Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Forward or backward?

At my Circle meeting last night, we heard -- almost accidentally -- about a church member who had been opposed to the Memorial Garden which has been "in the works" for a number of years now.  That anonymous person had been visited by a Circle/Council member who had been asked by Council to approach him/her to find out the reason for his/her opposition.  In their meeting, the objector expressed the belief that the congregation should be looking forward and not backwards, viewing the establishment of  Memorial Garden as looking to the past.

I found that idea quite illogical, as everyone alive now will die eventually.  Facing that fact and planning for it is, indeed, planning for the future.  Death is not reserved for the old, though it visits them more frequently.   My Christian faith helps me accept this inevitability and, with it, my reunion with the saints that have gone before me.  When I die, I plan to have my ashed interred in the Memorial Garden and am grateful for the forward-thinking congregation that is making this possible.

This morning, as I left my home for work, my driveway was blocked by another car.   I walked down the drive to request that the driver move his car so I could get mine out.  He was talking with Cheryl, the daughter of my sharing-the-driveway neighbor has shared the home with her father and her sons since separating from her husband early this year.  As I got closer to the group, Cheryl blurted out that her father had died early this morning.  He was at his cabin in the mountains and had a heart attack.  The 911 responders had reached him too late. 

Keep alert, as this week's sermon advised.  Events seemingly in the future can become part of the past at any time.   Rest in peace, John.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A milestone -- or two

Friday marked the 500th day of my Day Zero (aka 101 things in 1001 days) project and the day before that was my birthday.  Seems like a good time for reflection.

Day Zero is coming along well.  I'm working away at some of the larger projects and have completed many others.  The sole remaining goal under Legal/Financial is to make a will, which I want to accomplish before the end of the year.  The items that have a price tag, particularly travel, are the ones that linger, quite expectedly.  I have discovered that some other things aren't really important, or I've changed my mind entirely.  I'm going to give myself a "do-over" to make a few revisions to the List in the next few days.

It's true that I'm a list-maker and find satisfaction in checking off the individual tasks.  But the larger goal of the List was to help me focus on making a future by figuring out some of the actions I could take that would put me on the path to being a now-single, more-than-middle-aged woman with an almost empty nest.   I wanted to identify activities I enjoy and encourage myself to do them, to think of others that I've wanted to do and push myself to try them, to take concrete action to make my new house into a welcoming place of comfort and peace for my children, my friends, and -- most of all -- me.   Progress is being made on all these mini-goals, I think. 

Adjusting to my life as a single person, living alone, has been something of a challenge.  I don't lack for things to do (quilt, read, watch movies on DVD, etc.) and I generally enjoy my own company.  But it's easy to slip into the habit of withdrawing from people and outside-the-house activities.   Given my newfound free time, it would have been easy to over-commit, but I have been careful not to do so.   However, there are times when my solitude slips into loneliness. 

The addition of Sassy and Smidgen to the household has infused a giant portion of joy into my life, a feeling that has been rare for a couple of years now.    I am enjoying their presence and their affection so much I talk about them, even at the risk of being thought a "crazy cat lady".   And they are one more step in creating a new life, linked to, but separate from the one I had a few short years ago, which I never expected would end as it did.   Another step forward.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Progress report: month 16 (October 2011)

In October, I said good-bye to our old orange tom, Mustard, and hello to two new tortie kittens, Sassy and Smidgen.  The month went out like a lion (even if it wasn't March), with a freak snowstorm that took out trees and power lines all over the Northeast from Maine to Virginia.   On to the countdown:

  8. Set up bookcases in living room.
10. Deal with vintage clothes (donated most to MC Theatre Dept.)
29. Get divorced... (found out I've been divorced since late June!)
74. Make quilt for sponsored child from ChildFund (9th birthday was 10/21)

7, 26, 28. Kept up-to-date.
33. Went to gym (mostly) 3 times a week.
44. Attended Family Weekend at M.C. (2nd)
48. Watched 4 movies:
      Secret life of bees
      Square dance
      Then she found me
49. Read 5 books  (49/60,32/30,14/10) [2 YA, counted as 1]
      The Liars' Club (Mary Karr)
      A Confederacy of dunces (John Kennedy Toole)
      Surviving the Angel of Death (Eve Kor & Lisa Buccieri -- YA)
      To be a slave (Julius Lester -- YA)
      Snow Flower and the secret fan (Lisa See)
61. Booked plane & car, reserved hotel for trip to Paducah in April 2012.
75. Finished cutting 2 out of 3 boxes of scrap fabric
84. Extra contribution to LCFS for veterans' activity; began higher to St. Paul's
92. Wrote letter to CF sponsored child.
99. Updated blog post with progress (16 out of 16)
101. Three blog posts:
        W.I.F. (What I've finished)
        Good-bye to my handsome guy
        A Tale of two kitties
Extra quilts: two more for hospice (9-patch and tube)
                  [photos to come]

November priorities:
6. Get back to working in basement.
9. Sort more & get rid of more books.
12. More small things around house.
70. Make 3rd curtain for D#2's room.
75. Cut last box of scrap fabric.
Finish extra quilts: baby, grad gift, B&SS (scrap)