Originally posted on Facebook HERE
I was up before the sun today. 4am wake ups seem to be the norm lately, I have a lot on my mind. Yeah, I know – don’t I always? Probably. Among the things swirling around in there today is the fact I’ll be heading back to Florida soon to write my next book, which I believe will be called “Everybody Dies – A Manual for Life”. So in order to prepare for the extended leave we have to do two months worth of work in one month, which means working every night, full days on Saturdays, no rest in March. In addition to the heavier workload, I’m also trying to promote the two books I just released, get a recording out for my old band the Twistin’ Egyptians, remodel my music room, get ready to play a couple shows on drums, and get a bass guitar solo show up and running again. And – start looking at how the new book will be put together, what and how the topics will be, prepare an outline. I know it will be a book based on the fact that we all know we’re going to die, and that knowing this fact – how shall we live? What’s really important? What are our priorities knowing tomorrow is guaranteed to no-one? Money? Fame? Family? God?… Everyone will have a different answer. I don’t have a clear concept of this myself, so as is often the case with my writing, it’ll be a three week class in trying to figure it out together. In the meantime, a family member passed yesterday. Not someone I was very close with, but it will have an affect on people close to me. He died young. He struggled with alcohol abuse. I thought about reaching out to him a couple times to see if I could help him quit, but never did. He quit a couple times on his own, but as far as I know sobriety never stayed with him. I basically watched alcohol kill him slowly over the years. I have no idea what he died from, but my guess is it was alcohol related. Last time I saw him he was in terrible shape, mentally and physically. And that could easily be me. Had I continued using, this is the power drugs and alcohol can have over you. At first, you suck from the bottle, then at some point it starts sucking from you. It takes everything, and then you die. While I was using, in the back of my head, I expected to die young. How is it that I’m here, over 30 years sober, and so many others never get clean? This unexpected news has reminded me what a gift it is to just wake up sober every day. It’s also a reminder how many people I hurt while I was using. And with all this swirling around in my head, as I go upstairs and check my computer one last time before bed, I see an article from Inc magazine called “20 brutal truths about life no one wants to admit” that almost gives me my book outline, as many of the “brutal truths” are topics I’ll be writing about – like #1 – You’re going to die and you have no idea when. #2 – Everyone you love is going to die, and you don’t know when”. #20 – Time is your most valuable asset – you need to prioritize how you spend it. While I was journaling this morning, I kept coming back to the question, “What is really important?”… go ahead, try answering that. It’s not as easy as you’d think. Maybe the most important thing is to discover love in every moment. None of us will get out alive. This is a fact we hate to face. We don’t know how much time we have. As we watch loved ones, pets, and family members pass – it’s a wake up call to how fleeting it all is. If we spread love and joy to those around us, and help others in whatever way we can, if we create beauty in some way through music or artwork, if we live from the place within us that knows only love, what more can we ask?