Monday, November 14, 2016

"Just hits you"

A variety of stuff. I am probably alone too much on weekends or something. I often find Sunday afternoon I am hit by a wave of either sadness or anxiety that I can't really chalk up to any very clear event. (Well, the anxiety could be not having exercised: I seem to have worse days when I take a day off from exercising, perhaps it bleeds off some of the nervous energy that builds up. And I had taken a couple days off this week - Thursday AND Friday, in addition to the weekend days because of, uh, some unexpected "female" stuff that made me not want to thrash around extra-vigorously)

Just lots of things hit me: the whole aging-parents thing, seeing some of the happy-family early Christmas ads and realizing it won't be too many more years that I won't really have family to go to (my brother's family is too far away, their house is too small, I can't imagine traveling that far for just a couple days but I don't think I could stay there longer than that given the small size of their house and also they have OTHER family in who claim the air mattress in the basement, so I'd be camped out on a sofa. And no, I can't afford multiple nights in a hotel). I don't know how I'll do holidays in the future - Oh, I'll probably figure it out, people DO - but I'm not ready to think about that.

What my friend from AAUW (the minister) said about the idea that you're mourning for a past that you realize will never happen again: that's very true. 

And the loss of my cousin. And the fact that my mom's best friend (who has been a good friend to the family all through the years - I stayed with her and her husband when my brother was being born, that's how long they've been our friends) lost her brother last week. This, after losing her son last year in November (I thought it was longer ago, but no - it was last year) and losing her husband in November a few years before that. And a couple people I know have had surgery that wasn't as successful as hoped. And just everything.

And Friday was Veteran's Day. I don't really have any veterans left in my family now....the last ones were Tom and Chum, who fought in Vietnam, and are gone now. And I'm also thinking about how when I was a kid, I knew people who were World War I veterans, and they are all gone now, and there are increasingly few people around who are World War II veterans....

And Leonard Cohen died. I was never a huge fan the way some people were but I could appreciate his talent. And actually, combining those two last items: here he is reading John McCrae's "In Flanders Fields," and it seems a particularly emotional thing to me right now:

I don't know what it is about his voice but that's the best reading of that poem I think I've ever heard.

A lot of well-known and gifted people have lest us in 2016. Part of it, of course, is that a lot of them were advanced in age or otherwise unwell (Gene Wilder, for example), but it does seem like it's a generational changeover right now, and that a lot of the entertainers I remember from my younger days are now gone.

So far, today has been better (I forced myself to get up and work out, and also I'm out doing my regular job instead of sitting at home, desperately knitting tiny toys that I worry will be totally lost in the shuffle of bigger and flashier Christmas presents....and yes, I think part of my distress is the feeling of slight irrelevance? that's not quite the right word - but that I'm taking this time and effort and they probably won't be appreciated. Maybe I'm just being cranky but the year I knit the Lego Man it was totally ignored in favor of an electronic Tigger doll. Maybe I don't knit any more like this, maybe I just knit toys for myself? (Or for selected friends who ask for them). I hope my gift doesn't look small and crummy next to the bigger flashier gifts others will send. I know, it shouldn't matter, but it kind of does to me.)

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