Before I get to the main course, I wanted to share a little appetizer with you. A few days ago, I signed an audio book deal for Evil Eternal! This will be my first audio book, and I’m very anxious to hear the final product. Wonder if I can request Christopher Walken to do the reading?
OK, on to more important things. The past year has been simply amazing, with releasing 2 books, signing a deal for a third, and lots of writing and other projects on the horizon. It’s literally been more than I dreamed of when I started tapping away on my word processor in the spare bedroom, back before I had kids or a direction in life.
Through all of this, my wife has been struggling with her health. For a time there, she was dying and her doctors did nothing but conduct tests and scratch their heads. Between the end of September and now, she has literally been bedridden. I can’t tell you how hard it is to see the person you love most suffer.
Luckily, a few months ago, we found an amazing doctor at NY Presbyterian Hospital who diagnosed my wife’s problems. Even though we’ve been able to put a name to her daunting issues, things have not been easy and sometimes the treatments are worse than the cure. We’re still far from being out of the woods and always a second away from a life threatening situation. It’s like living atop a mine field.
But through all of this, there’s still a life to be lived. The kids have to be taken care of and go to school and do their homework. My day job requires an inordinate amount of time and attention. And there’s always writing and promoting and moving forward with my dream. Every minute of the day has to be compartmentalized and we all do our best to keep our emotions at as even a keel as possible. It’s not always easy, and there are plenty of times I know we’ve each wanted to just throw in the towel and escape to some magical place that will lift every burden and allow us time to heal.
So even though my recent successes have been exciting beyond measure, they’ve always been tempered by the priorities in my crazy life. In fact, out of everything, the moment that gave me the greatest sense of joy happened just a week ago when, after getting the OK from our doctor, I took my wife on a weekend getaway. We had a very small window of opportunity where the stars would align for us and she would physcially be able to do it. The smile on her face when we walked on that plane, and again at the resort, made me happier than any book deal, job promotion or lottery win could ever do.
Family is my number one priority. Their health and happiness is what matters most. Everything else, though sometimes joyful, is a distant second. Remember that next time you get hung up on something that in the end, doesn’t really mean much at all. Think of it this way. What will you remember the most fondly on your death bed? What will you wish you could go back and do again? I’ll guarantee you, it will involve the ones you love, and not the pursuit of money, recognition or material things. We’re only alive for a very brief time. Don’t waste a moment.