One Step at a Time

Pat Fitzgerald

I look around cautiously … my breathing slow, steady, rhythmic.

I listen … John Wick (of all movies) fighting and umph-ing and ack-ing and uh-king in the background. But that’s all. John Wick is riding a horse through city streets, no less. That’s some feat.

It is the day after New Year’s Day. Celebrated New Year’s Eve with my family, spent yesterday with my brother-in-law, reorienting him to the outside world a little. It was a good day.

I look around again … cautiously.

Has the bad luck from 2020 followed me into this Saturday matinee? Is the boogeyman waiting for me to take a misstep so he/she/it can jump on me with both feet?

I didn’t really have a horrible 2020. I lost two people I loved, which was heartbreaking. I cleaned out a hoarder house and had to give up a totally new start on my retirement plans by giving up a few projects/things I wanted to do.

I did have blessings every day. I have a partner who supports me, a dog who hangs with me, a cat that loves me. I have improved my blog ratings and found dozens of fantastic artists to share with you and cleaned places in my house that haven’t felt the dust rag or seen the light of day in 15 years. My mammogram was negative, as was my Covid test.

So the positives really do outweigh the negatives.

But I’ve also become more spacy in 2020. I have dropped more, forgotten more, cut more fingers and gotten more black and blue marks than in years previous. According to my partner I am forgetting more and understanding less. 

I find myself watching every step going down the steps and making sure 10 times the stove is off and am self-conscious walking across the snow. I get flashes of what it would be like to slip on the stairs and come crashing down a level, to slice my finger off cutting an onion, or slipping in the shower.

I hate suddenly becoming so self-conscious.

Think of all the things we did when we were younger. We all have episodes where we should have wound up in the hospital — or worse. But we played, we took chances, we goofed off and put our lives in fast forward.

I watch 2021 spread slowly across the world and my life and don’t want to live in fast forward any more. 

I find myself taking smaller bites and relishing each, individual one. I have lost some sense of smell, but take one spray of scent every morning. I text friends when I don’t really have much to say, and hang with my grandkids even when they are off playing with each other. 

2020 was a year of nightmares — but not being able to move forward is a nightmare, too.

Let’s make the most of the possibilities of 2021 — just maybe one step at a time.

 

Another Chance

Hot Flashes and Cold FeetAs I’m always saying, the clock ticks eternally forward. While we all notice the seconds, no one feels it as much as one who has already spent a good deal of their life counting.

I’m not going to lie. I want to live forever. I don’t have a strong, religious faith in place, so I have no idea what’s in store once I close my eyes for good. I haven’t left a whole lot behind for posterity, except maybe a refinanced mortgage and a unicorn collection. I’ve made a few people smile with my writing through the years, but standing on the beach or walking through the woods or watching a funny TV show leaves a smile on their lips, too.

And sooner or later my name will blow away in the dust of time, as billions have before me. But I will have had an accomplishment that will keep its mark in me through the Great Barrier and beyond.

I’m a grandmother for the second time.

This time my grandbaby’s entrance was a little shaky. It’s amazing how something that seems so simple on the outside can be so complicated inside. Life is a miracle. There is no doubt. How we get from a spermy and eggy into a president or opera singer I will leave to the biology majors. But so many things can go wrong on the familiar path we all walk that you have to stop and think — and thank — something, someone, else for getting all parties through.

Second grandbaby is a boy, and he and mom are doing just fine now. It brought back memories of one of my past pregnancies — one where the outcome wasn’t so positive. But that was 35 years ago, and this is now, and fate has smiled on our family and friends and brought another soccer player into the family. His older sibling is starting kindergarten tomorrow, so what a better off-to-school treat than a baby brother.

How appropriate his arrival came after my last post about Getting On Track. About sometimes feeling like a loser because I go up to the cabin to write but I often do anything BUT write.  Half way through my retreat the Goddess and Buddha and whomever else had other plans for my idle time. And it wasn’t writing. Nor was it windchimes in the breeze or naps in the afternoon.

It was welcoming another being into the world.

It was being there for mom and dad and CJ and Papa and Nana and Great Grandpa Lyle and Great Grandma Katie as the new baby came wrinkled and breathless into this world.

It was preparing the world for a new chance to get it right. It was dreams of baseball and homework and trick-or-treating with yet another child of the world. Another chance to get it right. To make the world right.

You can’t ask for a better chance for an afterlife than that.

The Gazing Ball

gazing-globe-12When you look into the gazing ball, what do you see?

Do you make a wish?

Do you see infinity?

Is it a reflection? Or an inflection?

You are never too old to look into the gazing ball.

The reflection is only the beginning.

I feel a new project on the horizon.

A new chance to

Create

Play

Research and

Wander.

What do YOU see when you look into the gazing ball?