Hope For That

Charles Dickens once wrote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

He wasn’t wrong when writing that all those years ago, and it still fits today. It probably will always be one of those timeless quotes that work regardless of the year.  

Perhaps that’s just the rhythm of life, the balance of the good with the not-so-good—the horrible with the manageable. And we work with it based on where we are in this strange dance.  

Perhaps these polar pieces are always there for us to see; it’s a question of which pair of the lens are in our glasses at that time.  

If that’s the case, if it’s a bit of both are present at each moment, we can at least choose our responses to these things. Maybe work more closely to find more of the good and less of the bad. Perhaps we can help others also have more of the good. At least we have hope for that.

When Weddings Go Away

I’m supposed to help set things up for a friend’s wedding. So that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. So why am I sitting here reading a book instead? Well, it IS a good book and part of my research work, so there is that.

But the real reason why I’m not helping set things up for a wedding is that the bride-to-be has had a change of heart or mind, as the case may be. So she sent text messages to the entire wedding is off for now, and we should all be on standby.

Am I really on standby? No. However, I had to take away from work for a wedding that now isn’t going to happen, so I’m going to use this day how I want. And when my friend calls, I will be there for him after he has sorted things out for himself.

For now, I will spend a glorious day lounging around, reading and doing what I want without having to get dressed up in uncomfortable clothes or painful shoes. No painted face or hair so stiff it won’t move in a hurricane either—just blissful comfort and a good book, with a delicious drink or two. And utter gratitude that I’m not facing what my friend is facing.

Hasty Decisions

I once knew a woman who gave up or discarded things she didn’t like. If food wasn’t as delicious as she wanted it to be or didn’t meet the current craving, she would discard it without a second thought. No, she didn’t set it aside for another time or hoped she might want it later. It was gone.

She took the same approach with books. If what she was reading did not hold her attention or suit her mood, she would stop reading the book and give it to someone else or donate it. A few times, she told me that she realized afterwards that she had needed to give the book a few more chapters than she had. It was only after someone else raved about how amazing the book was that she realized she would need to return and give it a go. By that point, she had gotten rid of her book, so she had to buy another copy of it.

I asked her why she didn’t keep the item, be it a book or food, just in case she wanted to give it a go later. It seemed like a huge waste from when she first bought it to when she had to go and buy it again, at least to my way of thinking, it did. Her logic was simply this: life is short, don’t waste it on things you don’t like. Also, don’t keep things you no longer like around because life is too short to be pulled down by them.

I think about her now and then, wondering if she has any regrets about things she’s given up on too quickly.

Parting Is Hard

Time changes all of us, despite what we might think. Over time we meet new people, learn new things, and experience different places, foods, and ideas. Change, therefore, is inevitable.

Change is also a sign of growth, an evolution of sorts in our personhood. However, sometimes these changes mean we outgrow places or people we never thought we’d be leaving behind.

I have a dear friend who’s seen me through my diagnosis, horrible relationships, toxic jobs, and moves. We’ve transformed our careers and who we are as women. It’s been a heck of a journey, and while she’s someone I’d like to keep walking with, I feel that the time has come when we will be diverging down our separate paths soon.

Perhaps it is because she is so near and dear to my heart that we’ve had this odd lingering, slow parting and coming back over small things. I know, deep down, that we are at very different places and have different needs now. And still, we randomly reunite, and it is not the same but is held together by a bit of old glue and love.

It’s a bit like when you are swimming in the ocean and keep the shoreline insight, knowing you can safely reach that at any moment, but also knowing you need to head further out to see your next adventure. If you continue to keep the shoreline in sight, it is safer, but even the shoreline changes while you are still out in the open water.

Maybe looking back or keeping an open eye on the shoreline isn’t the best approach to embracing adventure full-heartedly.

It Is All Beautiful

He bought me roses. Pink ones and coral colored ones. The pink ones turned green for some reason as the reached the end of hte blooming season. Beautiful, but different. Transformed by time and weather I guess. Or maybe, he suggested, that’s just how these roses adapt as they age and prepare for their end.

The coral ones remain bright and vibrant, although they have almost no scent to them at all. Sometimes I wonder why they seem to last longer and instead of fading away, just wither and die while still keeping their hue.

Of course the same can be said about people. I know people in their early thrities with full heads of grey hair, not by choice but by shock or some genetic switch that leads to pre-mature greying. I also know people in their late eighties with only a few silver strands mixed in with their still vibrant and natural hair color.

There are so many things I will never be able to explain, but I will always be able to see the unique beauty in each thing, from the roses that fade in color but keep their scent to the roses that have no scent and are brilliant to look at to the very end.

I’d Rather

I am supposed to be doing research today. So that’s why I am sitting outside at a delightful cafe enjoying a delicious coffee with my backpack at my side.

I had planned on getting a coffee to go, something to sip while I walked to where I was going, but the small tables and the ambience were so inviting that I decided I’d rather sit down and enjoy it. That was two cups ago.

The man I am supposed to be interviewing will be arriving at the hall soon, no doubt wondering where I am. Especially since I fought hard to get him to accept the arrangements, and instead, I’m sipping coffee and jotting down how amazing this moment is.

Maybe, once I finish these last three mouthfuls and pack my stuff back up quickly, I can run there and not be late. Except I know me. The me who thinks she will do these things and won’t. I won’t run to make the appointment.

Instead, I will invite him to join me at the small café. This way, I can have more amazing coffee, we can still sit and talk, and I won’t have to pack up everything and leave this wonderful table. That’s what I’m going to do because I’d rather sit here with my coffee and have the company join me!

Smarts

The four-footed one is a quick learner. So when she ‘accidentally’ discovered the portion of the island I tend to use for cutting food, she realized the probability of dropping was higher there. Once I dropped some food, she memorized the exact location of the island and the drop zone.

These days, when she hears a knife, she comes to the kitchen and starts circling the area like a shark circles baited water. Of course, I don’t always cut at the same spot. The four-footed one has learned it is important to go where the person is cutting to ensure she stands the best chance of getting fallen food.

She has also learned different sounds equal noises of food happening versus the sound of the dishes being cleaned up after the food has been eaten. She never comes into the kitchen when it is cleaning up sounds that she hears.

When clean-up time happens, the four-footed one finds a comfortable place to lay down and rest. Sometimes after resting, the four-footed one will pretend to be sleeping while we try to sneak food without her knowing. Yes, I know it sounds silly, adults having to sneak food so the dog doesn’t get upset or seek more.

Such Is The Dreams Of Everyday Life

I was listening to a friend talk about how surreal it was to cross from a dangerous place to a safe area within a matter of minutes. She said that she, and her crew, struggled with crossing from a warzone into a safe zone and suddenly having everything be safe or okay. She told me that for the first few days, they had to remind themselves that planes flying overhead were safe, the same with cars that backfired.

She was on a two-week rotation before going back for a month when she mentioned this. We were sitting outside, in the shade, sipping drinks and getting caught up. In less than twelve days, she’d be returning to a place where bombs and bullets fly indiscriminately. I marvelled at how she could casually talk about it knowing what she would be facing soon.

There was a time when I had dreamed of her life, of being off on assignment in some far-flung land. I thought it would be incredibly interesting to visit these places and be paid to report about them. But that time came and went, and just like so many dreams; they were just that, dreams. Well, for me, they were; for her, they were part of her everyday life.

More Days

The four-footed one rolled onto her back to watch the squirrels run along the tree branches. Or maybe she rolled onto her back so she could watch the clouds waltz across the sky. Then again, with the four-footed one, you never really know what’s going on in her mind.

She was content, and that was all that mattered. Even if it meant I wasn’t getting things accomplished on my to-do list. She’s had a rough go of things these past few weeks, and to see her comfortable and content was more than enough.

She hates her leg brace but is at a point where she limps without it. She’s a girl of adventures, places to go, and things to discover, so limping is not ideal for her. She runs on three legs, but it tires her out something fierce. But she’s too stubborn for her own good.

She’s not sure about this new medication either. It gave her an upset tummy for the first few days. I told her it would, but she didn’t listen to me. I know from experience that most of these anti-inflammatories we both take make tummies unhappy for the first bit.

I’m hoping we are through the roughest of waters right now, and there are more days lazing on our backs, watching the clouds move across the skies while we plot our next adventure.

Gone Again

Why is it that when you find something you really like, it’s taken away from you? You know, you find delicious food you can’t get enough of and then the store stops carrying it. Or maybe you find a super amazing product and think there is no sense in stocking up because something this amazing will always be there. And then they tell you it was a mistake and they aren’t carrying it ever again.

For me, I had just tried a few recipes and hoped to make them several times again when the doctors told me that I needed to cut out salt and several things in these recipes. And just like that, something else I enjoyed was gone quickly too.

Of course, for me, Murphy’s Law is never too far out of my life. Granted, if Murphy’s Law wasn’t in my life, it would be more boring and probably far less entertaining.

I know I should be looking for recipes and things that will work with my new nutrition needs, but instead, I find myself revisiting my favorite ones. Maybe, at some point, I will find a way to make them in a way that fits with the new diet. But, for now, I’m just dreaming of what’s no longer to be.