2015: A Quick Year in Review.

Christmas day photo. Or an allegory. Or some such thing.

Christmas day photo. Or an allegory. Or some such thing.

Think of this as a poorly timed Christmas letter. Of sorts. Or not. Whatever. I really couldn't think of a good opening line. So. Christmas Letter it is. Get off my lawn.

I started thinking about 2015 as a whole last weekend when I realized that I terminated my employment and that of all my staff on January 24th of 2015. For background see: What Do I Wanna Be When I Grow Up… I'll wait for you … continuing… So it's been a weird sort of year.

What I didn't understand was how much time and energy I spent on that business. How when it was gone I had something called "free-time". How I have no idea what to do in that free-time. How I spent 20 years working on something and then it was gone and I had nothing to put in its place. And it confused… no… confuses me. A lot.

I keep thinking about those 20 years and was it worth it? Would I do it again? … And like most everything in my life, I would probably do it again but not necessarily the same way. (Well. To be honest. I'm not sure that I will ever start my own business again. I'm really not.) I think what I accomplished was great. But If I did it again I would hope I could commit to something but not have it devour me. I have this habit of jumping in completely, regardless of all else and losing bits of me in the process. In work as in relationships. I'm nothing if not predictable. The key is knowing my formula. It's a complicated one and it involves the DSM. Moving on…

I like to believe that I learn. That I make mistakes and that I move on. But the reality is I can dwell in my mistakes a little more than I should. Of course, the other side of my brain will tell you "how will you learn if you don't dwell" and this is, of course, also true. (Are you getting what it's like to be stuck in my head?)

I really don't know what else to say on the matter. Other than I'm still working through it all. I'm still processing. And that I may never figure it all out and that would be OK too. It was a large portion of my life. It was 3 relationships all in the first 10 years of the company… and no relationships in the last 10 years of the company… hmmmm… oh gawd… Something else to think about.


It's been a weird time. It's been a confusing time. It was the best of times it was the blurst of times.

What else happened this year? Point form, I think…

  • closed company
  • emptied office.
  • bought my first suit… didn't wear it for a job interview
  • became a full-time freelancer
  • started going out to a bar… and "socializing"
  • walked… a lot
  • important thing I've blocked out of my memory
  • ate bacon… a lot
  • family reunion (mother's side)
  • Mexico… again
  • grand-nephew
  • important thing I've forgotten; using brain cells instead to remember 1980s advertising.

That's about it honestly. Doesn't seem like much when you point-form it. But there you go. …I'll post a slide show of all of this in another post. Probably. If I remember. Someone remind me in a week or so.

Take care


What Do I Wanna Be When I Grow Up?

The path to somewhere. I think. But where to? Also. I resisted a fork in the road picture. I would slap myself if I did that.

The path to somewhere. I think. But where to? Also. I resisted a fork in the road picture. I would slap myself if I did that.

Ah. There's a question.  A question that is, slowly but surely, eating my brain.

As you may or may not know (honestly do I look like I'm a mind reader?) I am currently unemployed. Well. I guess. Technically I'm under-employed but that's a topic for another day. After almost 30 years in the publishing industry and 22 years helping to build a company it all came to an end on January 22nd.

I am no longer receiving a paycheque.

The end wasn't traumatic. It wasn't painless either.  But when you remove all of the externals and the cruft it was simply this: employed one moment and unemployed the next. I had finally reached the end of the first road I traveled down as an adult. Well. And again technically. That road hasn't actually ended but I can't think of a better turn of phrase.

The desk of emptiness.

The desk of emptiness.

I still haven't come to terms with things. Anything. I don't truly know what I'm feeling about the whole matter. Nor do I know where to start dealing with it let alone explaining it. There are so many story threads that weave together that to tell the whole tale is difficult. What I'm saying is this: I'm trying to figure out the last 30 years. 

For someone who has spent their life putting someone else's words on "paper", sorting out my own words is a challenge at the best of times. Not the least of which when I 'm trying to figure out my entire life up to this point in addition to what I wanna be when I grow up. I'm no story teller. At least I don't think I am. (Several friends opinions to the contrary.)

But. Let's be frank. (Hi, Frank. It's me. Frank.). If I don't start putting all of these thoughts into a t-chart, venn diagram, brain map, spreadsheet, or something* my brain may literally burst. And nobody wants that. It would probably be quite messy. Tom brain bits everywhere.

So sort it out I must. But this may take a while. So. If you're in a rush and don't want to wait for me (and given my blog writing track record who could blame you) here's the short version: great stuff happened, then things changed, and now there are a lot of possibilities, and I have no idea what I wanna do except continue doing what I've always done.

… and apologies if this post is more rambling than usual. Brain. Bursty-like …


* If you need a t-chart, venn diagram, brain map, spreadsheet, or something get in touch. I'm very good at creating these things. Especially the somethings. I'm especially good at the somethings!


Therapy (5) Broken TVs

So I've now been going to therapy quazi-regularly for 5 months now. I say quazi becuase he does not have a regular spot for me, and I don't really want a regluar spot… it's that whole "commitment thing" that I seem to have a big problem with, but that is a story for another day.

Conversations with my therapist go like this: I sit down in the chair. We make arrangements for the next appointment. We settle in. He then looks at me funny until I say something. I've never tested him to see how long he would go without saying anything, but I'm reasonably certain that he would go the whole session without ever saying the first word. Once I start, he will ask questions, offer directions, offer observations, but it is my job to start the whole thing off. Say whatever is on my mind.

Sometimes I start by saying "I'm hungry". Sometimes I say "I'm tired". Sometimes I say "you got a haircut." Sometimes I say "I need a new TV".

"Why do you need a new TV?" he asks.

I begin to describe that my current TV is 13 years old. That it no longer shows the colour white, but an off green. That it weights over 200 lbs and that I can't actually move it. That it takes up half the living room. That I can't replace my AppleTV (which no longer shows blue) because the new models only have HDMI and my TV does not have HDMI.

"Why don't you just go out and get a new TV?" he asks.

"Well, I have the money," I reply, "I've been saving up Christmas and birthday money for the last decade, but until my TV actually breaks I don't see the point in replacing it. Waste not. Want not."

"But it doesn't show white. That sounds broken to me." 

His simple statement caught me offguard.

The conversation continues and we discuss all of the things in my life that I keep using because they are not acutally "broken." There is a lot of it.

He then asks me about men. "How many relationships do you get into or stay in because they were similarly "not broken." Time's up before we get very far into this part conversation.


The following week I talk about my looking for a new TV. I talk about not being able to find one that is just right. I babble on about technical specs and, generally-speaking, inconsequential stuff.

He waits for me to stop talking and asks, seemingly randomly, "how did you ask your first boyfriend out?"

"That's easy. i didn't," I reply.

"I don't mean the first man you dated. I mean the first person you asked out on a date. Tell me about the first man that you asked out for a first date."

"That's easy. I haven't. Ever. I have never asked a man out on a first date."

In all my years on this planet, I was never the one to ask a man out on a date. They always did. They always choose me. I never asked anyone out that I wanted to ask out. I always hoped that they would ask me. And if they didn't ask me? Well clearly, they weren't interested in me.

He looks at me, sumarrizing the notes in his head, "so when was the last time that you went for something that you really wanted?"

I pause. I think. I have difficultly remembering ANYTHING that I ever went for that I really wanted. I pause. I think some more. I smile. 


I rarely, if ever, go for that which I truly want.

I don't know the "why?" but the brain begins to focus and the journey continues.