A Brief List Of Things I Want/Need To Do For 2018
Well, another year has passed and you're shorter of breath and one day closer to death . Who sings that? Pink Floyd, I believe...
Angus, my friend, you haven’t been nearly as productive as you were in past years, and there’s really no excuse. You didn’t publish one single story last year, or even submit one. That’s sad. And you’re not writing nearly as much as you should be, either. No ideas? No time? Well, even though both of those might qualify as somewhat of an excuse, you can’t use them for that.
Face it, dude. You’re getting kind of lazy in your ‘old’ age.
BUT…this is a new year!
And it’s also a pretty big year, because you’re going to be taking a couple of really big steps in your life.
First of all, in a couple of weeks you’re going to go to Mexicali with your sister to have what teeth you have left ripped out of your head. Owch! But it’s got to be done. You get these dentures and maybe you’ll be able to smile again!
Second—and this is the big one—this May or June you’re going to pack a few important things and leave practically everything else you have here in Texas to move back to California or Oregon! You’ll be starting all over again, from scratch!
The weird part about it is that it’s going to be a lot scarier moving back to familiar surroundings and friends where you grew up than it was to move back here 7 years ago to a place where you didn’t have anything or know anybody! But that was a good thing, because you were getting in a lot of trouble in California, and your friends were NOT doing you any favors by being your friend.
Which brings me to this: when I go back this time I have to stay away from them as much as possible! Face it, Angus, no matter how much you love them and how much fun they are to be around, they’re still bad influences on you! You’re 52 years old now, probably be 53 by the time you get back there, and those days of partying all night long have to stop! I hate to quote Nancy Reagan, but the time has come to ‘Just say NO!’
But the main reason you need/want to move back is to be with your daughters and Grandannachildren! Don’t lose sight of that! Your oldest Grandannason is 14 already (you’ve missed the last 7 years watching him and your other two Grandannasons grow up!), and your 1st Grandannadaughter will be 9 months old in June! Please don’t waste any more time 1,500 miles away from them! You don’t know how much time you have left in this world, and you need to share a lot of it with them! Hell, they hardly even know you, and that really hurts!
OK, here’s something else you need to do (or not do) in 2018. It was a little more than a year ago when you were promoted to Moderator on Writing.Com. That blew your mind, and you took the responsibility very seriously. You’ve been one of the top reviewers on here for months, and you know it’s really appreciated. But with everything that’s going to be happening with this move and this big change of life, you’re going to have to slow things down a little. This spending 8 hours a day in a library has got to stop! You need to get a job and start making real money, instead of living on this trust fund and blowing away the inheritance you promised to give your daughters when you die!
In short, Angus, it’s time to grow up, so start acting like it!
I will say this: you’re not drinking anywhere near as much as you used to, and you have managed to stop smoking! You’re only drinking 2 or 3 times a month, and you haven’t smoked a cigarette since December 24th, 2017 (you did have a minor relapse where you smoked a couple of butts since then, but we’ll pretend that didn’t happen—8 or 9 puffs can hardly be considered a ‘cigarette’, and it only happened that one time!).
So here’s the game plan for 2018 in a nutshell, Angus. You don’t normally follow these ‘Dear Me’ letters, but you really need to this year. I’ll be checking this in a few months to see how you’re doing, so please, Angus, do this not just for yourself, but for your family as well!
Get situated back in California or Oregon. Find a house, or (God forbid!) an apartment, and get some stability in your life as soon as possible
Get a job
Start submitting stories for publication again
Work on Penny & Nickel on a semi-daily basis (this is your novel, dude, one of your dreams, and whether it gets published or not, at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you completed it!)
Keep taking care of your health, because if you die then you’ll be more worthless to your family than you are now
Climb out of this hole that you’ve put yourself into. You need to stop living this life of a hermit and try to make friends again, whether you want to or not!
Get outside more! Start hiking and enjoying Nature the way you used to! Like you said, you’re no spring chicken anymore, and there’s a lot more to this life than sitting in a library and staring at a computer screen all day long!
Spend as much time with CJ, Lisa, Cooper, Jaiden, Dakota James, and Zoe Madrone as you possibly can! You’re the patriarch of this bloodline now, so quit being so selfish and share yourself with them!
And last but not least…
START ENJOYING LIFE AND ALL THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS IT HAS TO OFFER!
James L. Jones
January 30th, 2018