I sit in the final Saturday of 2017 surrounded by binders and journals and books and baskets of laundry. Family members are out and about running errands or socializing with friends. One is resting on the couch, uncertain of how she is feeling. I stop to care for her and warm up a heating pad occasionally. Chicken noodle soup was prepared for her lunch.
Earlier in the kitchen my husband looked at me with the face. I know it well. It is a half-smirk that tries to cover and hide the feeling behind it, but I am too vigilant for that and know there is something going on inside his head. Rather than guessing at it, I ask.
What? What is that face for?
What face? I don’t have a face!
Yes you do. There is clearly a face, and I am curious about it.
We banter back and forth a bit, as he insists it is nothing when I know better. He finally caves.
I was just wondering if you have fallen into your end-of-the-year processing funk, yet?
Laughter ensues from us both, because I am aware enough to be able to laugh at what is obvious about me, and he is courageous enough to name it. Family members are growing safer in being able to share how they experience me, and for that growth I am grateful.
Secretly, I feel pleased to be known and seen so well by my life-partner. It has not always been so. There have been many unseen and unheard years resulting in much hurt that we have worked hard at uncovering and naming this year.
And, yes, I am in my final 48 hour funk, sort of. Not really. It is a strange ambivalence.
It feels different this year. Still ponderous, but in a hopeful sort of way. There is anticipation of things to come in the midst of uncertainty. If anything there is a temptation to panic that time is running out, and I must do all the things.
Time is running out, but I do not have to do all the things. I can do just what is before me next and move in gratefulness for what has been and what is to come.