Beginning Over, 12. Another Year.
Today marks the moment I have done another trip around our tired sun.
I have been thinking lately about the times I have been plunked in. There are moments I wish I had been born earlier, to avoid this apparent prelude to the destruction of our environment and our civilization. Yet, past moments were not wonderful, either. They seem simpler in retrospect, but nothing is quite as simple as it seems.
There is a show on one of our public channels, where they show music clips of songs popular in this country in times gone by. Watching some of them, remembering when some of the songs came out, seeing people wearing clothes and hairstyles soooo popular in my youth, I felt an anguish of wishing myself back. It seems so simple, life in the seventies and eighties. No worries over the rising temperatures, no worries over whether Putin will push the nuclear button, no worries over living.
But there were other worries. At the same time I wished myself back, I remembered that there were worries over the Soviets pushing the nuclear button. So much so, that Sting recorded a song in 1985 that has made its way back to social media, Russians. Temperatures had already begun to rise, and future global warming had already been assured. And, while I may not have worried over money, I do remember wishing I were an adult so as to leave report cards and parental chastisement behind.
The one thing that was so heady that I don't have now, was the sense of an entire lifetime stretching before me. There was so much mystery ahead of me, so many possibilities. That is not so present now. While there are still probably years ahead, the possibilities are not limitless, and the mystery is not so deep. I don't mind growing older because I appreciate all I have learned in these years, but I do wish I had that long vista before me, filled with enticing bends in the road.
Some, upon reaching their birthdays, take stock of the past year, ready to label it good, bad, or indifferent. I don't do that. No one full year can be labelled that way. The year is made up of moments. It's the moments I label. And not all memorable moments are ground-shaking, either. It's the small things that make the beauty and create joy. It's also the small things that create sadness and despair. Like most people, I prefer to concentrate on the good ones, which is why we generally look to the past with rosy eyesight. We tend to forget (or make ourselves forget) the bad moments. Even so, we still learn from them.
So, tonight I will celebrate with my husband (and daughter, telematically) that I have lived these fifty-three years, sometimes better, sometimes worse, but always learning and with an open mind, ready to catch the wonders of life.