In any challenging life experience, I seek relief through some kind of comfort. Often, the best comfort comes from the wisdom of another person or from an inner wisdom of my own gained from previous life experience.
Have you ever avoided someone you know and like because you don’t know what to say? Or gone down the opposite grocery aisle because you don’t remember a friend or acquaintances name? This is the common, every day vulnerability that challenges me so often. Sometimes I imagine that there are perfect people out there who always know what to say and never forget names. Actually, I don’t think they exist other than in my imagination. So, this is for all of us who are real, who make mistakes, forget things, and get embarrassed.
I don’t have a lot in common with my neighbor. He likes to rebuild cars and go hunting- I like to work in my garden and have summer bar-b-cues. But there is one thing that we share, and that is the boundary line between our properties. Usually when we think of boundaries, we think of something that separates us from someone else.
Aging is something we do every day without really giving it much thought until the moment we realize, oh my gosh, where have the years gone? We have this uncanny human ability to put aging outside of ourselves as though it only happens to other people. And then one day we realize we are older than we ever imagined we would be.
I work for A Book for All Seasons, a small, independent bookstore in downtown Leavenworth, Washington. Over the holidays, I noticed that despite the busyness, the crowds, and the moments when people could barely move until one person inched forward so another person could inch to the right and thus clear the way for more movement from one place to another, people acted with courtesy, respect and kindness.
My wish for 2018 is to accept and love the strange places in myself. I send this wish to all of you as well. I wish you love and acceptance in even the strangest of places in yourselves. It is the beauty of being human, that we all have these gems of strangeness.