This is one of my more favorite days of the year. It’s the day that my nephew arrived, now 17 years ago! It’s a day that is betwixt and between, a work day, a party evening for some. For others of us, the calm before the wonderful storm of Christmas.
It’s the ‘not yet’ day for many people; for some, a holy day, for others just a holiday. I did last minute things today but I’ve kept to my resolution that his year Christmas will be a simpler, more peaceful time for me.
This is the time of year when I look back and when I look forward, thinking of what I wished I’d done, and what I wish I hadn’t done. A few things have happened to me this year to tweak my perspective a bit. And that’s good.
I went through a period of severe back pain for a time. The frightening part is that usually physical therapy puts me right in a few sessions. This time, it didn’t work quickly at all. I spent some painful nights awake and uncomfortable, and thinking of all the things I’d intended to do that might now be out of my reach. Then, I am thankful to say, the pain receded. But I haven’t forgotten that reminder that my days to do physically active and challenging things can be taken away from me, either by an injury or by me simply not keeping my body in condition.
I’m finishing up a book this month, and looking ahead to The Next Book. The incident with my back made writing uncomfortable; I didn’t want to sit in my desk chair. It meant that I didn’t finish this book before Thanksgiving, as I had planned. But it’s also made me realize that I will not be able to write all those books that are standing in line in my brain. Painful choices will have to be made, and soon. I don’t think I’m confronting my mortality so much as admitting that my body does not regenerate itself as swiftly as it once did. And that my brain does not hold detail as easily as it once did! Ye gods and little fishes, the litter of reminders that my desk now holds is horrifying! My Random Access Memory actually resides on a small notebook inside my purse these days.
But tonight I find myself far more thankful than frantic, more thoughtful than harried. There is work to be done, and limited days in which to do it, but I have confidence that I can get it done. And that is true of both my looming book deadline, and that other ‘dead line’ that eventually confronts us all.