Nostalgia

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I’ve always had a high nostalgia quotient.  Even as a teenager, I could work up a pretty good nostalgia trip, delicately seasoned with longing.  For a kid who had not lived much at all, I had a surprising amount of such wistful, slightly-pretentious feeling.

I also like lists, and so I always enjoy the year-end pieces that start to crop up in newspapers — and now web sites — in December, reviewing the year’s events.  It’s interesting to me to see how other people parse recent events and what gets considered important.

My own year in review I feel more ambivalent about.  This has not been my favorite year.  It’s been really difficult, actually, for all the reasons I’ve articulated over and over on this blog.  Yet when I look back on the year I see things I didn’t realize were happening at the time, and I feel a lot of pride in how I’ve grown.  Even grown up a bit.

One thing that characterized my first 16 years with Bill was the extent to which he took care of me.  He made my life easy in every way he could — by cooking, by helping with child care, by having money to enable me to pursue my dreams, by being willing to be the one who went out in the snow to do errands or get some dessert.  It sounds like an enviable situation and in many ways it was.  And yet this year I have had to learn to take care of myself much more — and to take care of the children, and in so doing I have deepened my compassion for others and settled into a sense of myself as competent rather than dependent.  While part of me would love to go back to before, I am glad for having developed the feeling of self-reliance.

So, while I’m glad to see 2009 go, I’m also glad for the lessons it’s taught me.

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