My son, Alex asked what I wanted for Xmas - 

I said "$6000." 

He asked "anything else?" 

I said "a responsible adult". 

He said "I'll bring chocolate." 

Good kid. 


He was here for almost two weeks - I really enjoyed the company and I loved having both my kids here for the Holiday week. I can't remember when that last happened? (And yes, he did bring chocolate!)

I had set some really basic intentions for this year...

... basically... embrace my Inner Demons and just be myself.

There were lots of Demons, but I feel like I made a huge mess of 2023. Medically, Financially, Mentally... Ironically, I ended it the same way I began it! With a trip to Bar Harbor, and crying all the way home from Portsmouth.

This time, I did have a better trip to Bar Harbor, because I had my Kids with me. We were all exhausted from the drive. Seems like the set up for bad joke... "Three Neurodivergent people drive into a Bar (Harbor)..."

The bad part didn't really happen until we were almost home. We had to stop at a friend's house to pick up my puppy. The house was dark, but I could hear the dogs bark when I rang the bell. So we sat in the car and waited until we saw his car pull up and two people got out carrying groceries. Shit. I had not expected I'd have to meet my ex's new girlfriend!!!??? Launch panic attack.

She was very sweet, but it was obvious she had no idea who I was.And she was very familiar with the house. I wondered if she was living there. The dogs were racing around in delirious joy, and my friend commented that They had gone to the dog park and Elsa Bear had absolutely "no recall". This from a man who adopted my fully trained, retired service dog. And has never had to do any dog training. And he knows very well that I had to stop training this fall when I ran out of money. And...and...and...

Anyway. I felt like he had slapped me and shamed me in front of his girlfriend. But I didn't cry. I was very brave (more like stunned). While he gathered Elsa Bear's stuff, I asked if I could use the bathroom (to try and calm my panic attack!) and he "showed me" where it was! OMG! I've peed in there for almost 4 years!?! Another slap. But I didn't cry until I got into the car. It's a good thing my son was driving! Last New Year's, I had to drive myself home - crying, late at night, with a panic attack.

As soon as I got home, I called a friend who said all the right things, got me laughing again, and she helped me shake it off enough to enjoy sushi with my kids while we watched "About Time", my favorite movie.

The next morning, I was feeling the social hangover, driving exhaustion, and disappointment with every man I've ever been in love with... and I had a realization about my New Year's Intentions and why they never really make sense!

I drew a comic about it! But I will need to explain...

Alrighty! So - I have always had very thin skin and I'm over-sensitive, empathetic, blah, blah, blah. Therapists tell me to set boundaries to protect myself and develop a thicker skin. But I am basically, a balloon person. I feel good about myself and my plans, but over the course of the year, Other People prick me and I either pop or slowly deflate. When the New Year begins, I declare I will "Begin Again"! I will reinvent myself. Again. I patch up the holes with new intentions and plans and re-inflate my confidence, and... rinse and repeat. Every year, I add more new patches to the deflated balloon-person. THIS New Year's Day - I realized that there are so many patches, they have created a hard coating. My Balloon-Person is now covered in papier-mache! I honestly, don't even know if there is still a balloon inside there anymore!

This year, instead of trying to start over from scratch, again - my intention will be "Refurbish". I'm going to try to build something New ON TOP of the Old. All the good and bad things that have happened to me have created a pretty sturdy Foundation. What could I create if I start where I am, and use what I have?

I have lots of art supplies... and TONS of EXPERIENCES... so I'll start here... with comics! I still hurt. I always will. But it's just another "Experience" to be turned into comics! "That's it - you're going in my graphic novel!" Yes, I have been taking notes. No one is safe... Bwah-ha-ha-HA!

Here's another quick comic I drew today... of my imperfectly-perfect fur-babies!

(If you need an explanation... when Elsa Bear gets serious Zoomies (racing around in circles), I attach her to a tether under the kitchen counter. As I bent down to try and clip the hook on to her collar, the cat used my back as a stepping stone to her food on the counter!)

Happy New Year!