Wow. Quite a lot has happened over the past few years, hasn’t it?
Some of you had babies, changed careers, dyed your hair, voted for the first time, moved towns and even moved countries. And, oh–wasn’t there a pandemic, or did I dream that? Ha!
I didn’t realize in early 2019 how serious things would get until I couldn’t find any N95 masks for the paint-stripping project I was working on (The desk looks great btw). We had no idea what we were in for, did we? I’m glad we made it through most of that mess. My stepfather got a half-joking gift from a freind back then when he retired–a roll of toilet paper. It was actually a pretty nice gesture, all things considered, 😀 . He still has the roll on his dresser.
My life has done that thing that life seems to do where nothing seems to have changed, until you suddenly realize that everything has. I still work and read sitting out on my little porch, with my lovely old cat alseep on my papers, but a different dog in front of the fan. I have a nephew (aka cousin) in another state, some projects finished, and and a few lines on my face–but don’t worry, they’re most likely laugh lines. Gained weight, lost weight, gained a little back. Did a little volunteering, built a little greenhouse, and hiked some little hills.
I took some courses, learned a few skills. I illustrated and co-published my first picture book. I cleared out my closet, my junk drawers, and my head (all filled up again pretty quickly though 😉 ). I’ve said hello to a few faces, and said goodbye to old friends. Took up the ukulele (spoiler, I’m delightfully bad at it 😀 ) and sang by campfires. People made me cry, and people made me laugh. I’ve probably done the same to them, to be fair.
I don’t feel that old and I don’t feel that different, but at the same time, I feel like I’d much rather sit in a room with myself as I am now, than sit with who I was when I was younger. I wasn’t a bad kid or a phony person per se, but I feel a little less on edge these days. I like myself more now, I think. I work less on being what I think is popular, and more on who I’d like to be, and who I enjoy being.
So now, I grow delightful, ugly vegetables in a garden I built and dug and plowed with my own hands (as well as battle daily with caterpillars). I teach my neighbor’s grandchild to swim every week. I go kayaking and snorkeling a few times a month or so now, weather (and alligators, lol) permitting. I have a wild 90lb ‘puppy’ (I could’ve named her ‘2020’ and it would still fit 😀 ) who, after years of love and hard work, is now finally learning to be a dog, lol. I have a family and support system that never stops suprising me with their love, humor, and friendship.
I’ve learned some things about life and myself that were hard, and some things I knew already but had to be reminded of. I think that, just as storms make trees stronger, I’ve grown more solid, too.
As the air becomes cooler and the leaves pretend to turn (this is Florida after all), I don’t know what storms or blue skies I may face in the future. But right now, I have a sunny day in my view, the cicadas singing their last songs of summer, and in my hand I’ve got a tall glass of water with a lime on the rim.
I’m doing well 🙂
How have you grown? Whatcha got cooking in your lives right now?