The Odyssey Continues

30 Dec


Do you know what I’ve discovered?   My time is almost up and my odyssey is drawing to an end.  I mean I don’t plan on dying tomorrow (although you never know), but I’m not nineteen anymore and given the slide rule of life, I’m a lot closer to the end than I ever was before.   People just a little bit older than I am are dying all around me in my personal life, and at least 50 celebrities that entertained me most of my life (Soul Train’s Don Cornelius, Nora Ephron, Donna Summers, Dick Clark, Ray Bradbury, Marvin Hamlisch, Maurice Sendak, and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees just to name a few) bit the dust in 2012.  I did the math and the average age-span of all those who died this year were just eight to ten years older than I am.   Jesus, Mary, Mother of God—where did the time go?  Just yesterday “we were young” and setting the world on fire.   Well, at least they set the world on fire—I’m still striking the match.

That is why I’ve been begging God for one more chapter in my life. I don’t mind dying; I just want to end my life better than it began.   I must sound like a broken record in his ear:  “please, please, please don’t let me die yet until I’ve had one final chapter of me leaving my mark as a writer and a storyteller.”   Imagine my surprise when God answered.

GOD:     Okay, Kiddo, I’ve heard your prayers.  As of March 1, 2013 you’re losing your job.

ME:        What the___________ (oops, sorry).   I didn’t ask to become unemployed, God!   Perhaps you misunderstood me.  I asked for another chapter in my life—preferably one that is interesting and not pathetic.  You know how much I love bling and travel and food.  I need to keep the Benjamins flowing to keep my game on—thus I need to keep my job.

GOD:     You’re not becoming unemployed, so to speak; I’m just closing a door to this particular employment chapter.

ME:        And opening a window, I hope, with money trees outside that window?

GOD:     Nice cliché, Cherie, but no—I’m just closing a door so that you have enough hours in the day to pursue your next chapter in life.   How you get out of the room you’re currently in is up to you.

God Closes a Door

ME:        Wait a minute!  This is not what I want to hear.  Are you sure you’re God?  Or are you the one who told, Bachmann, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, and Cain to run for President of the United States in 2012 to save our country for the “real Americans?”   Remember them?   (You don’t?  Well, neither do most of us!)  Because if you are the same voice they heard, I think you must be Satan, and I may be in a world of hurt.

GOD:     Yes, I’m the same God, but that clown car only heard the first half of what I had to say.  They didn’t stick around long enough to hear the part that said they weren’t going to win.  They mixed up my voice with Charlie Sheen’s triumphalism battlecry of “WINNING!”  There are a lot of chapters in life that have multiple lessons that are needed to complete the book of life of every human, and not all of them hit the “mother lode”  or the jackpot as you humans like to boast about which is really code for “money, power, or fame.”  Sometimes roads are meant to be traveled just for the journey and the character development.  I think my boy, Sheen, finally got that message in 2012.  At least I hope he did, for his sake.

God has second thoughts

ME:        Well, I would like to make a living from my next adventure.    What’s wrong with that?  I think my voice of love and tolerance is something the world needs (a born-again Christian with a sense of humor who isn’t nuts and doesn’t have a rod up her ass, who isn’t a bigot, isn’t homophobic, and who isn’t against science and the reality of global warming, to name a few of the items that have turned so much of your Church into a laughingstock).  Couldn’t you use someone like me and pay me as well?

GOD:     No guarantees, Chica.  You’ll just have to walk this road and see where it leads you.  If you extrapolate that you’ll become rich and famous from your journey, you’ll be as bad as the political clown car of 2012 that you judge so ruthlessly.    As for your motivation, I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite peeps up here in Heaven (Sparrowrose Howard Thurman) who was Martin Luther King’s favorite theologian:

 “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”


I am discovering that I have had many chapters before this final chapter in life that is being dictated by my age.  I’ve been the poor black kid in the ghetto who “came alive” through the love of reading and education, I’ve been the affirmative action kid who went to college on a full scholarship who helped integrate an all-white school and worked my ass off in the process because I found my calling, I’ve been half of an interracial marriage of 34 years that is so full of love I pinch myself on a daily basis, I’ve been the mother of two amazing women and now the grandmother of a truly delightful grandson, and I’ve traveled a great deal of the world that I once thought I’d only experience through books.   Writing, acting, storytelling, motivational speaking—giving hope to a world that desperately needs encouragement in the midst of all the terror that assails us—that is what makes me come alive!   2013—here I come!

Leap image fro lawlogix dot com

 “Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.”—Margaret Shepard

(image from


“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”—Ashley Smith

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, and live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success; that is the way great spiritual giants are produced.”— Swami Vivekananda

“Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.”—Horace

“The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.”—Walter Bagehot

“”When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.”—Alexander Graham Bell

New Years Resolution Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes||Bill Watterson Cartoon



      “This is my (2013) wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.”Anonymous


Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Posted by on December 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


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35 responses to “The Odyssey Continues

  1. Elyse

    December 30, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Wonderful, Eleanor! And Happy, healthy new year to you and your whole family!

    • etomczyk

      December 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks, Elyse. The same good wishes to you and yours. Cheers!

  2. imagesbytdashfield

    December 30, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Happy New Years to you and you aren’t the only one taking a leap of faith. Doors close and open and windows do the same…sometimes it feels as though all of the buggers have been nailed shut. And boy do I ever hear you about the age thing and noticing how so many we were fans of growing up are gone. Time for us to be feisty mature ladies…or something like that 😉

    • etomczyk

      December 31, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Hear, hear, TD! Feisty ladies we are and so shall we remain. I plan to go out in a blaze of glory. Let’s both make 2013 the year of TD and ET. Have a glorious, prosperous, outstanding new year, my friend. May your talented creativity explode upon the scene garnering loyal followers and fans.

      • imagesbytdashfield

        December 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm

        Thank you so much! One of these days we may actually make it back to your neck of the woods and when we do – watch out!!!! WOOHOO!! May your 2013 be blessed as well.

      • etomczyk

        December 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm

        TD: If and when you do make it to our neck of the woods, give me a hollar so that we can meet. I have a feeling we’d get along like a house on fire! Cheers!

  3. carlos cordero

    December 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    Thank you for a delightful read. One again you have made my night. Dalai Mama rocks!

    • etomczyk

      December 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks Carlos for following my blog and for your gracious comments. I am blessed to have you as a reader and a fan. May this new year be one that releases your talents as an artist to such a degree that your talent will bring you before the “thrones of kings” as the good book says. In this modern case, let it be paying kings! Cheers!

  4. composerinthegarden

    December 31, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Oh, you make me want to leap with you, Eleanor! It really IS true that other doors open; I spent many years of my professional life living from week to week, job to job, but opportunities always presented themselves. I wish you a wonderful and happy new year; as you have so aptly described, new opportunities present themselves whether you want them or not – enjoy the adventure 🙂

    • composerinthegarden

      December 31, 2012 at 12:37 am

      Oh, and I loved the train family photo!

    • etomczyk

      December 31, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      Thanks Lynn. Artists like you, who have made it in the grown-up world, give me hope and courage. Thanks so much for your inspiration and have a prosperous and happy new year.

      P.S. I am one of your biggest fans!

  5. maryisidra

    December 31, 2012 at 9:19 am

    You said it all so well. Love the “still striking the match” that be me;) Your “toons and quotes were icing on a yummy cake. Red velvet of course…Happy New Year to you and yours from your Alabama fan!

    • etomczyk

      December 31, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      Thanks Maryisidra. I truly appreciate your support and readership. Happy New Year’s to you and yours from the Tomczyk Family. Cheers!

  6. Sondra Smith

    December 31, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Happy New Year! It would seem that 2013 is going to be know as the leap and trust year for a lot of us. You have blessed us with your stories, antidotes, and truths over this past year, and you have done that working full time. I can’t wait for what is ahead for you. I will be there cheering you on. Love to you, WW.

    • etomczyk

      December 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      Sondra. You’ve always been my number one fan and I deeply appreciate your support. Thanks for being there from the beginning, being a great sounding board and editor, and cheering me on when others tried to tear me down. MUAH! You are the best.

  7. Tina

    December 31, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Oh Eleanor, can’t even tell you how unexpectedly a door closed this month in our little house of life. In some ways, I feel like 2012 was for me to use up all my worry juice so I can’t do anything but leap. Thanks for all the inspiration and emotional triage this past year. Here we go!!!!!!!!!!!

    • etomczyk

      December 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      Tina: So sorry to hear about the doors and windows closing in your life, but most happy to hear that my writing has been some type of balm. There is no other direction but “up” in 2013! See you on the way up, my friend. Take care.

  8. momshieb

    December 31, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Dear Eleanor,
    You most likely have no idea how your writing has impacted me these past months; you always make me laugh, you always make me think about myself honestly, and you always give me a kick in the butt to keep on going. Your strength, humanity and powerful love come through in every post, like a beacon.
    Get on out there and get your book written: I’ll be the first one to buy a copy! I have such faith in you. Can’t wait to follow your next adventure as you rise to fame and fortune with your words of wisdom!
    Happy New Year to you and that beautiful family!

    • etomczyk

      January 2, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      Momshieb: I am so touched, so humbled, and so encouraged by your lovely comment. I’ve copied it and shall keep it to reread down the road when I start to wonder what in the hell I’m doing. 🙂 Happy New Year to you and yours!

  9. Valentine Logar

    December 31, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Eleanor you give me great hope! My desire is your window remains wide open and fresh breezes continue to blow through, money trees grow so your next chapter not only provides you great opportunity to do what it is you do so well, sound your wonderful voice but get paid for doing it!!

    Love your family picture!

    Bright blessings in the coming year.


    • etomczyk

      January 2, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      Val. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your lovely and very encouraging comment. I truly appreciate your support and readership. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  10. aFrankAngle

    January 1, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Happy New Year E, WW, and the rest of your family!

    What a delightful post to end the old and ring in the new. As usual, you had my laughing, so it’s a great way to have on my first morning of 2013.

    Oh my my … I can see the bling in the pic from taken from afar! But wait, the daughters don’t seem to be stylin’ at Mama’s level! 😉

    • etomczyk

      January 3, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      Hi Frank. Don’t you just love those “Gobstopper pearls”? (Remember the Gobstopper candy when we were little?) I couldn’t resist these pearls when I saw them. (WW laughed for a week at this purchase.) And you’re right, I scandalize my daughters. They are much more subdued.

      Thanks for such a lovely comment. Happy New Year to you and Mrs. A. Hope 2013 is full of joy, fun travel, and the sound of bells and dancing–there must be dancing! 🙂

      • aFrankAngle

        January 3, 2013 at 8:24 pm

        Many thanks E-Tom,
        No kidding to those pearls as they could have been spotted from another 30 paces back! 😉

        Fun, joy, dance, bells, and wine are in the plans for 2013. Cheers!

  11. Kim.

    January 1, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Well just reading that inspired me to feel even more alive and live like it! Always a pleasure reading your blog! God bless you 🙂

    • etomczyk

      January 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Thanks KLayne. Love the encouragement from you. MUAH!

  12. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer

    January 1, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    I’m keeping the windows open even though I’m freezing. But I don’t want to miss any opportunities or new possibilities every time one door or window closes.

    • etomczyk

      January 3, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      Great way of putting it, Ronnie, and a great perspective for me to adapt. Happy New Year, and wishing you a world of opportunities in 2013!

  13. becomingcliche

    January 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    May this truly be the first step of an incredible adventure!

    • etomczyk

      January 3, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      Thanks BC. . .from your lips to God’s ears! 🙂

  14. Lindy Lee

    January 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Happy New Year 2013, my dear. You certainly contributed to my life in this past year. I recall when I first discovered you here on WordPress, I read every single post you had written since you began here– stayed up till 2 am doing it; for me, that’s a record since I’m usually dead to the world by 9pm every night. I still think you should have your own show on TV. I’m a fan…

    • etomczyk

      January 5, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Lindy: WOW! I am so vaklempt by your comments. Wow. . .all I can say in response is to quote you back to you:

      “But, you feel proud of yourself that you could do this
      And overjoyed when another human being actually reads your words
      And expresses pleasure in having done so…”

      I am humbled.

  15. The Savvy Senorita

    January 5, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Hey Eleanor, great post! Happy New Year to you and your family!!! Wishing you all the good things 2013 can bring!
    Bex 🙂

    • etomczyk

      January 5, 2013 at 10:58 am

      Hi Bex. Glad to see you’ve returned from Wales and are back making Spain behave. 🙂 Happy New Year to you and may your dreams come true in 2013. All the best!

      • The Savvy Senorita

        January 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm

        Hi Eleanor. Hehe, thank you , I try my best anyway 🙂 Many thanks for that, very kind of you; I hope so too!! I wish the same to you also; may 2013 bring all you hope for!
        All the best, Bex!!


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