I've got a way to go, is how I see it. Despite the fact that this is just my perspective (rather than reality, I strongly suspect), it's forcing me to adapt. The responsibilities are "big" and they are small: getting the kid off to Montreal for a truncated, 2-day school trip that will necessitate preventative comb-outs as soon as she returns - note to reader, I don't fuck with lice anymore; my increasingly busy, and responsible, career compounded by an unexpectedly rewarding intramural side-project that takes just as much time; preparing for the reno (which apparently starts in less than 2 weeks); organizing the numerous details of my trip with M to North Carolina (where she will stay for 6 weeks); M's grade 6 graduation with associated requirement to go shopping-with-tween for stupid shoes and ridiculous dresses worn once, birthdays and dinner parties...
The list goes on.
While, in my youth, I took on stress after stress (not realizing their effects given my intense and anxiety-prone nature), with age (ahem) I realize that I don't love being pulled in all directions. What I love is immersing myself in something without care or responsibility for anything beyond it. (I know, join the club. :-))
I'm trying to take the long view here. It's a busy few months ahead. Some of the time will be busier than others. Some will be messy and tedious. Some will tug me in conflicting directions, necessitating high-stakes, sharp reasoning, the ability to provide expert advice or patience or good will. It's an embarrassment of life-circumstances converging, and I'm trying to contextualize them.
Last month, a woman I sort of knew (very peripherally), died of a horrible illness over the course of 18 months. She left behind a husband, great friends, close family and two children under the age of 12. She was 2 years older than me. She's the third person in my age bracket, I know of, who's died in the last year.
Life is in the moment, and in the quiet other moments which punctuate the loud ones. Even as I scrambled to meet the deadlines of my work today, as I felt insecure, now I write this post peacefully by myself, birds chirping outside. For each social event that seems momentarily obligated, the opportunity to eat and drink with friends sustains me. Parenting, not my core skill, throws me the occasional thrill in a child who uses humour so incisively, I know her grades do not define her. I have money (sort of) to undertake a home-transformation that may well improve the quality of my life (or the look of my house, anyhow, and we know how house-proud I am). Hell, I've got a sewing friend to fit with and a knitting network - both of which enrich my creative life immeasurably. I've got you all, in the blog world - the greatest community ever. I've just got to calm the fuck down.
This time in my life is brief, I know. It's a time free of grief, free of encumbrances (those I don't fabricate, I mean), full of movement. It's a time when I'm not too young and I'm not too old. I haven't lost the past; I don't fear the future. It's important to remember that occasionally.