Life Snapshots: Numbers, Chocolate and such

Numbers have never been key parts of my life. My husband and brothers are the math whiz, computer guru, programming sorts of individuals, and I love them for it, but life is about more than years, ages, times and such. Isn’t it? Maybe this is why I enjoy adding the suffix “-ish” to so many terms. Today my favorite color is burgundy-ish, the temperature tomorrow is to be 30-ish degrees, lunch meetings are frequently scheduled on my calendar for 11:30-ish or the like, and so on.

“So do you feel older now?” I’ve been jokingly asked by friends, and I must admit that I feel a bit older than I did a little while ago… doesn’t that mean I’m being realistic? A good thing about age is that it brings experience. This isn’t saying that “experience” equates to wisdom, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Experiences of different kinds can help foster empathy, compassion, sound judgment, knowledge, and even a sense of humor. Life’s encounters may bring tears, joy, sometimes both… but they can’t exactly be quantified. Time also provides more chances to make really stupid decisions. (This last sentence is for those who believe I am too optimistic. I choose not to dwell but try to learn, so take it as you wish.)

As we approach a new year, I do have a few snapshots about which I am quite thankful. They may involve numbers, but numerical values don’t exactly mirror the heart of life’s happenings. Reflecting the state of flux in which my life frequently seems to be, I’ll present here a list:

(ones not mentioned in other blog posts already, of course)

• I had a birthday on December 10. This is an annual event, but because there was a significant number involved, my wonderful husband decided to hold a fun birthday open house. And why was “getting older” a pleasant happening? One word: CHOCOLATE. This was the theme, and there were several chocolate treats, not to mention loads of international chocolates sent from T.R.’s friends around the world. I think a chocolate blog post is a must in the future, as I still continue to delve into the pile of sweet treats.
• I’ve passed the five-year point with Tysabri, the MS medication that seems to be helping slow progression more than any of the other four major meds was able to. A trip to Fort Wayne Neurological Center happens each month, and though the nurses there are lovely folks, I continue to pray for something closer to a “cure.” They don’t need to deal with the likes of me each month. I have better things to do, and I’m sure they do also.
• Though my most tangible and incredibly appreciated birthday gift was the laptop on which I am typing this post (which also deserves its own post in the near future!), a few days before the chocolate celebration I received a wonderful phone call. Mom started chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer in September, and this purposeful poisoning was not being very nice to her. (This is also a future blog post, “They just nod their heads.”) The nasty cancer treatments were to continue through January, but the wonderful call was to share that Mom was finished with her chemotherapy! It was such a blessing to know that the oncologist agreed with me that the poisoning had been sufficient. So my mother would be able to attend her daughter’s fortieth birthday party, enjoying cheesecake bars, a chocolate fountain, and hugs. I was proud that unlike the August phone call, this one did not cause immediate tears. No, the tissues waited until after the call was complete.
• I have started writing “for real” – three of my pieces have been printed in paper publications, one online, and one radio script. And I had a poem accepted for printing in our annual campus literary publication. This will be in February 2012, and I’ll write more about it then. I also have scads of “ding letters,” letting me know that my writings didn’t fit their needs at the time. More will come, but I hope to grow as a writer, and growth won’t happen without more training and pruning along the way.

There were many other happenings, but I am determined to submit this today, and become less “invisible”-ish as 2012 progresses. I’m not one for resolutions, but goals are good. As God uses my life limitations to teach lessons, I’ll try to share those with a smile, sometimes a tear, and more frequency. Happy New Year!