It's that time of the year again.
It's that time of my life again.
Another candle on the cake. (No jokes about if I need a fire extinguisher. Inquire when I reach 100.)
And while the status quo is still status quo, there are some things that have changed.
Some not so good. The slight bulge in my disc between the 4th. and 5th. lumbar vertebrae, causing the back problems that will be with me for the rest of my life. Between that and my tendonitis in my right elbow, my limited ability to do manual labor, and to do it for any length of time. The anxiety that is causing regarding my working career, as I still seek a full-time position that will utilize my talents without stressing those joints. The worry about the meager income I do earn, knowing it's not close to meeting my financial needs. (And, no, I am not asking for monetary help. I had that already. And to this day, it is still appreciated.)
In a word, I am a little more than a little scared.
But then, there are some things that not changed.
Those are good. I am still fighting to earn my place in the working world with the right job. I still have belief in my abilities. I still have hope my patience and perseverance will be rewarded. I still have plans and dreams and goals and schemes. Although it is being tried and tested, I still have faith I will come through this.
In a word, I am not letting this beat me.
"With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." It is. I am grateful to still be among the living, enjoying the gift of life which God has bestowed. While there are times my negative emotions betray the stoic in me, I still hold true to the phrase of St. Irenaeus. And while I may cloud that glory with pessimism and fear, it may be the end of the poem "Footprints" is right now more a reality than even I realize.
Over the past few months I have developed a new catch phrase. While the first part of it is always of grateful praise, the second half could be left open to interpretation, based on apprehension or anticipation. I use it to mark the end of a significant part of my life, no matter how small.
Today, I use it to mean I am ready (willing and able are different matters) to "Go Forward".
"Thank you, God. What's next?"
Let's see "what's next" in the next twelve months.