Hello. How are you? I really want to know. As I sat down to type this month’s blog post, I wasn’t sure if I had anything of interest to offer up. Not that I do normally, but I’ve rarely let that stop me from prattling about. This morning I was thinking about how I started this blog 10 years ago, and for the last decade it’s been a rather one-sided conversation, hasn’t it? I wish that we could have a chat. Let’s imagine that we’re meeting up at one of my favorite coffee shops and we’ve settled in with our beverage of choice, masks temporarily set aside as we sip our drinks.
We can start our social jaunt by talking about the every day things: how’s the family, what are your spring break/summer plans, what’s up with the new or old job, have you heard from so-and-so. What books have you read? Watched any good shows lately? Are you crafting anything?
And perhaps we’ll meander into the not-so-ordinary vistas: the plan to leave life as you know it and embark on a new adventure, the BIG birthday celebration, a strange and wonderful serendipitous event.
We may even quietly enter the dark alleys: the worries, the disappointments, the heartaches. A tear or two may escape from the corner of our eyes as we confide about an unwell family member, a financial burden, a failed project that cost our pride and more.
And then we’ll somberly take some more sips, see that our cups are empty and our time together is nearly up.
We can’t leave on a low note, so we’ll dash to the open fields of possibilities and share dreams and tentative yet sparkly goals. Something to look forward to, something to cherish.
We’ll hug and promise to do this again, then go our merry ways.
This is pretty much how all of my coffee dates are. I love them.
As I said, it’s been 10 years of blogging and in the early days I was very ill. I don’t talk about it very often, but I have Graves disease and in March 2012 I was in the thick of it. According to my endocrinologist, my hormones were so out of whack that I could have easily died. Luckily, by July of that same year when I actually launched my first post, I had recovered a good bit. I would type up a blog post, but then would have to curl up to sleep for the umpteenth time of the day. I had so little energy, caught every cold and flu floating in the air and lived with constant anxiety. The most confounding part was that as my hormone levels spiked I aged at an alarming rate and looked at least twenty years older in a matter of weeks. It’s disorienting to suddenly go from a youthful 40 to a haggard senior citizen clearly on her deathbed.
A decade later, I can say that I’m healthy as a horse — well, most days, anyway. Somehow, the aging has reversed itself too, so I appear the actual chronological age that I am (perhaps even slightly younger, given my Asian genes). I made many, many changes to improve my health, but my immune system seems to be permanently compromised so I do have to be extra careful about stress and lifestyle choices.
What an enormous boon to have had these extra years! I’ve done my best not to waste them and have done a lot. Lots of time with loved ones, lots of books (both the reading and the making of), lots of sewing, lots of writing and painting. Long walks and yoga, too. I have loved my life to the fullest and will continue to do so. We are never guaranteed another moment. Sure, I forget this truism all the time, but when things get difficult, I remember those hazy days of malaise and appreciate the extraordinariness of being here, now. Have I told you? I don’t fear death. I’ve been given so much, especially in the last few years and though I’d like to stick around until I’m a doddering octogenarian (beyond that I may be too much of a burden to K), I’m open to whatever happens. I have an inkling that death isn’t the end of everything. Be that as it may, I hope that I’ll be around next month for the aimless April blog missive, and in the meantime maybe I’ll have some actual coffee dates with some of you!
8 thoughts on “Coffee date + The gifts of a decade”
Thank you, I loved this!
Thank YOU, Ailsa! xoxo
Thanks for sharing your story! I look forward to reading about your creative meanderings each month.
Hi Tammy! Thanks for both your comment and email! I’m delighted that you’ve been enjoying my bloggy newsletters — I was born to be aimless, I’m afraid :-). xoxo
I love catching up… if you ever come north (Ferndale) or I had down to Seattle… we could really have coffee :).
You may not remember me as I was one of those Barristers who quietly went about his business. It is Memorial Day weekend and I was reminiscing and was somewhat nostalgic. Don’t ask me why but somehow your name was drawn from the deep recesses of my memory and I thought to myself. Whatever happened to so and so? This led me to Google your name randomly with no expectation of getting anywhere. However, to my amazement, your website came up with a recent picture of you. Let me tell you, you haven’t changed all that much since high school. Anyway, I do not believe we shared the same circle of friends. But Marshall was a small community unto itself and it was quite easy to recall the people that I may have shared a class or two with during that time. Not sure where went to college. Might it been UCLA? Anyway, that is where I went.
I am glad you are doing well in life. I enjoyed reading your blog. You seem very wistful and content.
Warm regards, Jack.
Hello Jack! What a lovely and unexpected message from a fellow Marshall High alum! I have to admit that those years are hazy at best and I was recently thinking about how I can barely remember anyone from high school. I now have a daughter in 10th grade and everything seems so immediate and important and irrevocable to her, but I tell her that she’ll probably be like me and the memories will soften and blur. I did go to UCLA for both undergrad and grad! I wonder if we had any classes together? Wherever and however you landed, I hope all is well with you, Jack!