(Old) Year, (New) Year

new year1Last night, over the dinner that never came (more on that later*), I asked my wife Muri if she thought 2018 was a good year.  She surprised me when … without hesitation … said, No.  It is a characteristic of my wife that I love, except when it bugs me: she doesn’t mince words.  Me?  I can be a word-mincer when it comes to quality of life.  Twenty-five years sitting in 12-Step meetings have instilled in me a tendency to look for the positive and to practice gratitude, even in difficult times.  It’s not that I don’t see the bad things that happened in 2018, believe me.   We lost one of our dearest friends.  Our son made no progress toward self-sufficiency.   My business went into hibernation.  I have had more than my share of aches and pains, culminating with sciatic pain that has me limping around for the first two hours of the day.  But we have a small cadre of friends who accompany us on this journey, some from afar.   And we may ache and groan but we have an active life, not by car-commercial standards but theater and movies and concerts that make perfect dates.  We have the cutest grandkids in the world (yes, I’m biased).  A few business opportunities may still blossom and if they don’t, we’ll be OK.  And we have each other.  If I were to give 2018 a letter-grade, I would give it a B.

When my friend Ralph woke up from open heart surgery a month ago, the first thing he said is, This is interesting.  He tries hard to believe that nothing is good or bad … it is in our minds that things become good or bad.  Hence, interesting.  What he said next about his pain is not printable here, let’s just say it was bad.  I bring this up because 2019 should be an interesting year for us.  Though we love our house in Anaheim Hills, it is too big for us and the stairs are wearing us out.  So, we are exploring downsizing to a single story house.  We love California but housing here is very pricey.   A house near our grandchildren in Utah would cost half of what a home would cost here.  It is a difficult decision and at this point in our lives any move, especially to a new state, sounds overwhelming.  In my meetings, people tell me One Day at a Time and Let Go and Let God.  So we are moving forward as if we’ve decided, hoping at some point there will be a sign, not a burning bush but a moment where we say, This feels right.  Welcome to 2019.

Happy New Year, everyone.

* So, we went to Macaroni Grill for dinner.  We ordered pasta, hardly a challenge for the kitchen.  An hour … and 7-your-food-will-be-out-in- a-few minutes later … we paid for our drinks and left.  We made penne with mushrooms at home.  In 20 minutes.

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2 Comments on “(Old) Year, (New) Year”

  1. wardtaylor Says:

    Maggie and I are both in our late 80s. We began downsizing 43 years ago, when my life unraveled and I found redemption through AA and the (Episcopal) Church. We had no choice then but to sell the dream house we had built with the thought that it would be home for the rest of our lives. We lived in a succession of smaller, rented homes, all of them perfectly nice and comfortable, but nothing that came close to matching the one we were forced to sell. I found happiness trudging the recovery road, but never again made the kind of money I had made in the newspaper business while still drinking and pill-popping.

    When I turned 75, our kids came to us with a proposition: One of them owned a small condo in an elevator high-rise that she would rent to us at an affordable rate. It was time to get settled into a place, and a lifestyle, that would be as manageable as possible as age and infirmiity tightened their grip. We had many misgivings. But as real estate agents we had seen too many people who stayed on too long in what had been their comfortable homes. We especially recalled a nice lady who lived by herself in a large suburban two-story. Throughout the house, the floor was littered with stuff she had dropped but was unable to bend down and pick up. Swallowing her embarrassment, she decided the time had come and called us for help in selling the place.

    We know other folks — some of them good friends — who have waited too long. They are now too decrepit and too set in their ways to face up to moving and all that it entails. It is hard, physical work to break up housekeeping. It drains one;s mental and spiritual energy, too. Get help if you can, but get on with it one way or another. There is a point of no return in this process, and you don’t want to wake up one morning and find that you have let it slip by.

    • wardtaylor Says:

      Sorry, I’m unfamiliar with WordPress, and it appears thaat my comment is posted under your name. For the record, I am Richard (Dixie) Sanger, a retired editor-publisher, and I live with my wife of 65 years, Maggie, in Wilmington, Delaware, in a 900-square-foot condo in a lovely old building full of interesting neighbors.

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