}

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The annual increasing number: 58

As always, this birthday is a sort of personal new year, a chance to reflect on my personal year just past, and look toward my personal year now beginning. There are things coming I can’t comment on, but so much past that I MUST talk about. This has been an unusual year.

This past year I had my cardiac stent done, and that saved my life. I don’t believe in mushing about with mealy-mouthed words when simple ones can better convey the truth: If I hadn’t had that procedure, sooner or later—possibly sooner rather than later—I would have died. The fact the doctors caught and treated my illness is a testament to the power of medicine and of socialised healthcare, both of which are the reason I’m still here to talk about this.

My healthcare adventure casts a long shadow over my year. It isn’t just the thought of what might have happened, but also what is now possible because doctors did what needed to be done—and I had NO bill for that healthcare.

The fact I’m alive, in better health, and likely to continue both is central to everything right now: I’m able to do more, and to plan for more, because of what I’ve been through. At the same time, I’m FAR less willing to put up with bullshit than I used to be—probably because I’m acutely aware of how fragile and short life is.

All of which has led me to leave politics behind. My politics are as passionate as ever, but I no longer see any point in giving my energy to efforts that don’t advance ME: Having a close call has reminded me that this is no dress rehearsal, and if something is painful or too negative in any way, I must cast it aside. And so I have.

So, last year was difficult, but it led me to a much better place, and a much better place leading to the future. How can that be bad?

As always, my Nigel, family and friends are what gives me strength, what keeps me moving ever forward. Without them, I would be lost.

What I said last year is even more true this year: “Even now, as the years pile up, and even after a few too many recent reminders of how short life really is, I’m excited about the road ahead. Always forward. Always.”

The Illinois Route 58 sign is a public domain graphic available from Wikimedia Commons. I’ve driven on that road MANY times.

My Previous Birthday posts:

2016: The annual increasing number: 57
2015: The annual increasing number: 56
2014: The annual increasing number: 55
2013: The annual increasing number: 54
2012: The annual increasing number
2011: The annual increasing number
2010: The annual increasing number
2009: Happy Birthday to Me…
2008: Another Birthday

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