We went to the house of a couple we know, had drinks in the open, summer air, compared our vaccine experiences, and shared stories. Hours later, we exchanged hugs, smiled and drove home, happy and reflective. I could describe the events of the past year in momentous terms, in remembrance of friends and family lost, our daughter's singular senior year, a confounding insurrection, a lingering fear of embracing dreams. But I woke up today to sun and singing birds, and something resembling hopefulness.
My career plans have been moderated by the blowing of the winds. A few years back, less than a week into a recovery from a spinal fusion, I was stressing over emails, pressuring myself to physically return to a job using a walker, beginning an unhealthy cycle of unnecessary ambition. Whatever force field we have that separates us from sanity was stripped bare and left porous. It was difficult to eventually walk away, and as I've found myself healing, even prior to the pandemic, I have been able to reconcile that sense of loss with the knowledge that it was the right decision. That the past year served as confirmation is a measure of a silver lining.
I sent out an invitation to the old poker players, not knowing what to expect, and was heartened to see we are going to have a full table come June, which will also see a high school graduation, a visit from family from far away, a promotion, and a week-long fishing trip in Alaska. I am running 200 miles a month, my hairline is receding, and I am doing a better job of not continuously beating myself up over all the awful mistakes.
It's sad we're almost halfway through the year, I want to enjoy this feeling a little longer.