• Kim

1/1/21- New Year's Day

Updated: Sep 2, 2021

During this morning's New Years day meeting, the moderator, Brooke shared the following reading by Mary Oliver called, "The Journey."


One day you finally knew What you had to do, and began,

Though the voices around you

Kept shouting Their bad advice‚ Though the whole house Began to tremble And you felt the old tug At your ankles. “Mend my life!” Each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do,

Though the wind pried With its stiff fingers At the very foundations‚ Though their melancholy Was terrible. It was already late Enough, and a wild night, And the road full of fallen

Branches and stones. But little by little, As you left their voices behind,

The stars began to burn

Through the sheets of clouds,

And there was a new voice,

Which you slowly Recognized as your own, That kept you company As you strode deeper and deeper

Into the world, Determined to do The only thing you could do‚

Determined to save The only life you could save.


This reading spoke to me on this new year's day. Just over a month ago, that was the day I finally knew what I had to do to began my journey. It has been hard to tune out others opinions and to focus on listening to my own voice these last several weeks. It is easy to worry about others opinions and how people may be perceiving me, but I am learning that other's judgement or pity doesn't matter. As I continue on down this road, stepping over my own mess, I continue to pick up the pieces. And as I focus on myself, "my determination to save this life" has allowed me to see into a future that is better than my past.


This afternoon, I finally spoke to my dad about this journey that I am on. He was happy and proud. He asked a lot of thoughtful, caring questions and he made me feel loved. Unfortunately, he did say the one thing I was dreading to hear though, "I knew you were drinking too much the last time I saw you..." I didn't need to hear this. I didn't want to be told, "Yeah, we saw this coming." He brought up a recent visit of mine to Florida when I got drunk at dinner and was slurring my words. He mentioned the last time he visited me here in Needham and how I drank too much wine. He kept talking about how much I have always loved the wine, just like my mom. I angrily shut him down and told him that dredging up the past wasn't productive for me at this time. I know he means well in the end, but this was my biggest fear. My family just doesn't always get me. He was helpful in that he shed some light on my family past though. He did tell me that he had two or three uncles on both his mother and father's side - so my great uncles that were all alcoholics. I don't know if this is him speculating or how truthful it really is, but it's interesting to know that I could have alcoholism on both my father and mother's side of the family.


So now while I feel that another small weight has been lifted from my shoulders after talking to my dad today, and I can continue to walk along my road of recovery, I do feel a good deal of happiness and relief at having let go of a little bit more of my burden today. I feel like I am starting my year off on such a great note. Especially after my hour long sunrise walk this morning with Bunker that culminated at High Rock, right in time to watch the sun peak over the cold, quiet hills of Needham. It was a good day.




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