Friday, January 03, 2014

A Retrospective

  
Fare thee well, 2013. You weren't the easiest year, but I admit you kept it interesting. You pushed me to grow and grow up in many ways, some exciting, some difficult, all important. You forced me to  learn and wrestle with myself, my relationships, my world.


I learned that my first cup of coffee and twenty minutes of solitude first thing each morning sets the tone for my day. I learned that I am calm when I allow this time and unsettled when I don't. So now this is my morning practice.


JB and I are spending more time in  Provincetown and have begun to think about moving there full-time. Even now I walk along the side streets and am overjoyed by its quirky quaintness. And by the sea. 


For a reason I can't explain, in the past year I began to care less about myself and my stubborn ways and more about people and circumstances outside and different from my comfortable life. I understand kindness and generosity in ways that now leave me feeling proud of myself.


 More and more I notice buildings and dwellings of all kinds: the little store in Provincetown, the darling house JB and I still cannot believe we managed to buy. Never in our wildest dreams, but somehow we pulled it off. We are happy in this house and I think that will always be so.


And did I ever think gay rights would be commonplace? Never ever did I think that. And yet in America homophobia and barriers are crumbling, state by state. Not so everywhere, but if progress is measured in inches, this is miles.


And a little boy named Drew believed his new green sneakers had the power to make him faster. I am  touched--make that transformed--by the children in my life. May I hold on to them for all of my life. 


In 2013 I learned the deep and true value of friendship and the comfort of memory.  I was deeply hurt a few years back--some but not all of my own doing--and I now know none of us is perfect. I more easily and graciously and gratefully accept my  friends as they are, and I can ask that of them in return. 


No gun control in 2013? After 26 children gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut? Shame on my country for this. We Americans will learn this lesson the hard way. 


In July a baby girl was born. And I will never forget the joy when her brothers came to the hospital to meet her. Hello Reese. We welcome you with unlimited love.



I learned I love elephants and I joined in efforts to protect them. Did you know that young elephants do not leave their mothers until they are sixteen? So when circuses snatch them away for human entertainment when they are barely three years old, they and their families moan inconsolably. And of course you know elephants learn to sit and stand on their heads and do tricks only through subversive painful training. Boycott circuses. They are bad. 


In July too at New England Baptist Hospital I had my left knee replaced, with titanium. No minor surgery, a long rehab, though I've done very well. But  I still don't walk right. The knee is coming along but I have hip and back problems. I am aging.  I am aware that I am aging. I'm not sure what to do about this except I know I have to attend and care better for my body. Not easy. 


 Sadie died. First our Stella died and then Jess and Mike's Sadie died. We will never forget. 


And my wise cracking, good advice giving, dear dear friend Anne died. With total grace. I met her here on the blogs and  it mattered not one bit that we had never "met" in person.  I miss her even more than I was prepared to miss her. 



 JB and I gave Chase back to Greyhound Options, from whom we adopted him. We couldn't make it work. He was unhappy and aloof. He is now in a home with three other greygrounds and though he is still aloof, he is familiarly home. This was painfully hard for JB and me but I know it's been the right decision. We will always love and bless you, Chase. That much is certain.


My daughter's family and my grands: three boys and now a baby girl. My Jess is married to a very good man. I think it is true that a parent is only as happy as her children. I am so thankful. 


I replaced my camera before year's end. Oh Provincetown: you make it so easy. 


And finally, this last year I bathed in the love of family. Jess. JB. My Mom, who will turn 98 in two days.





And Me: some things don't change. Still Wondering, Still Raw, Still Grateful, Still Wise, and Still Ready. 

The world is not as kind as I wish it to be but the kindness around me is huge. I hope I keep my end of that bargain, no matter what else. 


Happy New Year. May be a good one in all ways large and small.

love
kj


24 comments:

  1. Hi kj
    Saw you stopped by my blog; it pales by comparison to yours, I must say. I started mine whimsically when I retired, and it's become just something I do with no clear intentions.

    I'd like to borrow/copy one of your pics, if I may. The one with the grandmom and the sign.....my 15 year old grandchild is what I believe my daughter calls 'gender queer', a wonderful, caring person whom I love a lot. I haven't been as good as she'd like using gender-neutral pronouns, old habits die hard I guess, feeble excuse. But I'm trying, I am. I was raised in rural Oregon, child to a bigoted mother, and what was typical 50's redneck attitudes. No idea how, but I somehow escaped without any of the racist or homophobic mindsets...they just didn't stick somehow.

    I haven't been to Ptown in years, but have some great memories from times spent there in the 70's. I live in a small town in Montana that suits me well, but what I wouldn't give for a basket of fried, large-bellied clams.

    I'll add your blog to those I read.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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    1. Mike, of course use that photo. I 'borrowed' it from somewhere on the internet!

      From what I've seen I like your blog, I like your intelligence. I like your perspective. I'm glad we'll visit each other xo

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  2. Wishing you a Happy New Year, my friend.
    **blows kisses**
    Deb

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  3. It's interesting what you say about caring more about others. Lately I find that I genuinely care about people I talk with and mean the good things I say, but that certainly was not always true for me. Maybe we mellow and get out of ourselves more as we age. Maybe I'm starting to find myself a bit boring. Ha. I love this post and that you love your new home.

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    1. Hi rubye, I doubt you'll be boring in your new digs and city--so happy for you.

      You're probably right about being more mellow. I don't dwell in offense so much, and I know things are not just about me. It's a weight lifted!

      Love
      kj

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  4. What a beautiful post! I smiled when I saw your grandchildren, your mother, JB and you and I cried when I got to the picture of Anne. Sometimes I can't believe how much I miss her! I'm glad I get to visit your blog and take part in your life a little bit! Much love! Silke

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    1. Much love to you too, silke.

      Missing Anne is going to be a regular part oft new year.

      Love
      kj

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  5. You are a wise woman. I count it a privilege to name you as one of my friends - I wish you a year of happiness and continued healing. Believe that you are a unique and beautiful person - the one and only KJ!.

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    1. Kay! Your comment caught me by surprise and touched me deeply. Thank you. I've now read it six times :-)

      And......: I feel the same way about you

      Love
      kj

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  6. Happy New Year! I've discovered if I meditate first thing in the morning it's easier to clear my mind than it is at the end of the day. That then sets the tone for how I think all day-my thinking seems to be more clear and less cluttered. I am trying to depend less on coffee...but am not even entertaining the thought of giving it up entirely!!!! Oh the horror.

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    1. Happy new year, dk. Awesome to see you here! Any trips planned, say, to any east coast beach places in Massachusetts ? :-)

      Love
      kj

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  7. I have had a lot of good in 2013, but I'm still happy to say goodbye to it. Good riddance, even.

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    1. Likewise and ditto :-)

      Love
      kj

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  8. So much here, so much love and growth. What a year this has been.

    I send hugs and kisses and more

    Mim

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    1. Another likewise and ditto :-)

      Love
      kj

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  9. I love your run down of 2013 —— your year, although difficult, was also clearly filled with many blessings. The photo (is it your dear mom?) with the sign is priceless.

    Sending love to you and yours dear KJ, and blessings in the New Year. May everything your heart desires come true.

    xoxoAmanda

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  10. Thanks Amanda. No no that is not my Mom holding that sign: that is an internet grandmother from somewhere in the vast world :-)

    My heart desires a lot, amanda. I'll be happy with 50%

    Love
    kj

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  11. Wishes for an awesome new year. I have an inkling that you and I are kindred spirits in many ways and I am very happy to have found you.

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  12. 8, I feel the same way--something to look forward to in blog land this year :-)
    Love
    kj

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  13. I read and I'm filled with overwhelming eye-filling love for you KJ. Your soul speaks to mine. Thank you dear heart.

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  14. Aw Chrisy......

    Not to mention how gleefully we could decorate a house together :-)

    Thank you, my friend
    Love
    kj

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  15. It's cool the year didn't suck that bad. Well for you anyway. hahahahaahaha

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  16. I often feel as if the world deserves better from me. I'm not as giving or as sweet natured as I wish I could be. The world gave me a lovely daughter, a loving spouse and trusted friends. A fulfilling job. I need to give back more. I do.

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