Surprising Myself

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” — Neil Gaiman

I friend sent me this quote last year, and asked me to pinky promise that I would fulfill these hopes.

Did I surprise myself? Oh, yes! I don’t particularly like owning things — they weigh heavy on my soul — and I especially never wanted to own a house (so many possible problems and such a responsibility), but after the death of my homeless brother a couple of summers ago, the idea got planted in my head, and I let it blossom. In a way, the dream of owning a house and the good madness of buying it unseen was his final gift to me.

The whole experience has been magic — meeting new people, finding myself at home, not just in my own house, but in a community.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit how many books I read last year (more than 300), and I’m sure at least some of those were fine books. I enjoyed most of them, anyway, but even more than that, I’ve loved having a library within walking distance.

Last year, I met people who think I am wonderful, and I also wrote (blogs and murder mystery games) and I for sure lived as only I can live.

I can honestly say, I lived up to my promise.

Again this year, she sent the quote and asked me to pinky promise, and I did. It’s an easy enough promise since I always live as only I can live, though magic and dreams and good madness seem to be things that can’t be forced, but come only when one is open to possibilities. And I am open.

Now let’s see if I can surprise myself once more and indulge in a bit of good madness.

Please feel free to join me in this quest!

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Good Madness and Magic and Dreams and Surprising Myself

Good madness and magic and dreams and surprising myself are all pinkie promises I made to a friend on New Year’s Day. My newest adventure (buying a house — a very small, very old house in a very small, very old town to be sure, but still a house) fulfills all those promises.

Did I surprise myself? Oh, yes! I don’t particularly like owning things — they weigh heavy on my soul — and I especially never wanted to own a house (so many possible problems and such a responsibility), but after the death of my homeless brother this past summer, the idea got planted in my head, and I let it blossom. In a way, it’s his final gift to me.

This latest adventure, while potentially life-transforming, has been relatively sedate so far. Mostly, I’ve just been e-signing documents, figuring out the logistics of a move, and packing.

It should be interesting, after all these years of feeling lost, of not knowing where to go — of not knowing how to even figure out where to go — to see what happens now that I’ve made my decision. What will I do with the empty space in my head? The space all that thinking —and rethinking and re-rethinking — has taken up.

So many possibilities!

Some people think it’s weird that I am buying a house I have never seen, but I have seen photos and had two different inspections, so I’m not exactly walking into the situation blindfolded. I don’t know how I will feel when I walk into the door and see the house in person for the first time, but I expect to be excited, to feel trepidation, maybe even to . . . fall in love with the place.

I’ll have to wait until I get there to post photos. I don’t want to post the link to the house because I don’t like the idea of the whole world knowing exactly where I will be living, but soon we will all see it!

Closing is in six days. I won’t be there for the closing, but I will be there a few days afterward.

And then my grand adventure of good madness and magic and dreams and surprising myself will really begin.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.