Therein lies the rub

Here’s a last-minute post to round out the day.

So I’ve gotten home from Carnie’s Honker Springs Farm and eaten again, a bit of leftover three-mushroom tofu from Spices on Burlington with the last of the jasmine rice.  I should get another load of laundry going but instead I’m cruising Facebook, checking out everybody’s Easter pictures, and thinking about trust.

One of the hard parts of being sixty and having had one’s trust betrayed in pretty cruel fashion lies in the fact that one does not have much time left within which to get the heck over the disappointment and resume living.  Between figuring out the stuff that you can’t do and who’s going to do it for you; running from doctor appointment to doctor appointment hoping for good news of your aging body; and working full time, we sixty-year-olds don’t have much time for sitting around drinking Margaritas wondering who to blame.

Instead I pour some Diet Dr. Pepper over ice in the souvenir cup that I brought my favorite curmudgeon three years ago when I took two weeks to sit on Lake Michigan feeling immensely grateful for everything that life had brought me.  Eighteen months later, it all went to hell and I scrambled for safety as the cliff crumbled beneath my lily-white spastic feet.   Tonight I clutch the cup, rattle the ice, and wander around the house looking at the pictures on the mantel and thinking about my mother.  I take down a few dusty objects that I have been wanting to examine, and put them on the table in the breakfast nook.  I straddle one of the wooden stools, reflecting on the first year that I got to hide Easter eggs instead of hunting for them.  I sigh, briefly at first, and then, because it’s the only noise in the house, a little louder.

I took this mission on myself, this quest to live complaint-free.  Had I known what the weeks after I started down this path held for me, I would never have begun.  But therein lies the rub.  Once I embraced the decision to evolve into my best self, however much my journey might be ridiculed, I had no choice but to continue.  Learning to live complaint-free has proven challenging.  So far, I have not gone one day without voicing lament, let alone an entire year — and not for lack of effort, I assure you!

I once told someone whom I loved that my greatest hope for myself was to be the best possible version of “me”.  He scoffed, maybe even sneered.   I’ve mentioned this before now, but only recently have I acknowledged the inner cringe which I experienced in that moment.

But I know this:

Regardless of how painful my growth has been, regardless of how lonely my life feels at times, regardless of what I have lost in my effort to embrace my true north, my feet only stumble.   Faced with a choice to turn back or walk forward, however solitary my journey might prove to be, I have no meaningful choice but to continue.  And so I shall — partly because I am a determined woman, but mostly  because I realize that while failure will not bring me shame, failing to try would destroy me.

The pink basket had been my brother Steve's last Easter basket and I used it for my son. Nested with it is my childhood basket, with my name tag on it, written in my mother's hand.  My mother bought the blue hat for me one year, when I was seven or eight.  Grandma Corley bought the straw hat, earlier, at age five or six.

The pink basket had been my brother Steve’s last childhood Easter basket and I used it for my son. The old tattered purple one was mine as a child, still bearing my name tag, written in my mother’s hand. My mother bought the blue Easter bonnet for me one year, when I was seven or eight. Grandma Corley bought the straw hat, earlier, at age five or six.

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