I did not go willingly into a past me reflection.
It was my failing iPhone 6s Plus that forced it upon me. As I flicked through old photos, they reminded me of all the things I’d done.
It wasn’t long before I was wondering where that Maery had gone.
I’m simply not the woman I see in those photos anymore, and I can’t blame that change entirely on the infamous 2020. What I didn’t see in my initial past me reflection was that the past me wasn’t actually better than the current me.
As I studied the photos, I wondered whether I had lost my sense of daring and adventure. Even my curiosity seemed to have wandered away. When had I last thought, “That looks interesting. Let’s give it a try!”
I could blame the decline in interestingness on the pandemic, but that feels too easy. (And like Tina Turner, I don’t do anything nice and easy.)
Maybe I’d become lazy. Lethargic? Discomfort avoidant?
Or was this simply a sign of acceptance of what happens to the body as it ages? The recognition of the increased vulnerability of old and worn body parts? You don’t expect a Model T to accelerate to 80 mph, do you? (Actually, a Model T is doing extraordinarily well if it can reach 45 mph.)
So isn’t realizing one’s limitations a form of acceptance? And isn’t acceptance of your current situation good?
Acceptance that I can’t or won’t do everything I used to do because I don’t want to risk additional broken bones is okay. It means not being frustrated with myself and my life.
(It appears I ran away from winter in 2019 and 2020…)
When I first skimmed through the years, all I noticed were the losses. But when I took a harder look, not just referring to photos but scanning my journals as well, I saw all the things I had accomplished. I had overestimated my failures and lost sight of what I had gained.
No matter how old I am, I can still be curious.
I can still seek new experiences within my grasp.
I can continue bicycling, skiing, walking—the things I’ve always enjoyed doing.
Perhaps I go more slowly, and shorter distances, and with ice grips on, and no longer bicycle in the winter, and when I do bike, it’s on my hybrid not my road bike, whose skinny, smooth tires feel unsteady.
I don’t need to give up everything. Instead, I make adjustments.
This year’s adjustment was to remain home, instead of spending the winter in Arizona, because of COVID-19 and not wanting to leave Java behind. We’re both struggling a bit, Java worse than me, yet we both have our moments of acting like pups again.
I tried to take a photo of the two of us together. It didn’t go as planned. What does? But here we are, adventuring in the snow, my hair a little longer and a little grayer than previous years.
But we are out and about. And that’s accomplishment enough.
In looking back through previous January blog posts, I rediscovered The Ice Queen from 2017. It may have been my first attempt at rewriting a fairy tale. Java and the magic of dogs appears in the story (about a 4 minute read).
Blessings and peace to all of you.