A thought I’ve been having lately is how much has happened both on the world stage and in my personal life since Tom died in early 2012. I live day to day, week by week and don’t think much is going on. But lately I find myself reflecting on just how much has changed in a couple of years.
For starters, I’ve been employed by a corporation for two and a half years. The previous 26 years I had my own writing business. This corporate job provides me with vacation days, paid holidays and health and dental insurance. It also gives me somewhere to go most days, and I’m thankful for that now. I commute 50 miles a day and have listened to scores of books on CDs – some entertaining and informative, others not worth the time. I’ve logged dozens of phone calls and thousands of thoughts during this interstate drive. Some days I just go into a commuter coma.
I’ve had more health issues than I would have dreamed of, and I’m more than surviving. (I can easily rise from a cross-legged position on the floor without using my hands. Don’t dismiss this. Try it.) I’m walking regularly, and I skied over the holidays after not skiing for 10 years.
I’ve kept my old house well maintained. I’ve befriended a neighbor who is half my age, and I’ve made a few new friends. I got to know more-distant friends better and have become closer with my in-laws. I’ve met several men via online sources and through friend introductions, which pushed me into a whole new nerve-racking world.
Once a week, I tutor an immigrant in writing at a Detroit non-profit. I’ve traveled to London, the Bahamas, Key West twice, Nashville, Memphis, New York City and Portland, to name a few.
My son has been practicing law for two and a half years and has evolved into a fine young man — most of the time. He is turning into a gourmand asking for Christmas gifts such as a pasta press and immersion blender. (Tom wouldn’t have seen this coming.) He has a serious significant other, and they moved into a house together near downtown. (Another surprise)
My daughter is nearly done with college, graduating in April, and moving on to student teaching and, hopefully, a teaching career. She, too, has a significant other and has grown to be an outstanding young woman who is nurturing and kind.
World developments have been too many to name, but a few big ones – Bin Laden was killed, and miraculously the United States has a form of universal health insurance. President Obama got re-elected, but the House and Senate became dominated by Republicans. Social media is no longer a new phenomenon, but an everyday reality for companies and people of all ages. Twitter is now considered a legitimate information source, although I still think it is folly. (Yep, showing my age.)
There was a U.S. government shutdown, and our 300-plus-year-old city filed for bankruptcy – the largest city ever to undergo this incredibly complicated and expensive maneuver. Downtown Detroit and its surrounding neighborhoods are becoming vibrant and attracting a younger, educated population. (Tom always said he’d believe Detroit was turning around when he could see it. Well, Tom, now you can see it.)
Eerily, a Malaysian plane full of passengers went missing and still hasn’t been found. The winter of 2014 was record cold and snowy all over the country, and out of the blue a plane was shot down over the Ukraine killing more than 200.
I’m just skimming the surface of news and personal events, but my point is what a difference a couple years make. Wonder what the next two will serve up.