Those of you who know me—all three of you (maybe five on a good day)—already know that I consider September to be the start of a new year. What better time to write a generic blog, a new year letter to my neglected correspondents who would otherwise have to wait until Christmas to get my distillation of the year that was?
Best forgotten by then. It has been a hard hard year for me. My son Matt and I have survived some tough times, he more than I, because in addition to everything else, he had to endure me. I reached all sorts of watersheds and made some disturbing discoveries about my own character even as I was negotiating a nasty obstacle course. The physical setbacks (Matt’s very complicated broken ankle, my simpler but twice-set broken wrist, Matt’s basal cell cancer surgery, my sliced, stitched finger, our disparate physiotherapy, Matt’s colonoscopy), complicated and hindered by Matt’s challenges which aggravated my desperate impatience, were all set against the running leitmotif of my first self-published book with its accompanying pitfalls, snags, errors, hurdles and trammels.
Our various physicians’ appointments always seemed to conflict so that I had to be two places simultaneously or immediately following. Matt is what is called “high-functioning” but he needed help for his physical/medical problems (so did I), and there was no help in sight, except me. He had to come and live with me a couple of times for post -or pre-op care. I had booked two trips, thinking my book would be much further along and not expecting any physical problems.. I went to Winnipeg in the middle of May for the 100th anniversary meeting of the Icelandic National League of North America , and then to Halifax the end of May for the 45th (I think) AGM of the Writers’ Union of Canada conference. They gave me a Life Membership in recognition of the fact that I am O (for Old) but with no anticipation of a reward for being L G B T or Q, which I am not and which is getting all the attention. I must be content with being a fly on the well and fading away to a speck on that wall. I can’t even complain about ageism. It is a fact of life (or death). Well, we can’t all be Margaret Atwood.
The good news is that I have lost weight.
The bad news is that I have lost more friends, old ones, irreplaceable. One of them said to me, some time ago, that it is easy (relatively easy) to make new friends but impossible to make old ones.
So, you see, this is a good time of year to have done with it and begin afresh. The leaves will fall soon and we’ll hunker down to face the last season, girding our loins for what still lies in store. (“What fresh hell is this?”)