Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be entering my 70th year a little after two o’clock in the morning. Yes, I was born not too long after Thanksgiving Day dinner at my father’s parents’ home. Two weeks from now, my father will be celebrating entry into his 100th year of life. I can almost hear myself echoing his statement, “I hadn’t expected to live this long.”
Coming out of college in the 1960s, I could not imagine making it to my mid-thirties. I could not imagine maneuvering my way through finding and keeping a job that I liked enough to stay with it. (I did discover early on that sedentary didn’t work for me. At all.) I could not imagine doing anything successfully, actually, besides reading and writing and listening to people talking with one another.
As it turns out, things were markedly better, once I divested myself of the people I’d imagined would be instrumental in my survival. Before I reached my mid-thirties, I hadn’t “grown up” enough to tolerate annoyances or enter into other people’s interests without feeling like I was abandoning my own. My world started to grow, once I could identify with other people without losing me in the process. Things went much more smoothly, once I started making choices on the basis of where and who I wanted to be, rather than avoiding who and where I didn’t want to end up.
And I discovered that until I was comfortable being single and working freelance, I wasn’t ready to partner with someone else and to quit identifying my identity with my “career”. Not that that was a big issue at that point. It wasn’t. In retrospect, that isn’t what I would have expected.
I am beginning to recover from the exposure to fragrances that caused me to return home, rather than stay for Thanksgiving Day dinner with Al’s family. Friday consisted of naps with short periods of wakefulness between. I am going to try for some sort of meaningful activity, today. I hope that the diluted cranberry juice is aiding in recovery.