ownership if they deny owning it? You cannot give away what you do not own and we cannot get it funded unless we own it. It took countless correspondence, phone calls, emails and letters to get that issue resolved to a point where those having oversight on the funding were comfortable enough to allow the funding to move forward.
Ok, so finally we are ready to get this project out for bid, but nope. It appears as though the RxR has no record of us having R-O-W (right of way) for a bridge we supposedly owned, so how can that be? They didn’t own the bridge, and since we didn’t have R-O-W we must not have owned it either? At this point we see no reason to argue the point, we would just like to apply for R-O-W.
So, where are we now? We have submitted an application for R-O-W for the structure and await it being granted and we are cautiously optimistic that is the final piece of the puzzle before going out for bid and I am hopeful that by the end of 2018 we will have a new structure in place.
If not I may have to stage a hunger strike, God knows I could stand to lose a few holiday pounds.
Anyway, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ashland Township for their financial support of the project as it would not be possible without it. As well as the patient customers that are having to drive a little further while we work through this process. We will work to keep you updated on the project’s status as we move forward and as always, Please Be Safe in your travels.
Megan Again: Hope
By Megan Wirts
“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, 'It will be happier.'”—Alfred Lord Tennyson
New Year’s Resolutions. Who really sticks to them? I know I never have. I will say things like, “I resolve to not drink pop anymore” and then the next time someone offers me a Diet Coke, I will happily accept it and guzzle it down. I will say, “I resolve not to let people hurt me like they have in the past. I’m going to let things go!”. Then I will see my cousins post about a party they had, a concert they went to or some other thing on Facebook that I wasn’t invited to and I will be sad…again. It’s not that they don’t want me there, they just don’t think of me as often as I think of them and that hurts. Then my older brother will say horrible things about me at our family Christmas party and it will make me feel awkward, uncomfortable and will cement the fact that he’s not ever going to be nice to me, no matter how old we get. The thing is, just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean people are going to change overnight. It takes time. Lots of time, and sometimes a little talk therapy to get through it all. No shame.
The past few years I haven’t made new year’s resolutions simply because I know I won’t stick to them. What I really want is to just live my life and be happy in it every year. I have had big changes in my life the past few years. I was diagnosed with debilitating neurological disorder called Dystonia in 2015, had to stop working a job that I loved dearly, and I have had to learn how to live with a disability. I had to grieve the life I had and grieve the hopes and dreams that I saw for my future. I had to form a new vision for my life and reinvent myself over and over. I dabbled in stand-up comedy, I write, I make amazing cheesecakes and I am a present wife, mother and friend.
I have had to navigate the medical world and become an advocate for myself in order to receive proper care. I have had to fight with doctor’s offices and insurances companies. Which, by the way will never change unless something happens to the American healthcare system and insurance companies stop denying people the treatments and therapies that we deserve and need.
Meh. I’ll stop there. I could go on, but this isn’t supposed to be about our flawed healthcare system, this is supposed to be about the hope that a new year can bring. Which it does.
I am an eternal optimist and even though I know my brother will probably never be nice to me and my cousins will most likely forget to invite me again and the chances of me being cured of my dystonia are pretty slim, I still have hope. Hope is what gets me up in the morning and out of bed, that and coffee. Hope is what keeps me from curling up in the fetal position and crying day after day. Hope is what fuels my heart, and coffee.
I also know that just hoping for things to change isn’t going to change them. People must do the work. So, I am realistic, and I can’t just live my life hoping all the time. Sometimes, I do have to let the negative things go and accept things for how they are. I also know that I am the one that must make the changes in my life, I can’t wait for others to do it for me. I am responsible for my own happiness. I need to recognize the good and positive things that I do have in my life, and if you have been following along with me the past couple of years, you know I have loads of good in my life.
I have an incredible husband that loves me unconditionally. No matter how sick I get, how whiney I am or how ridiculous my requests are, he loves me. Recently, I started having laryngeal spasms (those are muscle spasms in your throat) and I thought I was dying. It felt like I was drowning on dry land, and I couldn’t breath for a good 60 seconds or more. Everything started to go black and I went to the floor, while my son was next to me crying and my dear husband was calling 911. I knelt on the floor and many thoughts flooded my mind. The first was “THIS IS NOT HOW I AM F’ING DYING!” and because I am a former Respiratory Therapist I knew I needed to breath slowly (ha!), not panic (Bigger HA!), and I needed a smooth muscle relaxer. The only thing I had in my house was Albuterol (To all my medical friends, you know how Albuterol is the cure for everything.), so I crawled to my medicine cabinet and saved my own life.
Anyway, after that happened, I began having panic attacks because I am terrified of it happening again and in order to calm myself I have asked my husband to do some ridiculous things for me. Like lay on top of me for 4 hours or more when all he really wants is to get a good night’s sleep because he is the one with the job and provides for our family. No hanky panky folks, I just made him lay there to hold me down, so I didn’t feel like I was going to fly out of my own anxiety riddled skin. I have asked him to go to the store in the early morning hours or late at night to get me anything that will make my anxiety go away and he happily complies. This man loves me. After 15 years of marriage, two kids, a house fire, and illness, he still loves me. That’s good stuff right there.
I have the best friends a girl could ever need, a warm and comfortable home, food in my pantry and so much love in my heart that sometimes I feel like it might explode.
My life isn’t perfect, but it is happy and full of hope. I am sentimental and nostalgic, and the holidays always bring those things out. A new year is like a bright shining beacon of hope. Hope that things will change for the better and hope for more kindness. Hope for more love, light, happiness, peace and cures for disease. Hope for more people to step up and do the right thing and hope for a better world than we had yesterday.
Happy New Year Friends! May it be filled with more happiness than you know what to do with and keep the hope alive in your heart.
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