Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Two weeks

Two weeks from today the local schools will be back in session. Wow that was a fast summer!

I'm not quite sure what to make of this year in terms of how quickly its passing. Last summer was honestly a blur to me. Perhaps that's part of it - I had a horrible year and I barely remember any of it. But then this summer seems to have gone by so quickly and I'm not sure if one has anything to do with the other.

I think perhaps time just moves more quickly as you get older. It reminds me of when you grab a huge pile of sand in your hand and its overflowing its so heavy. But if your fingers are not tightly closed together it quickly begins to disappear between the cracks and before you know it poof! Its gone. In the beginning you barely see it leaving but by the end those grains are flying out so quickly you barely have time to react. I think that's the way life is. I feel it quickly leaving now, flying out of my fingers so quickly with no chance to slow it all down. I can see the end, and the pile is long gone. Life is short and no one knows it better than someone my age!

Two weeks will be gone in a blink. And then I'll be bemoaning the passage of yet another holiday season. And so it goes, month to month, year to year, and I think I wish I'd had a mid-life crisis years ago and run away like some people do. Because now its too late. And my life is nearly over. And there's no time left for a do-over. Sigh...

Yikes. Way too morose and heavy for a lovely Wednesday morning! I hear the weather is going to be cooler this week! Now that's something to smile about!!! And a smile is a much better way to start a day. So I will!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Changes

I'm always fascinated by the way that change of any kind throws off the fine balance of life. Whether its illness, trauma, or simply not having your morning newspaper to read, when we are used to something one way it upsets the apple cart when that changes.

There have been many changes in my life this past year, mostly set off by one major one. When my husband and I parted ways it changed so many other things that my entire world was rocked, from my relationships to my children and other family members to the way I turn in for the night and how I take care of my house. Everything really changed. It reminds me of the science that informs us when a butterfly flaps its wings on this side of the world something is effected on the other. Its rather amazing really.

Yesterday I attended a ceremony marking the change at our local hospital which is now affiliated with a much larger one. Its good change, for the most part, and yet there is a great deal of concern among many people about how this will alter their worlds. Not only staff, but patients have voiced questions about how things will be different, and I'm reminded once again of how we are creatures who love things to be the same. We like the predictable and we value "sameness" in so many ways. Its a comfort zone for us, its what we know and what we understand.

What is it they say, "better the devil you know than the devil you don't"?  I think many people feel that way. And perhaps its true, but not necessarily. Sometimes we just need to sit back, take it all in, and adjust to a new normal.

Easier said than done... 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The run

Today is my eighth annual Ellen's Run. And its a celebration for me every year.

Eight years ago I had just completed treatment for breast cancer and when I as asked if I would work at Ellen's Run I gladly said yes. It's a fundraising 5K race that was began twenty-two years ago by the wonderful Julie Ratner in honor of her sister Ellen who died of the disease in her 40s. Of course I would help!

Not only did I help but I organized my first team. There were about 33 of us if I remember, and it wasn't an "official" team because I was such a novice I didn't realize you could register as a team! But we had matching t-shirts and did our part to raise money for the cause. I didn't yet have the energy to do the walk myself but I donned my pink wig and worked the registration tables and saw my team off at the starting line. 

Every year since they I've done the walk, winning the "largest team" award three times, but not doing a team the past two years. I found that it was such a hard job putting the team together, and I had started an event in East Hampton held in October to raise money for the same charities that was bringing in more than my team did in terms of dollars, that I determined to put my energy toward that instead of putting a team together. So this year, like last, I'll be walking with the Southampton Hospital Team instead.

Its a wonderful day, a great event, and although I don't like missing church, I've made it a priority to be there every year for eight years now. And hopefully I'll be able to be there for many, many more.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Rainy days and Mondays

The Carpenters were in my head all day yesterday. It began when the deluge started in the morning and stayed with me the rest of the day, an ear worm that I couldn't dislodge and made me even more depressed than I already was.

What is it about rain that makes us sad? I think its the combination of not wanting to go out in it and the fact that the sun is behind the clouds and its so dark out there. All day that gray sky made me feel lower than I have in while and I wanted to crawl into bed and sleep the day away, which sadly was not an option. 

I think being alone also factors in to the equation these days. Because there was a time when I didn't mind rainy days. With my kids at home it was a day to make forts out of blankets or bake cookies. When I had a partner here it was a day for binge watching some television show we hadn't had time to watch, and making popcorn to enjoy the screen time with. Yes, rainy days are definitely more fun when you have company. Alone they pretty much stink.

If I had my own studio I would use that time to create. But I don't, so instead I read or watch TV ... alone. And I think I suddenly realize the reason for my funk yesterday. It wasn't really the rain at all. It was the fact that the rain was reminding me that I was alone.

And being alone stinks.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sisters

I was reminded again this week how important our families are to us. My two sisters and I met for dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate one of their birthdays. And it was a refreshing time of peace.

There is safety in family. Even when you're not getting along or in some sort of disagreement, you are always pretty confident in the bond of love that exists. Its a bond that seems to outlive everything else, petty arguments, major family blow-ups, whatever. Oh I know there are families that are broken irreparably and that is sad, but for the most part we seem to be able to overlook each other's faults and come back to a place of peaceful coexistence if nothing else. There's something about our shared histories that makes for a pretty strong bond, even though we don't always remember things In exactly the same way! Family lore is just that sometimes, but it always takes on a bigger role when stories are re-told over the years, right?

My family has been a source of strength to me, but also, sometimes, a source of pain. During the most difficult times we don't always know what the other needs or wants or desires and sometimes we misstep. But always, I find, we have love at the core and that's what its all really about.


Next week another birthday to celebrate. And that's something to look forward to. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Counting days

I know this gets old, and I know I do it every year, but I truly am counting the days until August is over.

And just to be really annoying, Labor Day is late this year and it isn't even over when August is over. Sheesh!

Traffic is incredible this month and the frenetic nature of August is wearing on me. I think we're all so patient for such a long time that by now, we've had it. How much can we take in our quaint little town?

I can't get out of my driveway, I can't get a place to park anywhere close to work, I can't shop at the grocery store after 8am....the list goes on and on. And forget trying to head west after 2:00 in the afternoon! Or anytime for that matter!

Well we're officially half way through the month now and Labor Day is only two weekends away, so I guess we can survive it. These are the waning days of the season and soon enough we'll be wearing sweatshirts to sit at the beach, right? I don't mind that actually - I love the autumn! But for now its about surviving this summer . Yes, we can do it! The question is, can we do it all again next summer?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Perspectives

It's always amusing to me how different one's perspective is from time to time in life. 

When I was young I so looked forward to sending my kids off to their grandmothers' houses. I enjoyed the time to get things done and they always had fun with their grandmothers. 

Now I'm the grandmother and I'm getting some of those kids today and I'm very excited about it!

I'm already planning the events of the day. This morning I have only the 8-year-old so we'll go off and do some fun things together. Perhaps we'll go out to breakfast, or at the very least grab a bagel and go sit at the beach. Closer to noon the younger crowd will be joining us and at that point we're here to stay so I see lunch together, baking cookies, and playing outside all on the agenda. Its supposed to be a beautiful day so we'll have a good time here at home. They always like to do puzzles and play games so those activities may well be part of the festivities too.

My perspective has changed for sure. Rather than being happy to leave them with someone else, I'm thrilled to have them left with me. Hopefully they feel the same way...