15 years ago:

I could not have written this page … because even I had no idea who I was … even to such a small detail as my favorite color.

I was freshly divorced … feeling like a total failure … comments about my incompetence laziness , stupidity, etc …  echoing in my mind

In Debt $96,000 … half of that mine from the divorce … my half of the assets ? $0 …. the phone rang constantly with collection agencies and attorneys demanding payment.

I was working 3 jobs … existing on 4 – 5 hours of sleep a night making up only on saturdays and sundays ….

I was on the obese side of overweight (according to my Body Mass Index) … on high blood pressure medicine; under pressure from my doctor to take high cholesterol medicine also … Physically I felt awful …

With two children in college and both nursing an anger at me for the divorce, I WAS TRAPPED by my debt … by my fate … and by my own self loathing.

…  yet somewhere a spark remained …

10 years ago: 

The spark re-ignited a fire  and I traveled half way round the world to take up a new career … ironically the career I had trained for while at University. Over the next 8 years I would explore  the world,  find my self-confidence, re-discover my sense of self-worth … and most importantly meet the person who would become my life’s partner … 60th birthday celebration with Genever often we seem to be one person in two bodies …

27 months ago:

We were retiring from our respective teaching careers … to pursue our interests in writing, photography and art … masters of our own fate(s) … free to choose each morning what we did for the rest of the day.

WE were and remain completely debt free …   a mortgage free home … a car … travel trailer & truck …. and a touring motorcycle …

We thought that our journey was  slowly winding down … instead a new and just as stressful one was  beginning … as we began casting about to find our ‘lives’ … plans and reality often seemed to be in conflict. A part-time job  to slow the slow drain on our savings … but worst was the feeling of being unfulfilled.


We returned to Bahrain … a plea from our former school … ” need two English teachers”. It was a prayer answered … Bored with “retirement” and watching our savings dwindle …. only 3 seconds elapsed before we answered yes.

Within ten days we are back in the land of camels, dust & Inshallah … Grateful to be able to step back into our expat life & reconnect with a sense of adventure. It was almost as though we had never left … except for all the things we gave away when we left that needed replaced.


me hospital

I am  in the hospital recovering from surgery for colon cancer. The previous 8 months’ symptoms unnoticed … Thankfully a trip home ( two flights) over winter break caused the tumor to bleed and presented symptoms of severe anemia. I was hospitalized almost immediately, diagnosed with cancer two days later & operated on within 3 days.


Recovering from surgery & feeling very grateful for my life, I looked in the mirror and saw from 10 years ago,  that same ‘on the obese side of overweight … on high blood pressure medicine; under pressure from my doctor to take high cholesterol medicine also’ person and decided it was time to do something about it … Joining the gym at the British Club Tilly & I began to work out in earnest …

1 WEEK  ago:

… I AM FEELING GREAT… My 8 month (missed the 6 month) checkup for cancer surgery is complete. No abnormalities noted; I am healthy, easily running 5 km daily … In the best physical condition of my life…. I am content and healthy; but most importantly HAPPY…  I wake up each morning grateful to be alive … grateful to have the love of my life next to me … ready for each day’s adventure …


I hope that  by sharing this journey so far & as it progresses,  others might benefit from what I have learned … find some encouragement … see some new directions … find a new perspective … laugh a little with and at me … discover some other insights and hopefully, spend less time than I  in the classrooms of the ‘School of Hard Knocks’


PLEASE share with others what you find beneficial and share insights of your journey, here also.

CHEERS – MIKALmy sweetheart

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