One thing about driving into and out of Manhattan and Brooklyn often is that I have a lot of time to think about things. Maybe too much time. Yesterday, my friend Beth called and told me that Ion Sancho, Supervisor of Elections in Leon County, Florida, was not going to run for reelection and neither was Larry Campbell, Sheriff. This morning, she called and we gossiped a bit about a former resident of Tallahassee with whom I used to work and I mentioned to her that I really appreciated these tidbits of information. “After all,” I said, “I lived in Tallahassee for 37 years. Just because I moved doesn’t mean I’ve lost all interest in the people, the city, and the politics.” This lead me to consider something I’ve thought about on my drives. Not just how much life has changed, but how the rhythm of it has changed — not day-to-day necessarily but long-term as well.
All my life (and I suspect most of yours too) there has been structure and short and long-term goals. By way of full disclosure I must say that I think of goals and objectives in terms of education and grant writing so I do understand the difference. That said, I have always had something to work toward; in 2 weeks I’ll go on vacation; in 1 year I will retire. Or, selling my house and moving. In the case of moving, getting through my first northern winter and managing year one of being on my own in a new place. There has always been something that is the goal reached, end game, or however one chooses to frame it. Now I find myself living day-to-day with no long-term goal other than having a full and satisfying life. I have asked myself if this is enough and if it’s okay.
Okay with whom? It’s a whole new way of looking at things and taking full responsibility for my life. Not a small thing since responsibility has partly been in the hands of parents, teachers, employers, colleagues, children, husband, family, and others. Now, it rests clearly on my shoulders and it requires a bit of getting used to. I find myself resisting structure of any kind — I even gave up going to exercise class because I resented the requirement of being there on a certain day at a certain time. I am a very structured person as my friends and family know too well and spontaneity does not come as easily to me as to others that I know and love, but this is not the same. Not having the long-term goal is a totally different thing. It is part of the adventure and I embrace it whole-heartedly and with great enthusiasm. That’s not to say I’m not a little scared sometimes, but the anticipation of things to come is wonderful.
Lots has happened since I last posted even though I keep thinking that many of the events, activities, and general goings on are blog-worthy. Some are not of course and now I’ve really got myself in a spot where I don’t know where to start. Perhaps what I have to say isn’t all that interesting anyway. Nonetheless, it’s my blog so here goes. I’ll keep it short on some stuff like the diner people calling me to find out if everything was okay because I hadn’t been in, going to the restaurant that Robert Irvine helped on Restaurant Impossible, Potter Dave selling his business in Milford (they are from Gainesville and his sister, Nancy Greenbaum, was a physics professor at FSU), and lots of animal sightings in the woods. The bears are apparently attracted to my neighbor’s bird feeder (pretty much against the rules because of the bears!) and have made regular appearances on our street. Deer are plentiful and had Sydney crazy yesterday walking right along the fence. There’s a wounded goose that has stayed on my street for a couple of weeks and it’s very hard to watch it limp across the yard where it has taken up residence. And, this morning, there was a HUGE flock of very small birds (at least 100 I would think) that moved very quickly and very noisily across the woods behind my house.
Rachel’s shower was a big success I thought and all worked out well. What a lovely afternoon of friendship and fun. It was special that Beth and Earl from Tallahassee came for the shower (Beth, really, not Earl!). They followed me home that afternoon and spent two nights here in Lords Valley before going on to visit their grandchildren in Connecticut. The morning of the shower I picked up Allison and thank goodness I did — interesting how the building we were going to had no number on it, so she jumped out and checked to see that we were in the right place and then unloaded all the food, gifts that were sent to me, and a cooler of drinks. Sasha hosted the shower in her Manhattan loft apartment. I don’t think I had ever been in a loft apartment before, so it was very interesting.
Last week I headed in to celebrate Michael’s and Allison’s birthdays with a wonderful vegan dinner at Cafe Blossom in the village and then went to Brooklyn to help rearrange Rachel and Dave’s apartment to best use the space and resources that they have. So, it’s been a busy time — lots of drive time to think about the coming grandchild, symbols of friendship, and family. Every time I doubt my decision to move here or when it feels so isolated and quiet, I realize how fortunate I am to be close to family. I am single-handedly keeping our local gas station in business but I think but that’s a small price to pay for proximity to a great city with lots to do, much to offer, and that houses my children. Proximity of course takes many forms — our virtual book club met last week to discuss Khaled Hosseini’s newest book, And the Mountains Echoed, and it was very enjoyable. Lots of laughs, a great discussion, and it helped me better understand the theme of mothers and children. So, much to be thankful for and I am no longer trying to figure out how to blog about that. I figure I’m allowed a ramble once in a while.