Saturday, September 9, 2017

I'm writing a book- or- I'm trying to stay sane, but failing miserably

“It is often in the still of the night when your thoughts are the most profound. Eagerly write them down and change the world.”

I’m writing a book. But first a story:

I was a truck driver.  My most recent job was delivering milk for a large New England dairy. On a fateful day in 2011, September 12, to be exact, my life changed forever.
The day seemed normal, a Monday. Small load, but picking up lots of empty milk crates from the weekend sales. At my LAST STOP, I was hiking myself up into the trailer to secure the load, when my right foot slipped on all the “goo” - scrap milk/cream/what have you that gathers on the floor of the trailer during a work day. I heard my knee pop and it HURT! By the time I got home, my knee was purplish-black. 

I’ll truncate the story a bit. My bosses wouldn’t let me see a doctor for two weeks. Finally, due to the pain, medical attention from my own doctor was sought out, and after many, MANY tests, she determined that I tore the meniscus in my right knee fairly badly. I fought with my employer and the insurance company over coverage, even though the proper forms were filled out at the time of the “Incident.” Orthoscopic surgery was finally performed in February of 2012. While I was out for the required recovery, all the while working towards making a full recovery, my employer fired me, using the excuse I couldn’t perform my job function anymore. 

I retained a lawyer, and after many hearings the court ordered my employer to pay me. By this time due to the lack of physical therapy, I needed a SECOND operation which was finally ordered for August of 2014! During that operation, my surgeon determined that the meniscus tear was beyond repair, that I needed a knee replacement, most likely due to the insurer’s procrastination. A full knee replacement was “installed” in March 2016, a full four and a half years after the accident. 

By this time, my CDL, Commercial Driver’s License, had expired, and due to a change in injury language from the Independent Medical examiner, I had to downgrade to a car license. I thus had to give up the only profession I trained for and executed for 30 years. 

I finally settled with my ex-employer, but it was a fraction of the money I had lost while waiting, and a smidgen of what my potential earnings would have been the rest of my working career.
Wait! This isn’t about an injury! It’s about a book! Accustomed to working seven days a week at the time of my injury, short drives and walks in nature to were what kept boredom from setting in. While walking around and being quieted enough to listen, the voices of nature talked to me, short profound verses popped into my head at random times. Such as: 

Ignorance speaks factually with little regard for actual facts.”

The grass is still as green in the night as it is in the daylight.”

Touch 7 trees today. Hold on tight. Let them tell you their secrets.”

 Some are silly:

Somewhere near your home there is a tree with a pink window. When you find it, give a dollar to the small man who lives there. He will reward your diligence and generosity.”

“Put sunshine in your pockets. Save it until it rains. Let the sunshine out to make a rainbow.”

“The world cannot get by without you. Your voice is the only one like it in the world. Besides, who would wear your clothes?”

Some just beg you to think:

“Ask the night why it is dark. Ask the day why it's light. Listen closely while they tell you.”

Hate dies a slow death, but once we stab it in the chest, we must endure what emerges from the wound. “

“While driving, set your trip odometer to zero and drive 6.7 miles. See where you are. Look for something orange.”

Some just ask that you be a good neighbor:

“Smile into a mason jar and use the light to write a letter to change someone's life”

Wave to every gray car you see like they are your friend. In that small shared moment, you are their friend.”

Smile and say thank you to the next person you see.”

I still haven’t a clue where these come from, but I wrote them all down. I’ve complied enough for a book, titled: “Bring Your Own Bagel, or Profoundities and Other Snippets of Mindfulness. Life for me now is to appreciate the smaller and more mundane things I used to take for granted, the power of a tree, or the silliness of clouds. Hopefully the book would inspire thoughts of those types. A book that has really inspired me on the creative process is Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic.” Read it if you have the time.

 My vision would be a book of these, along with a monthly calendar. Are people still into those? Along with a daily app sent to your phone with a saying and a meaningful picture.

Since I’m looking for a whole new career at this age, I’ll be 60 in a few months, I figure this might be the way to bide some time.

 So I will leave you with the two that have the most meaning to me:

 “The universe has been around a long time and it may be getting tired. Always meet it halfway and it will greatly reward you for understanding.”

“It is often in the still of the night when your thoughts are the most profound. Eagerly write them down and change the world.”

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