I spend a lot of time appreciating how lucky I am. I’m fairly well insulated from hardship, surrounded by wonders, and traveling through life with a good partner by my side. Even so, I am going to acknowledge here that I’m feeling fragile and frazzled as this year comes to a close. I realize that many others have it worse, and self-pity is an unattractive and useless indulgence, but why have a blog if you can’t be honest? And the honest truth is that I’m blue and befuddled right now.
For starters, there’s the sustained outrage and cumulative toxicity that comes of having a disgusting and delusional moron as leader of our nation and a crew of spineless enablers in Congress. (Things are not looking so good out there in the world right now.) I think about this too much. And of course I’m always haunted by sad memories and brooding thoughts about the meaning of life; that’s just the way I am, but especially now, because…well, ’tis the season. And I’m missing my busy and faraway daughter, which affects me more at some times than others.
But there’s also the jarring realization that I have a tumor in my head, and it’s something I need to address. So I’ve been immersed in reading online discussion about acoustic neuromas, which is not exactly a pick-me-up. There seems to be general agreement on one thing: that choosing between surgery and radiation is a difficult decision. And I’ve never been good at decisions, especially difficult ones.
Well, this too shall pass. Somehow I’m going to figure it out. And how fortunate I am to have access to health care…now that’s something else to appreciate! As my friend Myrtle put it, “This is the price we pay for our health and longevity. Unpleasant, uncomfortable, and scary, but better than the alternative. Just take a walk outside if you don’t believe me.”
I did take a walk outside. In fact, I walked with two old friends whom I hadn’t seen in a long time, and they appreciated this spirit-filled canyon with the fervor of nature-lovers and artists, which they are. We lingered at the lion oak. We climbed up to the sandstone rock formation and looked out at the channel.
I know very well that there are many others who are feeling sad and vulnerable and worried right now, and I am trying to redirect some of my self-pity into understanding and compassion for them. For all of us, in one way or another, this is a tricky, tiring time demanding stamina and temerity…and an element of faith.