Beginning of the End

It has become an unintentional tradition; photographing trees that aren’t mine. Since I typically create something non-traditional (and sometimes not even a tree), I spend the season admiring the traditionalists. This is in contrast to my minimalist and frugalist propaganda, of course. I celebrate the hypocrisy irony on my part. My contradictions are exquisite.

The image above is a tree specifically designed to look elegant yet masculine. It crowns the office of three gentlemen who own a business together. Several of the smaller ornaments have tuxedo lapels and bow ties. Lots of black and silver. I nicknamed it The Black Tie Affair. It felt right for December, a month–long wrap party.

In January Meryburg enjoyed its one and only snow day. But we got one! I got sick but it was the one and only time all year. Just the one! The Chef and I learned how to cut my hair and thereby initiated a whole year of free haircuts. [Clink!] A toast to saving $500 a year on grooming.

Photo by Chrissy Becotte

In February I got my new name to go with my 45th birthday. The nickname of my younger years was retired. My new pen name was installed with great satisfaction.

In March I started looking for a new job. I would search for six months. I suffered the terminal knee injury while running. But recovery from the injury led to the discovery of Cheat Panties, something so sassy.

In April I attended my first-ever crawfish boil. It’s probably a good thing I got one in before my summer conversion. In July I’d forever change the rules for boiling and eating bugs. I also took professional head shots for The Chef’s new business, my first such pro photography gig not related to my old yoga business.


In May I started cooking again after a ten-year hiatus. The Chef and I decided to share the duties after a decade of him serving me like a queen. Not that I gave up my crown, of course, but my reign was augmented with more partnership.

In June I issued a royal edict to ban the wearing of underwire bras and all other passive feminine torture devices. I also instituted the Just Pick One policy, in which we don’t submit to 50 simple ways to do anything; we just pick one. And by we I mean Me, but you have to end up reading about it.

In July I entered the 30 Day Vegan Challenge, proving myself so, so wrong that I could never give up cheese. Or wild game. Or salami. Or heaven help us, real cream in my coffee.

In August I completed the 30 Day Vegan Challenge. It stuck. I didn’t go back to being an omnivore. Longer lives the queen, we expect.


In September I started running again after the terminal knee injury. So it wasn’t terminal in that I would never run again, but it remains terminal in that I don’t compete anymore. I’m not sorry. I still don’t miss it. Joy-based running is its own reward.

In October I finally found the new job for which I began searching in March. Holding out for the right fit was worth all the months of search and interviews and rejection on both sides of the table.


In November I picked up a second, part-time, freelance job to go with it. Hello, my name is Lance. I’m free. Or should I say freemerce? My name is Mercy. I’m free. I never gave up my love of being my own boss. Those years I owned my own business left me spoiled. Year 2017 brought me some more of that action. Sometimes a small taste is enough.

December isn’t over yet. It’s only just begun. I’ll cover the highlights at the end of the month but I wanted to underscore the festivity of a year’s worth of celebratory events as one of the reasons for this season. This is a departure from my usual anti-Christmas slander and slinging and slashing and bashing. I won’t be doing any of that this year. I mean to demonstrate my gratitude in the same spirit as my Exonerate The Year (2016) posts. It wasn’t all bad, Twitter notwithstanding.

I know the world is itchy and raw too. I know it hurts and infuriates too. I know. But there are ups and lifts and yeses and favors and mercies in the mix too. Let’s adjust our focus, shall we? Just long enough to tell the Universe more of what we do want and do value and do appreciate, shall we?

— Mercy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s