It's been an odd time recently.
Last week, a man died. It isn't unusual for someone to die - people do it all the time.
This guy was someone with whom I went to high school (note how ugly that sentence is even though it's perfectly grammatically correct?).
(Very few people will know what I'm
referencing but that is ok :-)
It's really sent me into a tizz. He was one of the only two guys I would've even considered at school, possibly because he was so focussed on football that girls were not on his radar and just like a cat, I only "liked" the ones who ignored me. (That changed in second year at uni, lol.) The stupid part is it's pretty much 30 years since I last even saw him apart from in the media (he had a fairly high profile job for a while). Why has it knocked me around so much? Is it that he died of cancer? Is it just that he died? If he had died in a car accident, it would be different I feel, so maybe it is partly the cancer thing. I'm a bit (lot) tender about that. Plus another family member had a health crisis so maybe mortality is looming large. And then there's the situation in Crimea and the mystery of the missing plane....
|Very early, very pretty tulips|
(Yes, I took a pic of them last year too)
Ever since then I've been thinking about old times, wondering what happened to people that I went to school with (I've found half a dozen on LinkedIn - one is a professor (no surprise there), a few are managers (one is pretty high up in the corporate world too!)) and then people I went to uni with that I'm no longer in touch with. Back then we didn't have email and keeping in touch was a lot harder. Most of us students didn't even have computers to do our essays and assignments on. The geeks did, and I used their computers to do my essays on. I got my first email address in 91 or so. I got my first computer in about 95 or 96 - a laptop that ran windows 3.11 I think, if I have that right - I didn't care about the OS really, I just wanted it to work.
|Anemones at the nursery|
It's just odd, delving back into the past like this. Are there things I would do differently? Of course there are. Knowing what I now know, I would definitely do two things differently. Maybe three when I think about it. I would've made a different decision at a critical point, I would've made Mum go and get more scans done, her pride be danged, and I would've gotten me mammogrammed earlier. I would also have pushed harder to find out more things about family and what was going on rather than letting Mum (and other family members) protect me so much.
I've also got cabin fever. I've not been further than Vashon Island and one quick trip to Puyallup for ages - last time I went somewhere out of Seattle area was October. Buying a house, painting, moving and then crappy weather has really stopped me going anywhere, and the good weather is always during the week when I should be working.
|Forced tulips in the kitchen.|
I want something but I have no real idea of what it is. Is it just that I'm a long way from home and am having another bout of homesickness? Is it just cabin fever? Is it the idea that I've not really done much with my life? I have (had?) a marvellous brain but I've not really used it. Do I want to volunteer with a group? What group? Environmental? Social? What role? Is it disappointment with the path my country seems to be choosing? What can I do about that? (I'm already getting emails from GetUp!, the Greens, avaaz and change.org, the latter having seemingly spread beyond the US., and sign petitions and write letters and things but I'm too far away to participate in rallies, etc). A lot of people get more complacent and conservative as they get older but I'm getting more and more pinko leftie liberal (little l, not the big L Australian Liberal) as I learn more and more about people and politics. I'm developing a stronger drive to make a difference, I just don't know what that difference could be. I fear for the future - I think I expected it to be some sort of golden age but I think my parents had the better part of that. We often talk about moving to New Zealand - they seem to be a bit more sane there.
|The local beach with Olympics in the distance|
The things I usually do to calm me down aren't working as well as they could either. I've turned into a crazy woman on the roads - hooning around corners, trying desperately to do 60 (mph) on I5 when half the cars seem to want to do 50... I've tried writing things out - I've learned that my crappy stories help work some of this stuff out but this time around I'm just working myself more into a tizz and I think in part it's because some of it is wish fulfilment and I know that is not going to happen! I don't have the power or the ability to make it happen and I'm not even sure that I want it to happen anyway. I've tried digging in the yard but I'm still getting winded much too easily. I did a pulmonary function test last week and am yet to get the results - guess I should make an appointment...
|Crazy people playing beach volleyball|
Two guys are shirtless!
All in all, I'm just in a bit of a flap. It will settle down again. I've got plenty of work to do, lots of knitting and quilting and gardening, and early next month I'll spend most of a week on island (San Juan Island, to be precise). I'm really looking forward to that. It will give me a nice little break away from here. Some pics from last year.
|A sun pillar over the Olympics :-)|
I think the main thing is I have to start looking forward again, not looking back. Looking back often ends up meaning I just bash myself over the head with all the mistakes I've made along the way. I've forgotten a lot (the brain deliberately forgets things to protect itself, y'know) of things but I still remember plenty of things that make me react with anything from a shake of the head and a wry smile to an omg, I can't believe I did that to oh gods, why did I do that? There's things that I'm still mortified by ten, twenty, even thirty years on. I have to ignore them otherwise I'd be crippled. I often wonder what my life would be like if I had chosen differently at various stages, if I'd worked harder at school or uni rather than cruising. What if I had ambition? I rather missed out on that characteristic but got embarrassment and mortification in spades.
|Crocuses in the front yard.|
I had to buy them and plant them....
Anyway, things will settle down again. The days are getting longer - yesterday was equinox even though it technically isn't until Thursday. The sun rose at 7:18am yesterday and set at 7:18pm and I am really looking forward to looooong days, though the 5:15 sunrise of midsummer is a bit early. Spring is most certainly here - the daffodils and cherry plums are in full bloom and now the magnolias have just started around the place (though the local ones haven't yet done more than shed some fuzzy sepals). The weather is throwing out the odd very pleasant day - we even got above 15C a couple of times - but then we get another inch or so of rain. Blah.
|Sunset from home. |
I love being able to see the sky.