I know this is day one of a new decade. It’s also the third anniversary of me starting this blog. Like so many others, these days are laden with expectations. I’ve been thinking about how we humans imbue so many of our days with meanings that elevate them beyond what is simply an average twenty-four hours. There are the holidays that are omnipresent like New Year’s and Christmas. Each religion has its special holy days with their incumbent suppositions of behaviors and emotions. Then there are the individual ones like birthdays and anniversaries, laden with anticipation of acknowledgement, gifts and special treatments.
One of the lessons I learned during the five years of dealing with Michael’s cancer came from his daily mantra: I woke up this morning so it’s a good day. We tried hard to incorporate that attitude into our daily lives. Sometimes we did better than others. Being present is definitely more challenging than it seems. I’m getting better at it all the time. One of my goals is to demystify those expectation-laden days and turn them into ordinary ones. For example, there are occasions when if you’re single, you feel like an outsider, as if everyone but you fits the protocol. I can only imagine what it’s like to live a lifetime that way. After all, I’m just adapting to being on my own after years of companionship. Instead of feeling excluded, I’m looking at these moments as if they’re just part a normal day, when any bit of beauty, any momentary pleasure is sufficient. Being partnered or not is irrelevant. Instead of experiencing the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, there can be a middle which provides a sense of contentment and wellbeing. I haven’t perfected this approach to my life yet but I’m working on it.
My best friend is nature. Music and reading are close seconds. This triumvirate helps ameliorate grief and rejuvenate my spirit. The increased mobility provided by my knee replacements has helped me access more places which are restorative to me. So before I return to chronicling the navigation of cancer, tales from my life and internal musings, I give you some views of the pleasure of just ordinary days. Clouds, sunsets, trees and the like. The little things which in the end, are everything.