Saturday, November 23, 2013
It snowed last night. It has snowed a few times already, but this time it seems to be staying on the ground and there is more snow in the forecast. A clear signal that this year is coming to an end. This was my self-declared Best Year Ever, and it has been a fun and good one, overall. I came close to love -- or at least, I had a lot of fun and came close to feeling like I had a shot at it again, although that feeling sort of slipped away again, at least on the part of one of us. Still, what a gift. I had forgotten how much I love that feeling of promise, that hope that someone might care as much as you do. I learned and tried a bunch of new things -- amateur radio, Morse Code, search and rescue -- and I was reminded that learning and trying new things is absolutely deliriously delightful. I made a bunch of crafty projects, and even got a little better at some of my crafty skills, including putting in zippers, tying flies, and basic quilting. I learned a lot from the people I work with and for in Hospice. They reminded me over and over (and over) again to keep my heart and mind open. I spent time fishing and target shooting and walking and training. No regrets.
At the same time, I started to feel old. Really old. Like a building that still shows the lines of what it once was, but now peeling and probably damaged beyond repair. I am pushing my body, but nothing about it is effortless anymore, and I am always aware that it hurts. I remain foolishly hopeful for love some of the time, but my wrinkles jeer back at me like an overdue expiration date. Worse, the decrepitude is making me feel self conscious, and it is never good to be wondering how you look, if your turkey chin is showing, when you are trying to relate to people. It's a mixed time of life, I feel better mentally and emotionally than I ever have, and just wish I had the time and energy to take full advantage of it.
But for sure I am thankful for many things. I am thankful for good friends, for warm hugs, for healthy children and grandchildren. I am grateful to be learning new things, both for the opportunities and for the discovery that I am still capable of learning. I am thankful for the basic comforts of life, the warm house and utilities, for too much food where my biggest problem is choosing what to eat, not whether to eat. I am thankful to be healthy enough to complain when I don't feel as good as I wish. I am thankful for aching feet and a tired back that remind me that I need to get off the couch and keep moving. I am thankful that I have enough money to be comfortable, but not so much that I don't appreciate little luxuries. Life is good, and if this has been the Best Year Ever, I am already daring to hope that next year will be even better.