Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year, Welcome 2014!

The 2013 calendar was just removed from the kitchen wall and I'll be headed to Books-A-Million today to replace it, hopefully with another featuring the art and inspiration of Thomas Kinkade.  His work always draws me in; he wrote as well or better than he painted, but that isn't what I intended to blog about today.  I was saddened again, though, to recall that his once vibrant life didn't end on the best note, but I hope it is the better times which stand out among those remembering him.  

As I flipped through a calendar I'll save, my kids can throw it away when I'm gone, I paused on June.  "A romantic life includes an element of exploration and adventure."--Thomas Kinkade  

My baby boy left home in June, and shortly after he and his father embarked on a cross country drive to Englewood, Colorado, I saw this on the calendar.  " element of exploration and adventure" is a fitting description of Baby Boy's life.  I marveled that the Lord, through the work of a deceased artist, would speak to my heart in perfect timing.   

It was also perfect timing for Baby Boy to fly the coop, having earned a degree in finance at age 21, then procured a job as a stockbroker after a long and exhaustive search.  Prior to landing the job in Englewood, he asked me one day to iron a dress shirt for him, he was going to apply for a job at a retail sporting goods store.  My heart felt heavy over his frustration in finding a position in his field of study, but I admired and respected that he was willing to work anywhere he could find full-time employment.  His willingness and diligence, I believe, was rewarded when he was hired by Fidelity Investments.

On the same June page of the 2013 calendar was another Kinkade quote: "Unfolding miracles take the form of natural circumstances with perfect timing."  The Lord and Thomas Kinkade did it again, speaking encouragement to my aching heart!

It doesn't feel natural when a piece of your heart and the love of your life go on a cross country trip in which only one of them would return, but it was a natural circumstance in perfect timing.  

I suppose that is the standout milestone for me, and of course for Baby Boy, in 2013.  

It was an overall very good year with little to regret, one that passed more quickly than any other I'd lived, but my elders before me told me that would happen.  It was hard to believe then, when it seemed I'd never get grown and on my own, but it is among the truest things I was ever told.  

The years have begun to pass in what feels like cut time, a musical term in which notes are played at half their length.  (I only studied music for five years, not long enough to learn why the composers didn't just go ahead and write the music in the time intended rather than making one do math calculations while simultaneously playing a clarinet.)  I commented to Mr. A that it would only be six months before it is Christmas again.  The rapidity of time passing increases the urgency of living each day well.  

I am learning that living each day well includes accepting the ordinariness of many days which was prophesied on my wedding day by Fr. Thomas Peyton, the namesake for my firstborn son, incidentally, whom we called Thom.  Fr. Tom said these ordinary days could be quite extraordinary, and he was correct.  I didn't know fully what he meant on September 21, 1986, but I believe I do now, and I also believe my understanding of that will only increase as I embark on the second half of my life.

I've had some remarkably extraordinary ones to be sure, marrying a sweet man who still loves me and I him, having two precious baby boys with him who grew into handsome, intelligent men, witnessing their college graduations, seeing Son One married, sharing his joy over the first house he and his wife purchased, and in 2011, having my first book published.

See, I told you they were handsome.  L-R, My sons, Thing One, Thing Two, and
their handsome cousin, The Sailor
The rose painting above The Sailor's shoulder, a gift from Mr. A nearly
30 year ago, several years before I became Mrs. A

To be sure, there was heartache and hard times mingled amongst the days, ordinary and extraordinary, but that is not what is on my heart and mind today.  2013, indeed my entire life, is one I can look back on and say the blessings outweighed the burdens.  

I have made no New Year's resolutions for which to beat myself up later when I haven't kept them.  I am someone who is always looking for a better way to do things, for making any improvements I can, so in a way my resolutions are renewed daily.  My ambition in my adult life was to create a warm and loving home for my family.  I made decisions I'll never regret, such as the one to be a full-time homemaker.  I sneaked work in like substitute teaching at my sons' parochial school, stocking books at Target while they were in class, and on days they weren't, I took them with me.  As I stocked books, I realized I should be writing them, and lo and behold, the Lord allowed me to do that!

Two years after retiring a newspaper column and having a book published, the well began to replenish and blogging is filling a creative desire.  I have another blog I took down as it largely comprised the contents of my first book, so who knows where this one might go.  At 50, I am entirely too young to stop dreaming.  

Dreaming may have been what I was doing as 2014 arrived.  I was awakened by a shotgun blast, the shrill pitch of launched fireworks prior to explosion, and snnkkknnnk.  That was Mr. A snoring.  

And that ordinary beginning to an extraordinary new year suited me just fine.

May 2014 bring you many sweet days to cherish.  Happy New Year!

Mrs. A