Don't be so hard on yourself, Jim. You have a heart injury, just as real as a physical one. Take time to heal.

I've only known you during your dad-days. Yes, you definitely had a life and influence that stretched far beyond rural Michigan, but my image of you is there with your father and Sam and the ducks, geese, and swans. The NYC Jim is a hazy image.

Jim, willingly or not, you've become a different version of yourself, one strongly influenced by your dad-days. Not only do you need to identify your new normal, but you need to meet the new you.

You are in labor, my friend, experiencing the pains of transition. As they tell mothers-to-be:

breathe, relax, push, breathe, relax, push, breathe.

Can't wait to celebrate your new birthday!!

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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