Friday, December 31, 2010

525,600 Minutes

“Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear.”

2010 is dying.  It seems to me, at least, that it didn’t get its full 525,600.  It’s gone way too fast.

For me, it’s been a year of major change.  I retired completely in May, and that experience has made the whole year a landmark year.  The disappearance of deadlines, customers, expectations, schedules, backed–up phone messages, and stress has been great—more than great, really.  Even when I was a kid, I didn’t experience such freedom because I lived under my parents’ control and there were obligations that they imposed according to their schedules and priorities.  Now, thanks to a very accommodating Beni, I pretty much am free to do what I want when I want to do it.  I never thought it would be like this.  The loss of half my income hasn’t been easy, but, honestly, the freedom is worth every penny.

Other things have made 2010 memorable.  My mother’s diagnosis with mesothelioma and her subsequent treatment ranks as number one.  Her indomitable spirit, and a good physician, seem to be healing her.  She says she feels better at 93 than she has in the past several years.  A corollary benefit of her disease is the time I spent with her last summer, six weeks from the middle of July to Labor Day.  I didn’t want to go to Florida, I have to admit, but I went.  The time with Mom was mostly just the two of us in her condo, and I got to know her all over again.  I got to appreciate the strength that woman has, and the sheer pleasure she gets from living.  It was the first time I’ve spent time with her by myself that we didn’t have a huge argument that, on my part anyway, stemmed from memories and assumptions and misconceptions.  They were six weeks very well spent, and I enjoyed every day of it.

I was exposed to social networking, Twitter and Facebook specifically.  I had a great time on Twitter, although I did some things there of which I’m not proud.  Beni says I was (am) experiencing the adolescence I was denied in my teens.  She’s probably right.  I learned a lot about myself and about the generation to which my kids belong.  Now I’m trying to be a good boy on Twitter, and on Facebook.  Facebook has been fun for a lot of reasons, principal among them my photo albums.  One of my daughters is embarrassed, I think, at my Facebook presence and at my posting our family photos there.  I curtailed the availability of the photo albums, and I’m hoping that my daughter will come to be okay with it.  The photos aren’t coming down.

So many good things happened this year, most of them inside my strange psyche.  My obsessive–compulsive tendencies have diminished radically, whether due to internal change or to medication I have no idea.  Probably a combination of both things.  All I know is that stupid things that used to bother me, even control me at times, no longer matter, or don’t matter as much.  I didn’t seek this change, but it is greatly welcome.

I look forward to the New Year.  I hope everyone who reads this post also is looking forward to it, and that everyone in my life will have a wonderful 2011.

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