2020s, In My Opinion, inspiration, photography

IMO: Middle of the Night Reflections

Today is my birthday. I’m 59. It’s 2:15 in the morning, and I can’t sleep. This post is a year in review, of sorts. Quickly, though–I still have to get up in the morning and teach. And celebrate being 59.

Blogging: In years past, on the 13th day of the month I’d host a “Cindy’s Lucky 13 Film Club” post. I miss that, talking to friends about the film industry. Many times the post generated over 100 comments. As it stands, I have lost the thrill of watching movies on a regular basis. A favorite hobby run dry. Why? Covid broke the habit of going to the movies, for one reason. Streaming changed the way I find entertainment. I seem to watch TV series more. I loved watching: Timeless, Jamestown, Poldark, Astrid, and the Tudor trio series The Spanish Princess, The White Princess, and The White Queen. As far as films go, I will report that The Power of the Dog, The Courier, The Green Knight, Belfast, Dune were winners for me.

Health: I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Do you want the list of issues and surgeries and hospitalizations and relapses? Don’t worry, I won’t waste your time. I confess I hate it when I’m in another doctor’s office, and they want to review my health conditions. In the end, I feel like a walking timebomb. What happened to the athlete from twenty years ago? How can living an active life of hard work and activity cause one’s body to break down? When I start to feel sorry for myself, I only have to consider all the people who are suffering from diseases I don’t have or are completely immobile. I believe “a body in motion, stays in motion” so I move. I will share when I was 17 riding my bicycle, I was hit in the back by a truck at an intersection. That began a lifetime of pain. Add a bad gene pool combined with too many hours at the computer–that recipe will ruin anyone’s body. But I’m not giving up. I am back at the gym, moving, stretching, building muscles. It feels good to do the right thing. I must.

Grief: Mom’s been gone for a year and a half. Blunt force trauma for me. A turning point. Juncture. Crossroads. Pick your synonym. Watching her die of cancer was too painful. People die every day. It was her turn. I get it. Anyway, time is softening the blow. The result of her loss caused me to return to the Catholic church. My mind took a break from religion a few years back because I was mad. Now I don’t care about my thoughts on religion. I just need to go to mass. I don’t care if you think that’s silly.

Grief is the ambivalence of pain and numbness. Grieving is the absence of rational thought. It’s thrashing about in a pool of overwhelming feelings. These days, I just talk to her. We are all on journeys with beginnings and ends. It’s all okay.

Writing: So that book. I have been too numb to be creative. I am normally a goal-oriented, follow-through kind of gal, so I suspect I will finish it. I’ve only the final chapter to write before the editing begins. Since it’s about WW2, my new goal is to complete it before the 80th anniversary. My self-pity shrinks when I think about the destruction and the lost souls during the war. I feel a personal debt is owed to the men and women who served. I love what my flag symbolizes. I don’t care if you think that’s silly.

The Move: Sometimes you just gotta change it up. Stir the pot. Clean the slate. The changes in my head, heart, and soul instigated the crazy move from Arizona to Virginia. It’s happening in stages. Stage one — sell the house. Stage two — get a job in Virginia and finish out the current contract. We wait. Jim and I are happy in our motor home with our big sky and beautiful view. We listen to music, get buzzed, and sleep heavily.

I have an interview for a job today! What a nice birthday present if I got the job, yes? It is to teach German to eighth-graders. I am not fluent, but I have a fun time getting them to love learning Deutsch. In my current position, I have four preps and report to three departments. My Master’s degrees are in history and English. German was a minor because I had the lofty goal of earning a Ph.D. That did not happen. However, for seventeen years now, I teach English Composition courses as an online adjunct for a community college in Virginia. I rationalize I achieved the lofty goal. At 59, I’m too young to retire. I will continue to teach because I can. And, I like to earn money and spend it on trips. I don’t care if you think that’s silly.

Love: I’m feeling it a lot lately. My list of what I’m grateful for keeps growing like my love for my husband, my children, and my grandchildren. My dog. I want to live. I want to see and celebrate my 60th birthday in style doing something crazy cool around all those I love. I love my blogging friends, too. Who knew you would all be more real to me than the people I pass on the street?

I don’t care. And I care greatly. I am a work in progress. I thought being 59 meant I would have it all figured out. I know nothing. There’s bliss in that.

52 thoughts on “IMO: Middle of the Night Reflections”

  1. Happy Birthday! By coincidence I’m just looking at birthday diary entries by Virginia Woolf (born 25th Jan 1882) for a lesson I’m preparing. Amongst other things she too wrote reflections about what she was working on and hoping to accomplish (and the impractical nature of some gifts). Good luck with the job interview. You have had such a lot of upheaval over the past 18 months and having your ‘can do’ (WILL do!) attitude is inspiring! Enjoy the big skies!

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      1. I certainly enjoyed looking at Woolf’s diary entries – but it’s always fascinating taking a look ‘behind the scenes’. I hope the interview went well and you’re enjoying the rest of your day!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” so much that I bought the book and read it, together with an explanation of the way the poetry works, The version with the poem in Middle English was way beyond me, though.

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  3. Going through your health, move, current endeavors – I got the biggest kick out of your final paragraph. You are such a pleasure to read (what feels like talking to you) and I’m pulling for you with the new job! I can’t wait for your book!

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  4. Why would I ever think anything you do is silly, dearest Cindy?
    If you find comfort in religion, embrace that comfort and allow it to soothe you.
    A very happy birthday, and 59 is not so bad. Julie is 61 tomorrow, so not much between you.
    I didn’t even start blogging until I was 60, and if I make it to March 2022, I will be 70.
    Blogging friendships make the years appear to pass far too rapidly.
    Best wishes as always, Pete. x

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    1. Hello, Pete. For most of my life I have tried to please people. It means hiding how I really feel. Sharing what I really feel about religion, capitalism, and the flag invites controvery for many. It was my way of standing up for myself.
      Happy Birthday to Julie! And to you, my dear friend. Blogging friends are the best. You all so kind to me.

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  5. Happy happy day to you! Thank you for sharing where you are mentally, physically and emotionally…the last 2 years hav been a roller coaster in all the worst ways for almost everyone…good luck with the interview today…bravo for being an Educator!

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  6. Have a Happy and Hopeful Birthday, Cindy. There is so much of the last year we all hope would be forgotten.
    You mention being 59 and knowing nothing. I’m 83 and there’s not a day goes by that I don’t learn somethin g new. And I am sick of it.
    Good health and fortune.

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  7. A most wonderful happy birthday and beginning of your new year! As I was reading your feelings (that’s what it felt like), it echoed in my mind Bernard M. Baruch’s “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” A mantra for the new year?

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  8. Thank you for sharing your 59th birthday thoughts and feelings. None were silly. Plan a memorable and unique 60th birthday event. For mine, I watched the sunrise from the top of Haleakala on Maui. God, it was cold, but it was mine. I will never forget it. Life should be like that — a collection of unique events. Be well and know each day that you have a huge following that treasures you.

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  9. First, Happy Belated Birthday! I’m not far behind you! 😉 Second, sorry about your mom. Anyhow, I can relate to your post. I was in perfect health, and bang, I started going down hill in my forties. Bette Davis was right, “old age ain’t for sissies.” So, I hope you feel better soon. BTW, a few years ago, we moved to Virginia from Maine. We love it here! Maybe we can have a glass of wine someday. Best of luck!

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