I saw some dear friends this morning, who shared some good personal news with me. And talked online yesterday with another friend who just got married. I love it when friends of mine are getting engaged or get married or finding out they’re pregnant, or enjoying the birth of a baby. I remember when I got engaged, how cynical so many people were about it. Not just because I’d been engaged before, and never married any of the suitors, but people had such shitty, stinky things to say, about what a mistake it was, how I’d regret it. “Why’d you do that?” someone asked. A co-worker asked where my diamond was. I told her I was against diamond mining practices and I don’t really care for precious jewels because of it and she huffed, “I wouldn’t have married my husband if he hadn’t bought me a diamond.” At that point in my life, I’d had the diamond already, several times over, and it just wasn’t why I was getting married. I resented the bitterness in people for whom it had been a mistake. “Just because it didn’t work out for you, doesn’t mean it’s a bad decision for me,” I told a relative. Some 12 years later, as far as I’m concerned, it did work out. Just not for as many years as I originally intended.
So when people share their joyous news with me, I feel touched and elated and try to encourage them. I want to be both helpful and realistic and offer practical advice, that’s just how I am. Life is hard, but the happy things are important to feel and pay attention to, as those big things happen not as often as they should in life, and it can seem there is bad news around every corner. Seize upon the good news. Be happy for other people. Share their joy and help out, if they need help. The village it takes is vast, but with computers and phones and everything, no less close as if we were next door neighbors, if you choose to make and sustain that connection.
A special friend of mine is in the hospital, has been for a number of weeks now, and while he was initially improving after a heart attack, things are now dicey. This person is not only an icon of 60s rock and roll, he’s a dear friend. One of the smartest men I have known, and someone who has been very dear to me for many years. I feel sort of panicky hearing the news of his worsening health, as if somehow, hopping a plane to San Francisco and being by his side, I could will him back to good health. Thinking about how he has spent his Christmas makes me feel so sad. Sadness on the heels of the joy with my friends at breakfast this morning – second breakfast, since I breakfasted very early with my sister and niece, who were making their way back to Wisconsin after a busy visit including lots of cooking, lots of drinking, lots of eating, and a lot of Trivial Pursuit and Jeopardy.
When I don’t know what to do with myself, I try to go for a run. Everything hurts on me today and I probably shouldn’t, but I need to. It’s an unusually warm and sunny December 26 here, warmest and sunniest I can remember. I’ll get out there and do something, as I have to clear my mind, I have to direct this restless energy.
Wheel keeps turning.