I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD-SLAPS, SPEED-BUMPS and LIGHT-BULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.



Sunday, September 8, 2013

Winning after all


My beautiful boy asleep on the couch

Last night I searched for and found a journal I knew had the birth month and year of our dog Harley. Because he has become an old dog with issues, it seemed important to know, as close as we can, how old he actually is. It didn’t take long to find the journal and the date, May 2002. He is a senior of his breed; golden retriever/yellow lab/mutt mix.

After I found the date I began to leaf through the journal and reread my entries which actually started as far back as the beginning of the new century. It wasn’t one of those journals I wrote in everyday, just during times of anything other than the mundane. Mundane had me falling asleep regularly, different had me up and writing.


The entries on one day might cover three or four different happening on that same date, during different years. Over the last decade I’d go back, add and update what I had written.  It’s interesting because what I wrote about as a worry or expectation, I noted the following years as either being of little consequence, problem solved or dream fulfilled. It was nice to see that because of the journal’s continuation year after year, no matter what the issue, life went on. But, a few times life ended.

Notes about my parents during the end of their lives, and entries regarding my mother-in-law, just before she passed away at 93, were sobering reminders that there is an end to all of this. It illustrates how we should not take any day, especially those written down and noted, for granted.

The backbone of the journal...my grateful lists. It seems that no matter how difficult life got, and it did get difficult at times, I always had a list of five things about my day for which I was grateful. I haven’t made those lists lately, which is odd, because I have more now to thankful for then ever. My newest journal is more a bitch-book, a series of whiny entries all about how much I hate my job. It’s actually a pretty good job. Actually it’s not the job I dislike as much as it is my inability to retire, which I thought I’d be able to do this year.

My husband and I never planned to retire because we knew we could never afford to. Then something amazing happened to us. We won the lottery, sort-of. Not an actual play a number, put down the buck, and win tons of money, lottery, we won by giving up something we dearly loved but didn’t really need...and we won big.

I won’t go into the specifics but when I reread all my entries leading up to the day of the windfall, and all the entries added to the same exact days, but different years, it was eye opening to see how wasteful my angst and worry was. I poured out my heart about a big beautiful  house I fell in love with and wanted to buy so much I ached for it...and here I am having lived in that big-ass house for ten years and we're putting it on the market next spring in order to downsize.

My daughter, off to college, happy, unhappy and eventually back home, I thought would never finish school and end up with a mediocre future. She fought back and transferred, graduated, has her masters, a marriage, a new job and is pregnant. My angst and my worries were wasted. 

Retirement became a real possibility, a part of the plan until ’08 when everything with a dollar sign tanked. In every sense, it was a time of wisdom and memories, a time when possibilities were endless. It is one of those things on my grateful list. The lists I don’t write anymore.

I’d love to write about our journey from nothing, to everything and back. A memoir perhaps the likes of It can happen to you. After reading my journal I learned that when we thought we had so little, we actually had a lot, and when we had it all, we were the same people as before, but with nicer furniture. 

I guess what I really want to say is that last night I relived the journey to the finish line.  It was exciting, the stuff of books and movies and a story I would love to tell but I have so many stories to share, and as humans do, especially the ones who write, we run out of time.

It is the reality of life and ‘time’ that the house will eventually be sold, the couches replaced and Harley, the young pup who moved here with us ten years ago probably will not make it through this coming winter. It is my hope that a year from now I will add to today’s page the truth of resilience and comments about a goofy old dog still hanging on. 
   

What do you want added to this day's page a year from now? 

4 comments:

  1. First, what a sweet, sweet face on your Harley...assuming that's his picture. Muah! Which is me kissing his head.

    What do you want added to this day's page a year from now?

    I just received THE CALL.

    That would be a stellar entry in the journal - no?

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    1. Yes Donna, the picture is of my sweet boy. He is the best of the best dogs we ever had.

      As much as I adore my husband 'the call' would outrank the proposal...actually my husband never proposed I did.
      "Hey what's your name, don't-cha' think it's time we get married? We eloped.

      Yup 'the call' would beat that out, for sure. I'll pray for you to get the call if you pray for me to get it... oh wait, I need an agent, duh. You're already half-way there.

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  2. I get the same feeling when I read back in journals past. I feel silly and yet it proves to me how worry is a thief and that God is paying attention and helping me along. I may be surprised about an event or situation, but He never is. Now if I could just learn to remember this before going through the worry, it would be helpful! (And I'm not a worrying type either...it's more like impatience at situations, but would come across as worry would, so I count it the same.)

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    1. I love what you said about “worry being a thief” and “God helping you along”.
      At least four times in my life I have been literally rescued ‘out of the blue’ by intervention I can only cite as divine. These unexpected and unexplainable instances are only a few of what I really think saves my sorry ass daily, even when I chose to take a path filled with pot holes and caution signs.

      When something comes up which wears on my mind, my husband will say to just let it go...I wish I could do that.

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