Excess: An amount or quantity beyond what is normal or sufficient.

This word best sums up 2012 for me.

Now, I am happy that I’ve accomplished many things this year including having this web site created (thanks Pat) and taking my first crack at blogging. My first non-fiction short story was published last summer. I co-hosted The Writer’s Studio Reading Series with Esmeralda Cabral for the first seven months of this year. Completed four courses at University while working full time. Traveled down the Oregon coast in August. I even managed to make new friends along the way and kept the ones I already know and love.

A well-informed purchase

I’ve also spent a lot of money. Not the things that we all need such as food, household supplies, pet food, even dinners out and the occasional movie, book, or magazine. Or those well thought out items, such as the red 2012 VM Beetle I bought in May– the first car that I’ve ever owned whose age is in the same decade that we’re living in. It’s also the second car I’ve ever bought.

What I’m talking about are the many times, I unintentionally walk out of a store with yet another sweater from Jacob, another pair of shoes from Gravity Pope, another book from the Book Warehouse, or another bag from Whole Foods with yuppie cookies in the shape of flips flops, beach balls, and palm trees, the latest vitamins, and brown rice sushi that I don’t need.

I can consume too many sweets such as bags of sour chews, scoops of vanilla ice cream (okay, sometimes the whole bucket), and  Triple berry muffins to satiate my appetite in between breakfast and lunch. It’s this unthinking reaction to consume something as soon as the thought pops into my head.

Have I been consuming more than my share of the pie?

It’s as if I took over from my sister Wendy. She was the one who bought in excess, not me. But when she died in 2005, I thought “so what?” to another pair of black shoes, another duvet cover from Daniadown, or another set of towels. Another hit of feeling excited, euphoric, in the moment.

None of these purchases have made me any happier.

I am not in debt. I will still eat, pay my bills on time, and I am lucky enough to be able to live my life as I basically choose. I am also within my normal weight range. But what I want in my life is to not be beholden to an internal force that has taken choice away from me.

My wish for us all in 2013 is to receive what we need, but not necessarily what we want at the precise moment we want it.

Happy New Year everyone,


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