Step Fifty Two

Step Fifty One
September 17, 2015
Step Fifty Three
April 25, 2016

I thought I didn’t need this blog anymore. Seemed like I’d reached an equilibrium of sorts, that I’d told the stories I needed to tell.

Then Laura got sick. And I knew there were things needed saying. Then Laura died. And I didn’t want to think about it for one second more than absolutely necessary. Then days passed. Weeks, even. And a strange sense of normalcy crept in, distorting everything into some surreal calmness that belied the underlying truth, forcing me to pretend that life goes on.

Just over a month has passed since Laura’s funeral.

Yesterday, a friend and colleague from across the globe got the shocking news when he sent Laura an email and received the saddest auto-reply ever. Of course, he reached out to me with his condolences. And I woke up this morning suddenly seeing right through that fake sense of normalcy, reminded that life in fact does not go on for everybody.

I can’t say my bad mood is back. I can’t say that I’ve reverted to my previous state of shock and denial. A cursory glance at the scale and the extra 12 pounds it ascribes to me since Christmas makes it fairly clear that I have not moved on.

In retrospect, it’s fairly obvious that my bad mood has been cleverly disguised as a bag of Doritos, a McDonalds value meal or an Arby’s giant roast beef. Grief masquerading as hunger.



I am keeping a little bit busy, helping out in Lebanon Community Theatre’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. It’s a fun show, and I keep busy in the ensemble. But when I get home most evenings, I want to do absolutely nothing.

It’s not that I don’t want to do anything. I want to do nothing.

If I can make it from the driveway to the living room sofa with nary a stopover in the kitchen for a cold beverage, if I can set the TV to find last week’s unwatched DVR playlist, if I can zone out for one complete hour … unfortunately, that’s too many ifs for most days.

I’m not exercising. I’m eating the worst possible foods. I’ve replaced diet sodas and water with extra-sweet tea. I don’t blog regularly. I’m not spending time with my wife and daughter. I’m not making time for my friends, and I’m not being much of a leader for my co-workers.

Worse, there is no good reason for any of it. Not one.

Yes. Laura died. And it was awful. I lost one of my oldest, closest friends. And it sucked. Still sucks. But it can’t be a license to let everything else suck, too.

I got lazy. Became complacent. Rolled with the punches. Went with the flow. Blamed it all on Laura’s sudden departure for a better place.

That’s got to stop.



Jeff Peyton
Jeff Peyton
Don’t be fooled by Jeff Peyton's accomplishments in communications, crisis and business management. He also wing-walked on an airplane at 700 feet, co-piloted the Goodyear Blimp and swam with sharks - and still managed to obtain paperwork officially declaring him “legally sane.” Really.

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