Another year has flown by, and accompanying my list of accomplishments is the list of goals that I did not achieve. I don’t make resolutions; I make commitments and strive to complete objectives. I make commitments to myself and to God and try my best to bring them to fruition. I choose to celebrate in my accomplishments and not lament the missed targets. I believe that 2015 will be full of blessings and achievements and I’m excited to get started.
I’ve had the goal of selling Johnny’s, my historic and famous bar and grill, for about four years. I’d convinced myself that I couldn’t launch my successful writing career while devoting the necessary time to my flourishing business. I was overwhelmed by the problems that cropped up relating to the restaurant side of Johnny’s Bar & Grill. I have been very blessed with wonderful employees for nineteen years but have struggled with cooks for many of them. I put up with bad behavior from them, either because of my codependency issues or desperation. I can cook. I’m a darn good cook, but it’s not what I want to do.
I pursued Christian Berrera as my chef many times when I needed to replace my cook. He had a reputation in town as a great cook and I’d known him as a karaoke customer for years. I liked him a lot and really wanted him on my team. It was not in God’s timing then, but when I released yet another hopeful young man with a cooking talent but a serious lack of discipline last November, my prayers were answered. Christian was available, and the fact that he had more than four years of sobriety under his belt meant that he was much better equipped to do the job.
Hiring a drinking alcoholic to work in a bar and grill is not wise. I didn’t learn my lesson easily. I’m a fixer and I like to help people. I hired one of my favorites four times. He was like a son to me; I loved him and wanted to help him have a better life. He eventually did the inexcusable more times than I could or should tolerate, and we parted ways. It broke my heart, and I think of him often and wonder how he is doing. Anyway, back to Christian. He is talented, motivated, and responsible. With him at the helm in the kitchen and my talented crew in the bar, I know that 2015 will be the best year ever.
I am embarking on my twentieth year as Johnny’s owner and I’ve come to the conclusion that it just may not be God’s will for me to move on at this time. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and if He wants me succeed as a writer, He will provide the way. I am more determined than ever to be as successful as a writer as I am a bar owner. I have been very blessed at Johnny’s these past nineteen years and as I strive to be in God’s will (yes, even while owning a bar), I know that He will continue to provide. The miracles I’ve witnessed attest to the fact that God’s hand has been in the business since the beginning. He put me in a place where He uses me to help others on a regular basis. My husband’s recovery from alcoholism was just the beginning. He is doing great things for God too.
So what goals does Charisse Tyson have for 2015? They are lofty, but as Matthew 7:7 says, ask and you shall receive. James 4:3 says the reason you don’t have what you want is because you don’t ask God for it. As a believer I’m not bashful about asking. I understand that I may not get what I want, if it isn’t God’s will for me, but I ask just the same. And I believe for it. Faith is a key component to receiving.
Here are my big plans for 2015. I wrote 51,000 words of a novel in less than a month last year during the November Write a Novel in a Month Challenge. The only problem was I didn’t finish it. I’m still trying to complete it, but without the NaNoWriMo challenge I wouldn’t have started at all. I’d been thinking about writing fiction but I didn’t know where to begin. The night that I decided to take the challenge, while lying in bed an idea popped into my head that could only have come from the Holy Spirit. On November third I forged ahead. Fiction is a blast because the story can take on a life of its own. When I wrote my memoir Miracles and Grace in an Unlikely Place, I knew more or less how it would end. With She Found Happiness on the Way Through Hell, (the title of my work in progress that may or may not change), I had no clue where my story would go, and am just now seeing glimpses of how I think it will end. It’s been an exciting and harrowing experience. I will finish the book soon and have decided to pursue traditional publishing channels with this one. We’ll see how that goes.
With that in mind I signed up for the Southern California Writers Conference in San Diego on Presidents Day weekend. My wonderful new friend Linda Satumba, who has longed to write a book for years, is going with me. I told her that without attending writing conferences I don’t think I would ever have finished Miracles. The knowledge that can be gained at these conferences is only surpassed by the comradery found at the convention. There is nothing quite like gathering with like-minded people to inspire you to push towards your goals. We are both very excited about our endeavor.
I decided to drive to the conference because it’s time that I fulfilled one of my other commitments. I have said for years that I wanted to write Virginia (Dago) Day’s biography. If you are new to my blog and don’t know who she is I’ll summarize. My lovely friend Dago is 84, and the only living original Boozette. The Boozettes are the ladies’ arm of my beloved Boozefighters motorcycle club. The origination of the club goes back 69 years. Dago has astounded me with her memory for details from that time. She remembers more about what went on 68 years ago than I do about what happened eight days ago. The fact that in 1946 a sixteen year old girl joined a motorcycle club is mind blowing in itself. I want to know and share the rest of her story. While in Southern California I plan on spending a week with her, recording her stories and making copies of her many wonderful photographs.
Before I write her biography, she and I plan on writing a picture book together. She is going to supply the pictures and the tales that accompany them and I am going to write the stories and put them together in a book that I know all of our Boozefighter and Boozette friends will cherish. The rich history of this club means so much to me and I am honored to have been welcomed into their family. Their connection to Johnny’s goes back to 1947, when club members rode their motorcycles into my bar during the so called Hollister “riots.” The historic connection between Johnny’s and the Boozefighters makes us integral partners.
In addition, while in Sothern California, I plan on visiting original Boozefighter member Vern Autry. Vern is the last living original that rode his motorcycle to Hollister in 1947 and he has lots of great stories. When he comes to town for the fourth of July, he and I have marvelous visits together. I’m praying that he will join us this July and we can celebrate his 90th birthday. He still rides his motorcycle, but I hope that the guys down south can talk him into trailering his bike. He’s a stubborn bugger, and he might say that if he can’t ride he won’t come. I’m hoping that with lots of encouragement he will.
I’m also planning to check in on Snowman and Big Jim. The stories those two can tell would fill volumes. Heck, maybe I’ll even get to see a clubhouse or two while down that way. I’ve been threating to visit Chapter 101 in LA for years.
The biggest goal for 2015 is to get and document the stories that all of these wonderful people have to share. Time is not on our side. We lost Shark last year and it came as a shock. He was another original and I spent lots of time with him in Dallas, as I always do at the National Conventions. We talked about me visiting him and his lovely girlfriend Sandy at their home in Northern California this year. At every convention they attended I looked forward to spending time with them. They were funny, energetic and full of wonderful stories. I can’t imagine how hard it is for Sandy to carry on without Shark. His passing was so sudden and it shook me to the core. I vowed then and there to stop talking about getting the stories of these icons, and start doing it.
With a wonderful crew holding down the fort at Johnny’s I plan to be on the road a bit this year, with and without my very indulging husband. We are hoping to enjoy our wonderful new trailer with friends and family as much as possible. As well as my February trip I plan to have a blast at the 25th annual Boozefighter National Spring Convention in Albany, New York. I’ll be preparing for another rally by then and before I know it there’s the Dallas Fall Convention in October and Cabo again in December for my birthday. If I thought 2014 flew by it wasn’t anything compared to the busy 2015 I have scheduled. Holy cow, I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
I think Charisse Tyson’s goals for 2015 are phenomenal. “Believe it and receive it,” as my mentor Joyce Meyer says. As well as planning for a lot of believing and receiving, I hope to give a ton back. That is truly what makes life worth living, helping others. I will close with another favorite scripture from Luke 6:38 in my Living Bible.
For if you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more and running over. Whatever measure you use to give -large or small- will be used to measure what is given back to you.
Take it from me folks, you can’t out give God. If you’d like to be kept up to date on my projects please subscribe to my website.