After the crazy snow thunderstorms, 80+ mph winds, rain, and more snow, the sun came up today. Beautiful, bright orange and above the clouds – streaks of yellow fanning out, just like you see in cartoons. I am grateful for another spring, and for every day that I see the sun. I am grateful that I’m still alive to see more sunrises over the Colorado mountains. And, I am grateful to see growth and a promise for things to come this summer.
Last year revolved around school, work, music, a fantastic eclipse, job searching, aches and pains, and trying to keep up in this crazy world. Our son enjoyed the experience of a lifetime, spending two weeks without us in the Colorado Mountains. He learned about nature, camaraderie and independence. He climbed rocky cliffs with ropes, mountain biked, paddle-boarded on in cold mountain lakes, kayaked, canoed, hiked and camped, overnight in the high mountains. Last summer was the first time he had been away from home without us, and he reveled in the experience. Our plans have created a similar adventure in the mountains this summer as well as parkour, weight training and swimming afterwards, and a 6-week STEM program at LMS.
Last summer, I planted late as it snowed Memorial Day weekend! But, I had a terrific garden and put away vegetables for cold winter night meals. I made a terrific New Year’s Eve Rigatoni Bake with my homemade sauce. I baked and gave away many cookies and breads to my friends and co-workers. This year, I don’t know if I’ll be able to plant anything with this whacky weather. But, the grass is green and the flowers are in bloom. I may have to live with just that. Not a bad way to live, though.
Last year, I took on a new job with more responsibility and hours. I learned about millennials and how to work with them. I learned to let go of the words that describe how men should behave, such as Man Up, Suck it Up, Strap on a Pair, Toughen Up – words that defined my prior world. I learned how to live in a newer world where men and women work hard and play hard, and don’t need definitions that describe them in the classic sense. I learned to tell people what I think without being too harsh. I learned how to speak up and be passionate about what I am and what I do, and not worry that someone else isn’t doing the same thing (well, at least I tried not to worry). I learned new skills and made old ones come back to life and improve. (Still learning the “let it go” part, however.)
I learned how to curb my anger when people didn’t listen to me because they were thinking about something else or were rushing to the end to speak their mind. Sometimes, they would actually do the things I requested of them, and not get mad in the process. Sometimes, they would appreciate the experience. Sometimes, they also helped me understand what I needed to do as well and that made me a better person. But, sometimes they just look at me as if I was just old and didn’t know anything and that saddened me.
Winter was a time of loss and sorrow. We all lost people who meant something to us. I was sad that I made promises to see some of them and didn’t follow-up. I hope they are in a more peaceful senior/rec center and playground and have forgiven me for not always being there. Last year, we praised our accomplishments, yet found it okay to mourn our losses and defeats, with hopes that the positive would overwhelm the negative.
This year, my friend of 20 years moved away to the east, to be closer to family, and new faces are in the neighborhood. I haven’t gotten to know the young couple who moved into her house. I mourn the loss of my friend and all the times we laughed and cried, baked together and talked about Velma’s next actions. I am not ready to see what the new couple has done to her house or yard. I hope to get to know them, but things change and that’s hard. I know I have to embrace the change.
As part of my spring ritual, now going rapidly into summer, I’ve cleaned out my closets and vow to get clutter-free, I gave away furniture to a friend in need, only to realize how much glorious space I now have in this house. This process made me reflect on cleaning up the rest of the clutter in my life. I am working on forgiving myself for my past and answer that age-old question: “Why are we driven to do the things we do?” Being in the service industry—i.e., a government job, I am learning to take pride in what I do every day, and not worry about what others think. (Still working on the worry part.)
My goal for this summer is to learn how to decrease stress and try to make the best of it. I want to read more, write more and finish something for publication. I will be there for my family, but also attempt to learn to be there for me. It’s a hard process and progress will be slow. I want to figure out how to “keep up” with my expectations and forgive incompetence in others and myself. I want to learn to let go and do the best I can.
I read this somewhere and love it. I want to make it my current motto:
“Anything good in writing comes from the truth we live.”
I know that everything will get better and every morning I look outside and watch the sun come up once again.