It's 6:45am. Time to get up and moving.
Fourteen years ago this morning I woke up and went to work, only to get a phone call from my mom saying that my dad had died during the night. He was only 64 years old, but 20 years of diabetes had taken their toll on his body to the point that he was living in an assisted living home that could help with his mobility, monitor his meds, and provide the twice weekly dialysis that he needed. He hated it all.
It was a beautiful facility. I made a trip back to Rochester to hang with him for a week several weeks before that and it seemed more like a hotel than "assisted living" - with the restaurant and all the activities and just the general decor. But he still hated it. He hated being dependent (reminds me of my comments on accepting help last week). He hated what was happening to his body while his mind was still as sharp as it ever was. So although the news that he had died came out of nowhere and was a shock, I think we all agreed that his joy in living had pretty much drained from life by then.
I was the executor of his will, so the next couple of months were spent taking care of all the details that happen when you die. Insurance. Finances. Legalities. It was depressing to realize that in the big picture a lifetime of a person comes down to paperwork. And memories. The goal is to keep and cherish those memories. So, I do....not just passively but actively. More importantly, the goal is to make memories with the people in your life that will endure beyond your being here. I try to do that, as well.
The last weekend in 2012 is here. It has been a funky week - since I've been off work so there's nothing to differentiate one day from another. I accomplished some of the mundane things I've been wanting to accomplish around the house. I cleaned my makeup brushes, something I do with precision and care. I took my truck to the dealer for an oil change and a check-up. I've run some errands, and refilled some prescriptions. I hooked up my AppleTV and have been watching a few things on Hulu+. I spent time with the neighbors across the hall who only visit Charleston once in a while - I really like them and enjoy it when they're here. I spend at least a half hour a day playing my guitar, trying to get back into the "swing" and build some callouses at the tips of my fingers....they hurt.
I posted a few photos to my Snaplog from these last few days.
I've been enjoying my mornings - making myself omelettes and homemade waffles with blueberries for breakfast, trying different kinds of coffees, just making sure to linger around the house as long as possible. All things considered, I'm forcing myself to slow down this week.
As I've explained, I'm not a believer in "New Years Resolutions" as they usually play out. But I do think the process of thinking about your life and making the beginning of a new year as a good time to begin to make changes as a healthy thing. It's just that the resoluteness of the New Year gets forgotten over a few weeks to the point that we just fall back into whatever it was we wanted to change.
There are some changes I'd like to see in myself. I don't know that I'll call them resolutions so much as an awareness of them, and in being aware making the effort to recognize things and change them. One of the things I try to do is appreciate the moment, because all too often the moment is fleeting. There are some significant things in my life that I expect to be gone, or majorly different, in my life at this time next year (God willing) just as things right now are different than they were last year. Such is the nature of change....it's just that sometimes we get to make the change happen, and sometimes it is forced upon us. Regardless, such is the nature of time and change.
I've got a couple more days before things start winding up with me again. I had unpacked my traveling suitcase for the first time in months at the beginning of this stay-cation, but I'm starting to pack it again, slowly but surely. I start work again on Wednesday, Jan 2, and will probably drive up there on New Year's Day. I need to take the round-about route thru Charlotte so I'll probably leave in the morning, spend some time at a few of the stores I like there, and then head over to Raleigh.
It's either that, or get up at 4am on Wednesday and do the usual drive and I'd much rather take my time. I typically don't get crazy on New Year's eve, in fact I'd be more surprised if I'm still awake to see the ball fall than if I just went to bed as usual.
But that's all next week. There's still a weekend left in 2012, and I've got some plans. There are still some 2012 memories to build. This morning I'm headed off to use a Groupon I bought for some eyelash extensions. This should be interesting. :)