Category Archives: Friends

Real friends don’t do boundaries?

Fake Friends vs. Real Friends
Fake Friends vs. Real Friends

The above image is something an acquaintance shared on Facebook today.  The text reads as follows:

Fake Friends – Never ask for food..

Real Friends – Are the reason you have NO food.

Fake Friends – Call your parents Mr/Mrs.

Real Friends – Call your parents DAD/MOM.

Fake Friends – Have never sen you cry.

Real Friends – Cry with you.

Fake Friends – Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back.

Real Friends – Keep your stuff so long they forget it’s yours.

Fake Friends – Know about you…..

Real Friends – Could write a book about you.

FAKE FRIENDS – Would knock on your front door..

Real Friends – Walk right in and say “I’m home”.

Fake Friends – Will help you when you fall over.

Real Friends – Will jump on top of you and shout “DOG_PILE”.

Fake Friends – Are around for a while..

Real Friends – Are for life.

Fake Friends – Say “Love you.” in a joking manner.

Real Friends – Say “I love you” and they mean it.

Fake Friends – Will read this.

Real Friends – Will steal this.

I get that it’s trying to explain how real friends are people who are close to you, but some of the items in the list just creep me out.  It’s as if the image’s creators think there’s no such thing as boundaries between good friends.

To be frank, no one who is not living with me is entitled to walk into my home (in which case it would be our home) without knocking.  In fact, everyone is encouraged to call me and let me know they’re coming.  I may not be in.  Or I may not feel like having company.  Even my closest friends don’t get to override those times when I need or want my privacy.  (And fortunately, my friends understand this.)

And that whole thing about real friends being the reason one has no food?  That sounds more like a moocher than a friend to me.  Yes, I’m more than happy to share my food (and just about anything else) with my friends.  But I also expect my friends to understand there’s a limit to what I can share.  In the end, someone who eats me out of house and home isn’t a friend.

Same thing with that “keeping your stuff so long that they forget it’s yours” business.  A true friend respects me.  That includes respecting my property.

What this image describes isn’t friendship.  What it describes is a dangerous relationship with someone who doesn’t respect the other person.


Choosing Your Friends

FriendsAs I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I spent some time in therapy back in 2011.  I ended up going because my codependency had reached a critical mass and my life was falling apart at the seams.  I have to say that making that choice and working through some of my own problems with the help of a professional was quite possibly the best decision I have ever made.  It’s certainly among the top five.

One of the things my therapist would occasionally ask me when I got talking about issues with a particular friend or acquaintance was, “Is this relationship really worth what you’re having to deal with?  What are you getting out of it?”  She never pushed me to answer the question in any particular way, but she insisted that I face the question.  I’d say it’s probably one of the best things she did for me.

You see, prior to going to therapy, I never would have thought to ask such a question.  In fact, I’d dare say that I never even considered that I was allowed to ask such a question.  I mean, if you’re friends, you’re friends, right?  Or that was my thinking.  Until I spent some time in therapy.  And then I realized, I get to choose my friends and I get to choose whether those friendships will continue.  That was a wonderful and powerful realization, albeit a scary one.

Sometimes, we’re better off without some people in our lives, no matter what our past with those people may have been.  It doesn’t matter if Roy1 and I have been friends since the second grade.  If he says and does things that tear me down, I have every right to protect my sense of self-esteem by telling him our friendship is now a thing of the past.  It doesn’t matter if Janet and I helped each other through some really tough breakups and a substance abuse problem.  If we’ve reached a point in our lives where we really have nothing in common, it’s okay to wish her the best and let our lives slip apart.

I’ve intentionally chosen two rather different situations in the last paragraph because I want to stress that there are many diverse reasons why I can end a friendship and am empowered to do so.  It can be because the friendship is toxic to me or because the friendship just isn’t what it used to be and trying to recapture the past may be a useless and exhausting endeavor.  My choice to end a friendship may be based on the fact that the other person is a source of pain in my life or it may be based on the fact that the other person is still wonderful, but simply not someone I have that special bond with anymore.  In either case, it’s okay.

Some days, the thought of ending a friendship really is scary.  I wonder if I’m making a mistake.  I wonder if I may regret it.  In some cases, I may wonder if I’ve really given the other person a fair chance.  But in the end, I take comfort in knowing that I ultimately have that choice and it’s okay to make it.

1All names in this post are randomly chosen and represent imaginary people.

A Bad Leadership Fit

I remember how frustrated Diane, our old IVCF staff worker, used to get with me my sophomore year in college.  I had decided to get involved in IVCF leadership that year and had taken a position on the chapter’s executive board.  It quickly became apparent that I was not well suited or that kind of leadership.  My outlook was simply more relational.

The scene played out several times, varying only in details.  The day of a meeting would roll around, and I’d be talking to someone.  The conversation would be deep and personal, as I was never good at small talk and people tend to spill their guts around me anyway.  I’d note the time and decide that continuing the conversation was important than getting to my meeting on time.  Often, I wouldn’t make it to the meeting at all.  This would frustrate Diane to no end, adn she’d try to get me to understand that while relationships were important, always breaking my other commitments for the sake of a conversation wasn’t entirely right either.  I don’t think she ever got very far with me on that score.  Eventualy, we agreed to muddle through the rest of the year.  We also agreed that I’d take a role the following year that would be better suited to my nature.

I’ve grown a lot in the fifteen years that have passed since then.  As a more mature person, I can now more readily see Diane’s point more clearly.  And I’m more likely to judge a relational need more carefully these days, taking into account how immediate the need is, how serious my other commitments are, and other such factors.  Today, there’s a real possibility that I’ll say, “This is important.  I care and I want to be there for you.  But can we talk about it in a couple of hours?”

But I’m still mainly relationally oriented.  I’ll keep my commitments to activities like meetings to a minimum.  The difference, however, is that I’m less likely to take on sucha  commitment in the first place, rather than taking it on and then breakign it later.  Because I’d rather have my time free so I can listen to people.  I understand that now.  And I allow for that preference reponsibly.

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Someone I care deeply about is grieving.

Massachusetts, USA

Image via Wikipedia

Someone I care deeply about has lost someone he cares deeply about today.  Please keep him in your thoughts as he grieves.  If you’re the praying type, please pray for him.  I don’t usually tell people how they should pray, but if you would indulge me, I’d like to offer these suggestions:

Pray that he has the courage to grieve and grieve fully.

Pray that he feels safe enough to grieve.

Pray that if he needs to cry, he finds a time and place where he can allow himself to cry.

Pray that if he needs to shout, he finds a time and place where he can allow himself to shout.

Pray that if he needs to ask the hard questions, he finds a time, a place, and the sense that he can safely ask the hard questions.

Pray not that his grieving will be cut short or sped up, but that he may go through the process fully and properly.

And pray that in it all, he remembers that we grieve because we have first loved.  And let the memory of that love inject some sweetness in the often painful grieving process.

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Sometimes, there’s only so much you can do

ethernet-cable.jpgOne of the things that I have learned over the past few years is that there are certain consequences to having a blog under your real name and a visible presence on social networking sites.  Namely, people from your past suddenly start finding you again.  This can be both a pleasant surprise and an unpleasant experience.  This is especially true when said friends last associated with you when you were a completely different person — say an evangelical Christian who identified as heterosexual.

In most cases, I’ve been very fortunate when people from my past pop up.  They either don’t comment on how I’ve changed (though I suspect some of my old high school classmates might actually be pleased to learn I’ve loosened up since leaving Williamson) or they’ve expressed curiosity and a desire to understand how I got to where I am today, given my starting point.

This week, I had one of the — fortunately rare in my cases — less pleasant experiences.  A friend from my first two years in college decided to contact me expressing a strong desire to rebuild our friendship.  She also expressed remorse for how badly a prior attempt to rebuild our friendship turned out.  That previous attempt was extremely short-lived, so much that I never revealed any of the changes I had undergone.  It simply became clear that a friendship was not possible — at least not the kind that was being sought.

So when Lynn apologized and asked again to rebuild a friendship, I did so with some hesitancy.  I still got the impression she had expectations for what the friendship was going to be like — expectations based on the person I was in 1993 and which would not be met by the strong, self-loving person with a decent sense of boundaries that I am today.  But I’m also the kind of person that wants to give people the benefit of the doubt.  So I told Lynn that I’m willing to be friends, but that she needed to understand the kind of friendship I could offer due to the changes I’ve gone through in my life.  To give her an idea, I gave her the address to my website so she could learn about me again.

Alas, it would seem Lynn can’t deal with the person I’ve become.  I’m not entirely surprised by that, though I had hoped that things may change.  So she’s decided to let me go, though she promises to be there for me and be my strongest supporter if I should ever choose to “leave these lifestyle choices.”

To that I say, “Bah, humbug.”  I tried the good little straight boy routine before and it almost cost me my life.  I simply have neither the desire nor a compelling reason to return to that nightmare.  And if it means that I will have to struggle on without Lynn’s support and friendship…well, let’s be honest here.  I’ve thrived without her support and friendship since around 1994, and I’m pretty sure I can maintain that trend indefinitely.  After all, I wasn’t the one who sought to renew our friendship after all this time.

In the end, I think that’s what bothers me most about this experience.  Lynn came to me looking for something.  She talked about how she had missed me and wanted me back in her life.  But the moment she realized I no longer met her expectations based on her recollections that are over a decade old, she suddenly decided that wasn’t possible anymore.  Not only that, then she started acting as if I would eventually be the one that needed her.  That’s just not the way things work in the world I know and understand.

In the end, I’m a bit sad.  I don’t like realizing that there are just some people I can’t maintain a friendship with.  And in some ways, I’m sad that Lynn is unable to maintain a friendship with someone who doesn’t meet her expectations and is apparently even unwilling to understand what happened in the sixteen years she’s been absent from my life.  It tells me that blessing I offered her is still need of fulfillment:  that she finds the healing her soul needs.

The sad irony is that she now probably thinks it’s my soul that needs healing.  If only she took the time to learn the truth.

Refreshed and Returning


When I wrote my previous post in February, I didn’t realize that it would mark the start of a two-month blogging break.  But life has a way of conspiring against us to keep us busy and away from our online ponderings, I suppose.

Work has been extremely busy and hectic, thereby sapping me of a lot of energy and motivation.  What little I had left of both generally went into dance classes at Park Avenue Dance Company or working on preparations for the dance company’s annual benefit.  The latter turned out quite nicely, by the way.  By the time I got done with everything, I was ready to come home, kick back, watch a little television, and head for bed before the next day brought its hectic schedule to more doorstep.

Those who know me well, however, should realize that the last two months weren’t all work devoid of play, however.  I did manage to get in a few trips to Tilt for some great dancing.  (In a a future post, I hope to talk about the Elmira-based Club Chill, which I checked out last night while I was at my parents’ home for the weekend.)  And the first weekend in April, Marina and I made another trip to Toronto, where we saw the Chimera Project in its performance of Blood.  The performance was fantastic, powerful, and highly athletic.  And Marina and I had front row seats — seats close enough that I could’ve stood up and reached over to caress the chest of the extremely hot dancer that was lying on the front of the stage.  Let’s just say I discovered how much self-restraint I had in that moment.

But now that I’ve had a bit of a break and things in my life seem a bit calmer, I’ve decided it’s time for me to start posting again.  So with a bit of good fortune, I should start making a few more posts over the next week or so.  Because like the rising sun, I will always return.

I just don’t have as regular an orbit as the sun.

(The photo in this image was taken by Jon Sullivan, who was kind enough to release it to the public domain.)

A Trip to Toronto

It’s been a while since my last post. Unfortunately, life has been a bit crazy for the past few weeks. Between a crazy project at work, keeping up with dance classes, and fighting off what I can only assume was the stomach bug from hell, blogging has fallen quite low on my list of priorities. However, now that I have a half hour or so before I need to run to the company holiday party, I thought I’d take a few moments to write a bit about my adventure with friends to Toronto last Saturday.

Every year, my jazz instructor, Marina, goes to Toronto the Saturday after Thanksgiving. She had mentioned it to Rudi, who decided to go with her. At some point, they got the crazy idea to invite me. Having heard about these excursions from a couple different sources, I was all too eager to accept that invitation. So that morning, I crawled out of bed, into some clothes, and drove over to Marina’s house. I was there by about 6:15. Rudi got there a half hour or so later, and we were on the road by about 7:00 that morning.

The drive up was pleasant and uneventful. We only made one stop, and that was at the border. This allowed us to exchange our currency and grab a quick breakfast at Tim Horton’s. Then we went through the checkpoint and continued on our way to Toronto.

We were in the city by 10:30, so we parked in the garage across the street from the theater we’d be attending that evening and walked down to the facilities where DanceTeq teaches there classes. We arrive about forty five minutes before the modern class started. Class that day was taught by a substitute, Matthew Waldie. The class was too advanced for me (mainly due to the pace rather than complexity of technique), so I watched (which gave me plenty of opportunities to semi-secretly watch Matthew and pray the drool wasn’t too obvious) while Marina and Rudi actually participated. Both struggled with the class at various points and Marina was particularly out of breath by the end of class. I actually took a certain amount of pleasure in that realization. After all, I saw in Marina’s expression the same exhaustion and sense of pushing beyond her capabilities that I frequently feel when I take her class. So it’s nice to see one of my instructors in that same space, herself.

After class, we did a bit of shopping. Of course, this meant walking from the waterfront to the major shopping areas in the city. Fortunately, I had the sense to pack a pair of decent sneakers. Shopping went pretty well, and I even managed to pick up a nice shirt, though I need to lose about another twenty pounds before it looks quite right on me. Unfortunately, the manufacturers of stylish clothing still haven’t decided to let those of us in plus sizes look good. But I’ll try not to rant too much about that.

After shopping, we made the trek back to the waterfront to grab a quick dinner and head to our show. We went to see “Lost Action” by the Canadian dance company, Kidd Pivot. The show was quite good, especially in terms of strength and technique. The company has four male dancers, and it’s amazing to see the kinds of things a dance company can do with that kind of muscle. There was one scene in which all four guys worked together to lift one of the women and move her around the stage, twisting and turning her body. The fact that they did this without popping one of her joints out of socket — let alone with deceptive ease — was incredible.

The show itself was a bit confusing. “Lost Action” is an abstract performance piece, and I don’t really do well with abstract art, at least not yet. One of the things that I took away from the performance was a sense that it involved a theme of enforced conformity, an observation that Marina and Rudi both felt made a lot of sense at the time. Of course, having just reread what Kidd Pivot says about the performance themselves, I’m not sure I was on base at all. Of course, Christine would point out that this is the beauty of dance. Different people interpret the same thing differently.

After the show, we made a quick, peaceful, and enjoyable trip back home. Rudi and I talked most of the way while Marina slept. Fortunately, she did wake up at the border so we could get across okay.

Overall, it was a fantastic trip and I look forward to making more of them in the future. I certainly couldn’t have asked for better traveling companions, either. Hopefully, they feel the same way. (There was that one teasing crack I made to Rudi, though…)

Musings on Old Acquaintances

This past weekend was a bit interesting. I received friend requests over on MySpace from a couple of people from around my old hometown. I have no idea who the one was, as he’s twelve years my junior. However, the other one was someone I graduated from high school with. Needless to say, I was quite surprised, especially when you consider we weren’t what I’d consider friends. Granted, we weren’t enemies, either. It’s more a case that we simply traveled in different circles.

Being contacted by people from my old hometown is always an awkard experience for me. I’m practically a completely different person now than the person who attended school all those years ago. And I’m never entirely sure how people will react to the changes.

Granted, I suspect that many would find the fact that I’m no longer Christian (or at least no longer a goody-two-shoes Christian bordering on self-righteousness) a pleasant change. I was very much a stick in the mud back then, and had no problems speaking up when the occasion to do so arose. So in that respect, I think many would take the fact that I “mellowed” as a good sign.

But all the same, we’re talking about a rather rural part of Pennsylvania. So I’m not always sure how well my being a witch or being gay will be received. Especially the latter, as I still recall some of the reactions to the idea someone might be gay when I was in high school. I think that could still make for an interesting and even tense conversation today.

Of course, I also have to admit that some of my concerns stem from an experience a few years ago when someone I went to college with contacted me after we hadn’t seen or spoken with each other in seven years. Basically, she came whirling into my life and flipped out when she discovered that I had developed a stronger set of boundaries in my relationships. (And we never got into my change in religion or my sexual orientation, which would’ve equally flipped her out.)

Reunions can be so unexpected and more than a little unnerving.

A blast from the past: Jarred suggests taking a stand

Due to online conversations I’ve had over the past week, I was reminded of an entry I wrote on another diary site. I decided to find it and repost it to this blog. As I recall, the topic created quite a stir back in 2004, though most people seemed to applaud my outlook on the matter. And even those who didn’t applaud it tended to have mixed feelings than being completely against my point.

Searching through the Stand To Reason website, (don’t ask why I was there) I found a recommended letter for one to send to gay people who might be visiting your home. I’ve posted the letter below:

Dear ,

I need to let you know that although we love you and look forward to seeing you, we don’t want you to bring your friend with you. We have nothing against him personally. If he were visiting as an individual under other circumstances, that would be another matter. I don’t believe in ostracizing others whose behavior I disagree with.

This situation is different, though. In so far as the two of you are in the relationship you’re in, welcoming you both as a couple would be treating as good and normal a relationship which is neither.

Our concerns may cause you to cancel your visit. I hope not. We’d like to see you. However, in good conscience we must insist on this principle in our home.

I wish I could say that I’m shocked that anyone would even suggest such a letter. Unfortunately, I’m not even mildly surprised. Unfortunately, the extremely conservative Christian elements have a history of these sorts of things. But rather than ranting about it, I decided to simply post my suggested response. It’s the basic response that I would send if anyone was ever foolish enough to send me such a letter.

Dear ,

I am writing to inform you that, as you suspected, i will be canceling my visit to your home. My boyfriend and I are working hard to build a life together, and it is our policy to refuse all invitations where we are not welcome as a couple. This is a principal of our relationship, and we are unwilling to compromise it.

We do not require that people approve of our relationship. We do not require that people like our relationship. However, we do require that people come to terms with our relationship and treat it as an important part of our lives. Your request that I leave my boyfriend at home when I come to visit you makes it clear that you would rather ignore an important part of my life, and I will not accept that. As such, I also wish to inform you that at this time, I find it appropriate to end our friendship.

I’m sure that this decision will shock you, and suspect that you will even think it’s an overreaction to your request. However, I would ask that you consider what you are asking of me and try to put yourself in my shoes. There are many people who disapprove of various relationships for various reasons. Some disapprove of divorcees who remarry. Some disapprove of relationships between people who feel they “married too young” or “got together for the wrong reasons.” The list of reasons that people disapprove of others’ relationships is virtually endless. Now, suppose that someone disapproved of your own marriage for one reason or another. How would you react if that person informed you that you were not welcome in their home as a couple?

You have chosen to put me in that very position. I will not abide by that. As such, I feel it is best to wish you the best in life and part ways.


The Highlights of 2007

Pam over at Willful Grace created a wonderful post in which she describes the major events in her life in each of the last twelve months as well as the lessons she learned from those events. It’s a fantastic post and I encourage everyone to read it.

More importantly, Pam inspired me to do something similar. Sadly, my post won’t be nearly as organized or well thought out as Pam’s is. To be honest, I don’t think I could come up with a single even for every month since last January. And besides, there are a couple of months that I doubt I could boil down into a single event or a single lesson learned from the events of some months.

The good news is that I’m not in a competition with Pam, so I’m under neither obligation nor pressure to match her excellent post. This gives me the freedom to simply allow her to inspire me and see where the inspiration takes me. So for that, I’d like to say thank you to her. And without further ado, I devote this post to the highlights of the previous year of my life.

I think that the first major highlight of the year came in February, when I met Rob. I didn’t talk about Rob much in this blog, and there’s a good reason for it. Rob represented the first time that a potential (and real, however temporary) love interest actually read my blog. As such, I struggled with finding the balance of what I could say, knowing that I didn’t want to reveal anything I hadn’t already discussed with him. After all, reading about what another person is feeling about you in his blog rather than firsthand strikes me as a horrible thing.

Rob found me online — on Valentine’s Day no less — and contacted me to express a desire to get to know me and explore the possibility of a relationship. In many ways, we hit it off quite well. And I have to admit that I was swept off my feet. Rob was the first guy to actually pursue me. (Usually, I’ve had to chase after the other guy.) I learned just how much I could enjoy being the object of pursuit. In fact, I’d say that one of the things I learned about myself due to my encounter with Rob is that I like a slightly aggressive guy.

Sadly, things with Rob were fast-paced and terribly short lived. After a few dates and immediately after our first night together, Rob decided I wasn’t what he was looking for after all. I have to admit that after being pursued that hard and dropped just as quickly, I was stinging. Though I did learn an important lesson in that respect, too. My guides tried to tell me things were going too fast and I should slow things back down. But I allowed myself to get carried away in the heat of the moment.

Of course, I don’t think things would’ve ended any differently. After much time, I realize that Rob and I just weren’t right for each other. And that would’ve been the case no matter how slowly we took things. Though I do admit that I wonder if slowing down would’ve enabled us to realize this before we took things as far as we did, saving at least some heartache. So the lesson I learned from that is that when spirit says slow down, it’s best to listen, even if you are enjoying the heat of the moment.

March and April brought new choices with them. After the events of February, I realized that I needed to get out more and put myself in positions where I could meet more people. Before then, I had a small group of great friends, and I’m still thankful for them. But I realized that if I wanted more out of life (especially in the realms of socializing and dating), it was time to expand my circles even farther. So I began to join various groups and look for other ways to get out in the wider community. I would say I’ve seen some mixed results from those efforts, but I’d say they were positive overall. And it’s still a work in progress. And I’ve made some great friendships (especially one in particular) as a result that I think I will always cherish.

The summer months, starting with June, brought unexpected changes in me. In June, I started walking more. In fact, the weekend before my birthday, I took my first ever seven mile walk along the Erie canal. That first walks was both exciting and draining. I came away with a sunburn and some pretty serious blisters on my feet, but I also developed a passion for the trek. In fact, I loved it so much, that I repeated the walk once a month through September and am even counting down the days until the warm weather returns and I can resume the little tradition.

In addition to the canal walk, I began taking a walk after my weekly dinner with friends on Monday nights. Those walks began when I got ready to leave the restaurant one Monday night and decided it was too gorgeous an evening to just go home. So a second walking tradition was born. By the end of summer, I was up to three one-hour walks a week (except on the weekend I’d take the canal walk, in which case that trek would replace one of the regular walks). I began to see this as something I did for enjoyment.

As an aside, this is also the summer that I began to enjoy sunbathing. This is something I had considered a waste of time while growing up and would often shake my head at my sister in disgust during summer vacations when she’d sunbathe daily. In fact, when I confessed to my sister this summer that I’d started enjoying the practice myself, she immediately asked, “Who are you and what have you done with my brother?”

In August, I went with friends the Northeast Naturist Festival. I had a pleasant time while there (though I will note that I kept my clothes on 99.9% of the time I was there) and enjoyed my first real vacation (i.e. a prolonged period off where I did something other than visit family) in years. I came to appreciate again the importance of pampering myself.

The naturist retreat also marked the point in time where I’d say I really began to start coming into my own in terms of spirituality. I had a few moving experiences while there, and they initiated changes in myself that continued over the next several months, and will likely continue into the coming year.

At this point, I will also note that I started really “coming into my own” in general around this time. Or at least I began to notice it. I began building much more self-confidence and a willingness to take risks and make myself more vulnerable. In some ways, I’d say my transformation into a minor social butterfly started to become more noticeable at this point.

In September and October, I had more spiritual awakenings. It is at this time when my patroness, Freyja, began to make it more clear that the nature of our relationship was going to change significantly. (I’m still not ready to publicly discuss the nature of that change, however.) Again, I found myself in situations where my comfort zones were pushed and I was encouraged (not quite at knifepoint) to stretch as a person.

Also in October, I went to a cousin’s wedding. While making the trip with my parents and members from my father’s side of the family, Freyja also impressed upon me the fact that I’ve cut myself off from my family. She began to impress upon me the fact that I need to get closer to them. She says it’s because there are ways in which I can help various people in my family. Of course, I’m not sure how that’s going to work, considering that the kind of help I can best offer is something most of them would be opposed to. But I guess time will tell.

Then in December, the bombshell dropped. About two weeks before Yule, Freyja suggested (again, not quite at knifepoint) that I should plan the Yule ritual for a small group of friends. So I placed the necessary calls, made the commitment, and moved forward. I have to admit, I was rather nervous, especially after becoming sick for the week prior to the ritual, which I had originally hoped to better use for planning. But things turned out beautifully and everyone had a pleasant time. And fortunately, I have much more advanced noticed for the next ritual I’m expected to plan, which isn’t until the Spring Equinox.

I’d say it’s been an interesting, profound, and profitable year. Hopefully the coming one will continue in that trend.