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Sunday, May 01, 2016

On Three Years, Two Years, and One Year

Jean Sexton muses:

One of the things Facebook does each day is allow you to see what you did on that day through the years. May is always a special month for me. It is when spring is solidly here. Flowers are blooming. It isn't too hot. When I was in academia, it was the month when graduation happened. In the slow time between graduation and the start of summer school, I would sometimes go on trips to the beaches or mountains of North Carolina.

Three years ago, I started on the biggest trip of my life -- one that altered my life. I retired from the job I had for 30 years. Friends packed up my belongings and the Steves and I headed out to Amarillo, Texas. I had rented my apartment sight unseen, based on the Coles' recommendation and the floorplan. Would my stuff even fit in it? (Not at the start, but within three months the storage area was cleared.) What would I be doing, exactly, at work? There was so much to absorb. The biggest question was if I could be happy and make Amarillo my home. This became The Year of the Move.

(Texas or Bust!)

Two years ago I had gotten Wolf and we were still learning about each other. I had no idea his coat would be so long in spots. He had no idea I could be trained to take him on walks and look out for His Royal Furriness. There was so much to learn about having an inside dog. I think upon it as The Year of The Wolf.

(Wolf and I)

A year ago I got the first sign (although I didn't know it at the time) that something was going wrong with my body. That led to the well-documented Year of Ill-Health.

(I am recovering in February)

The main benefit from my experiences is that I learned and grew from each of these years. Yes, I could still survive all on my own. It is sometimes lonely, but I have friends in Amarillo. Wolf has taught me more patience and helped me lose weight. He's also helped with the loneliness -- it is hard to feel lonely with a little dog snuggling up or doing something to make you laugh. The final year taught me the value of taking good care of my body and made my enjoyment of life even more intense now.

Some people say to never look back, to only look where you are going. I think it doesn't hurt to review where you were so you can realize how far you have come and to consider if you should make any course corrections. When I get frustrated with things, I think back and usually my "woes" are so minor compared to what was, that I shake my head and turn things loose. I weigh less than I have done in years. I have a car that will likely last me until I can no longer drive safely. (One of the reasons for that is I don't have to drive 10 or more miles to a grocery store, pharmacy, or any other store.) My old place was broken into at least once a year -- I knew the locksmith by name. Here, there hasn't been an issue. I am healthier, happier, and more content than I have been in years.

Have I accomplished everything I wanted? No, I still have more to do. But I can look back over the years and see that I am on track to have a healthy and happy year that is also productive for ADB. And life is good where I am.

Here's to the start of another year in Texas!