So, does anyone know where 2012 has gone? The speediest year on record, I think. Or maybe that is just because I am discovering that Mother's words of wisdom are, indeed, founded on truth after all. Time speeds up as you get older. And there is no doubt that I am getting older, I am sad to say. But, it is reassuring to know that it happens to us all. You too. No-one escapes time.
It is a little disconcerting when you realise that the entire world is ruled by
children people younger than you. Ministers, presidents, doctors, policemen, the lot.
I woke this morning with my right hand clenched in a fist which did not want to unclench. I have no idea why. Something new for me to examine with a certain
horror disdain. Fingers, you will obey commands. I remember my Dad sitting with a squash ball which he used to squeeze to work his fingers but, so help me, he was a great deal older then than I am now.
You creak when you grow older.
This is turning into a new version of Lamentations. I need to get a grip.
Twenty twelve. Twenty Thirteen doesn't trip off the tongue so easily. Or is that just me? 2012 started well with Jean joining me for a couple of weeks in the snow up in the Alps and then medically, it sort of slid off a precipice. So we will ignore that part of the year. It did mean huge changes to what I did, where and when and how too, for that matter.
2012 is also the year in which stellar friendships have become so much more precious. The people I cherish have been around to prod, poke, threaten and restrain this year. And to laugh and have fun. Thank God for friends, especially mine. And family. My Mum, my sister and I are very close, and more than ever this year, that closeness has proved to be invaluable. Families are so easily taken for granted, and yet where would we be without them?
This year,once I had accepted that the CRPS had flared and spread, instead of worrying about everything and thinking of what I couldn't do, I tried to focus on handing all - every single one - of those panic stricken thoughts over to God, who is more than capable of coping with them. (For me to admit a mega meltdown is really something, by the way. The wheels really did come off.) And so I concentrated on making the most of each day and what I could do instead. So tough at times, and yet it worked. Works. As a born Grand Controller, this has been a bit challenging.
I also seem to deserve the title of Grand Understatement Utterer.
I just made up that word.
Another moment to dwell on is that this year marks the first time in recent years that I actually asked for help. The experts at Bath had to field some unexpected calls from me. But they were all I had. They were the ones who knew what was going on, when I was up the creek without a paddle. And heaven knows I was. Up that creek.
Actually, I can't ignore the fact that it has been a turbulent year, can I - the medical matters have bearings on every single aspect of my life. Like church. And music. I can't sing with our village choir right now. Vibration. Sound - it all knocks me off my feet. I have managed to Make a Plan at church with earplugs (thanks, Kelli!) standing on a kneeler on stone floor, sitting on a special fold up seat on the pew with feet on a huge soft cushion. But I go. I can be there. And I can do coffee duty with Jean.
The aquarobics and aquazumba classes continue to be a delight. Three times a week I get to dance in the water, and I am just like all the others - I am free. I love, love, love it. It is hard work and it hurts, but it is so worth it. Glynis, who has had her own mega medical issues this year, and Jean, who has morphed into a global trotter this year, are usually there with me.
So, my world has been reduced to a physically small one, yet a mentally huge one, courtesy of this aged computer, the modem and the World Wide Web. And all of you. Skype. Facebook. Blogs. Messenger. Texts. Smart phones. All things science fiction just a few years ago and now common place everyday things even 3 year olds manage to work. For people like me, they are gold. I can be all over the world in an instant, and believe me, I so appreciate the advances of science and technology.
My world has the dimensions I dare to let it have, you see. I choose to interact with people around the globe, so, in fact, I have no borders. I have learned so many new things - creativity has always been a huge part of me. No matter what I want to try - like new recipes - it is all right there. I have information at my finger-tips. I can edit photos, turn them into works of art, I can write a million words. I can read trillions. I can buy or sell. I can learn, sing along, laugh till I cry, and no more can I, or anyone ,say that they didn't know what was happening in Syria, Africa, India, around the globe, because the news is right there. The information.
In fact, there are times when information overload just makes me want to retire to the too-hard-basket and crawl in and shut the lid.
While we are talking re information overload, I am sitting here, watching the news and wondering if I am the only person in the UK who is seeing a weird anomaly right now. The US is about to tumble over the "fiscal cliff which will lead to immediate higher taxes and spending cuts and that means a return of the recession" and our PM says on the same bulletin that "the spending cuts and welfare cuts (and our very high taxation) are the RIGHT thing to do to avoid a triple dip recession". So why is it right here and wrong there? Huh? Am I missing something? Ignore me. I am not looking for a political conversation here, but I am intrigued as to why our news editors have not seen the contradiction.
Politics. I swear not one of the politicians has a clue about how most of us live. I am not wildly thrilled about being ruled by millionaires who have never had to peruse the bargain shelves of the supermarket for vastly reduced food either.
So how about we ignore all the above, the nasty part (except for the friends, family etc etc etc ), and look rather at the lovely part instead.
I finally got the house organised and the new study, the nook and the sewing room are wonderful. Eureka! Oh, how I love being able to work at projects and have everything I need right there. And seeing friends and/or family sitting in the nook is a huge delight. See - having friends who come and paper and paint and fix lights is a blessing too!
The greatest joy of the year for me was having all my children in residence this Christmas, and Mum too. The first time in many, many years. Not to mention the little one, who is a "BIG girl now, Moregranny!". Of course she is. She will soon be 4, can you believe. A very girly girl, with her long blonde hair, her babies, her new Barbies, her love of the Little People, ironing boards and all things pink and blingy. Baking and dancing and having fun. Oh how I love the scrap!
Diana is home at the moment, and hearing her laughter just makes me smile. I don't know how long she will be home, but it is wonderful having her here. I can see her feet as I speak. She is sprawled on the couch. And she sounds like a New Zealander at times, which makes me grin. And upstairs is David, home from uni for a couple of weeks. He leaves on Friday to finish his Masters degree. And how he has matured this past year - helping my sister and her husband, helping here - getting to know a different campus, town and group of friends and specialising in a part of forensic science which really fascinates him. This year has been good for him.
And my oldest son - Andrew. He and Ann have had a Year of the House. Changing things about, making it really theirs. Leaking showers helped to speed the progress. The new bathroom wasn't anticipated right now, but had to be done! And it is lovely, of course. Soon Missy will be starting school - next September, can you believe. Ann works part time at the moment - she is a teacher. I am really looking forward to the ballet displays, school plays and other assorted granddaughter activities which are sure to be part of the new year.
Ah yes. And here we are. Me. I am happy. I have a home, and I have ordered a DVD of a fireplace. This is how I have chosen to use an Amazon gift token from my youngest son. He thinks I am crazy. So does Diana. BUT given the absence of a real fireplace here, I am more than happy to have a DVD of a real fire with the crackling sounds playing instead. Stop laughing. Vee says it works. Vee has one and so I decided I needed one too. I will let you know when it arrives. I can't wait.
I didn't know what to do for Christmas presents this year, so I turned to the sewing room, and the saw, and I made small gifts for everyone. And I have been SO thankful that I have the world's best stocked sewing/craft room ever. And when I was with my sister, I managed to find textile glue as well, and now I am set for anything. Pinterest has been an inspiration, a revelation and the most wonderful source of ideas. So many things I fully intend trying. Paint lasts for decades, by the way. Wonderful.
So you see, it is not the end of the world that I can't gallivant all over the place any more. I have stuff here. In fact, I have been asked to teach the basics of sewing to the daughters of some friends, so maybe that can be a part of 2013 as well. There are books, of course. The next dream purchase is a kindle. I have been downloading books which are free to the computer and one day they will go on a kindle too. It is so worth checking the free list, because often people like John Ortberg, Philip Yancey, Francis Chan and others have offers of free books. I have been so lucky to download some amazing ones. Free. I love free.
And I have a pile of books to read as well. The CRPS means concentration is very short and fiction is still hard to read. Impossible. I forget everything. I may try a few audio books and see how they work. That reminds me, I did try a relaxation tape on my iPod, and I got as far as the 6th minute where you are letting your fingers relax and I fell asleep. I have no idea what the rest was like but it clearly worked.
This is turning into a lengthy treatise.
I do have adventures, and after Jean's wonderful gift of 12 adventures this year, one a month, I know for sure that there are definitely going to be some in 2013. I need to make up a seasonal list. So much fun. And don't forget the garden. 2012 was challenging for gardeners after the drought then the floods, but the allotment was amazing and I still have gem and butternut squash here in store. So there will be lots to plan and do and watch growing.
This stage of my life seems to have a great deal of watching and growing in it. I watch as Missy grows. I watch as the vegetables grow. I watch as my children grow. I watch as relationships grow. Flowers grow. I have done my part, and now comes the watching, and wondering too, if I have done or been enough. As a gardener, a mother, a crafter, a friend, a daughter, a writer, a sister, a woman, a Jack of all trades. But that is part of looking back and life is all about now. Today. The present. The future remains a mystery, as it should. Who knows which highways and byways I will plod or dance along this year? God knows. And whatever happens, it will be an adventure of sorts. And I am always up for adventures.
Just ask Missy.
So, my friends, enough for now. I just want to wish each and every one of you very happy New Year.
May 2013 bring you all wonderful adventures too!