zoethe: (Me)
I was all prepared to have a very bad day today. [livejournal.com profile] theferrett is going out of town and I have to work and study and go to school, and then I was just going to go home and sit alone for the evening.

Not a very pleasant way to turn 45.

Fortunately, the people who love me rescued me from a deep bout of sorry-for-myself-itis. [livejournal.com profile] neorxnawang and his daughter have baked me a birthday cake, which I will be able to enjoy this evening after class, Ferrett made my morning by getting me exactly what I asked for as a birthday prezzie, and there were lovely birthday bagels and a mocha waiting for me at the office. And the porch swing arrived, though it’s not hung up yet (we have the lure of the other half of the money to get the landscaper back out to finish, so I am not worried about no follow-through). My garden is in, but not so "finished" as to leave me with nothing to do.

As it turns out, a very pleasant way to turn 45.

I woke up this morning and found myself singing: "lalala, I’m 45!" I’m actually remarkably happy about this particular birthday, which surprises me because, while 30 didn’t bother me, 35 did. So when I welcomed 40 with open arms, I figured that 45 would be another difficult landmark. So I’ve been poking at it, like that place on your arm you smacked really hard into a filing cabinet and are sure must be getting swollen and bruised. Am I just numb? Am I really not feeling any pain there?

Apparently I am not.

I’ve been contemplating the source of this contentment. And real happiness. Because despite all the frustration and exhaustion and continual battle with health and injury and school, I am, at the base of it all, happy.

I think it has something to do with the fact that my life isn’t settled. I’m back in school, working toward a major career change, instead of looking back on 20-odd years of working and wondering where it’s gotten me. I’m looking forward and seeing challenges and adventures, rather than another 20 of the same thing and the terror of not being able to retire. I’m looking around me and liking what I see: I love my little house, particularly now that I have a garden that calls to me; I have good friends to buoy me up when I’m down, to encourage me when I’m discouraged, to need me back so that I feel useful; I have family with whom I am at peace, for despite a rocky childhood I have come to know them all as people and do not begrudge them their faults; I have children who, even when trying, are beautiful and intelligent and fun to be with; and I have love, the kind of great love that sustains and nurtures.

Is anyone really richer than I?

I have probably passed the halfway mark for my years in this incarnation—and certainly have lived the majority of my healthy, strong and vibrant years. It is not yet twilight, but the sun is past midsky. Yet I do not fear the years ahead, nor regret those left behind. I am who I am because of what I have known, who I’ve known, how I’ve lived. Not perfect, not even always strong in the right ways. But unique and powerful in my own right.

Happy birthday to me.
zoethe: (YummyAlyson)
Two days ago there was snow. Today shirtsleeve weather.

I am reading A Midwife’s Tale – The Life of Martha Ballard Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812. This changeable weather and its effect on our lives stirs me, yet how trivial it has become compared with what daily weather meant to people in that era. If I feel compelled to comment upon it, how much more it must have meant to people who lived and died by the weather.

I managed to run one errand that got me out into the sunshine today. I hope I can contrive a second. In the meantime, back to spreadsheets.
zoethe: (aragorn)
Driving home tonight it became apparent that I wasn't going to get home. There was a huge accident and the police had blocked the on ramp. I took a road I had never before ventured and after a bit of a curlycue and swoop found myself on 14th with no clue whether I was headed north or south.

It was only then that I thought, gee, I'm lost in one of the worst neighborhoods in town at 10pm with a wounded shoulder and less than an eighth of a tank of gas. Not, perhaps, my best choice.

I slowed down to get my bearings and try to read street numbers, and was quickly overtaken by a thundering herd of SUVs. They swooped past me, intent on a destination.

It was a split second decision, but I went with the herd. There was no paying attention to street numbers now, there was only keeping up. I had no clue where we were going, or why we were making somany right turns. My faith almost failed, glancing at the gas gauge.

But sure enough, they were on their way to I-90. I was completely disoriented and would have sworn that we were headed south, but there it was to the north of us. I couldn't even wave gratitude to my rescuers - their assistance had only been incidental to their own destination.

Life is frequently like that. We want to think that we are the center of the universe, each one of us, and that things happen around us for our benefit or loss. In reality, we're mostly hitching rides on the slipstream of time and incident. That can be a comfort, knowing that things aren't really conspiring against you.

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zoethe

September 2012

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