Me in Matera, Italy

Sunday, 10 April 2011

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times ...

Today I went for a long walk, my first walk since the fall.  I'm a fair weather walker.  I love walking though, it's great thinking time!  The past few days really have been full of ups and downs, I really struggle with life's extremes.  I don't adapt well to extreme fluctuations within short periods of time.  I feel defeated and shut down.

I couldn't help but think of the famous quote from Charles Dickens which speaks to the vicissitude of life:  best of times, worst of times; age of wisdom, age of foolishness; lightness, darkness; everything before us, nothing before us. 

I had some friends over for an Italian dinner on Saturday to celebrate my daughter coming home.  We had good food, amazing company and really such a great night.  At the close of the evening, I received a phone call that my brother had been admitted to hospital with a high fever, suspected UTI again!  Here we have the best of times and the worst of times in one night.

On this journey I am on for self improvement, self fulfillment, self survival ... whatever you want to call it; I feel like I have moments of brilliance where I make good healthy decisions followed by moments of stupidity where I make such bad self-defeating decisions.  I find myself both in the age of wisdom and the age of foolishness.

Speaking of age, I turned 40 last year.  I'm trying to figure out how to live the life of a 40 year old with a 19 year old free-spirited daughter, 75 year old dependent mother, 51 year old brother virtually incapacitated by MS, a challenging and stressful career and a household to maintain.  Being 40 with a grown daughter, I feel like I should have everything before me but the reality is that I feel that I have nothing before me except a lot of challenges.

Near the end of my walk, I was watching the stream, it should be pretty but it's not right now; it's spring dirty.  In fact, the water looks cold and harsh, you can see lots of rocks.  It won't always be this way though; it's really just temporary.  Soon the sun will shine, the snow will melt and the water will warm up.  Soon I will see grass instead of snow.  Soon I will hear birds.

Clearly life is rough, cold and harsh at times.  We just have to hang in through the worst times, foolishness and darkness in order to experience the best times, wisdom and light.

I think that me and the stream just need to accept that this moment, is not our best.  This too shall pass; spring is always followed by summer.

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