“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.”

This is the strangest winter. Yesterday was freezing, literally. When I went to the dump, an open area all around, I thought I’d been whisked to the steppes of Russia. The wind was so cold my hands nearly froze when I got out of the car to toss the trash, lots of trash, in the bins, and by the time I got back into the car, my breathing was as heavy as if I’d be plodding through drifts of snow. Right now it is 36° and feels almost balmy. The paper says 40’s today and 49° by the weekend. I don’t quite know what to make of this winter.

My Christmas tree is gone, lying outside waiting for pick-up. I miss its aroma but most of all I miss its colorful lights and decorations. Winter is drab with its dead leaves, bare branches and early darkness. It is only Christmas which gives winter life and color. Now we’re stuck waiting for spring.

I have these weird bursts of energy. The other day I put away the rest of my Christmas decorations, did a load of wash, watered all the plants, dusted the shelves in my room, changed my bed and filled the bird feeders. I felt accomplished. Today, however, is a day of lethargy. I knew it as soon as I woke up. I didn’t have a single concrete thought, and I just stayed a while comfy and warm under the covers. Gracie sensed my mood. She didn’t move; she just stayed asleep at the foot of my bed.

I don’t know why we pick one road over another. I know I seem to have chosen the right ones for me. My life continues to be a good one. I have found the best of friends and have had the most wonderful experiences. I enjoy every single day even the most mundane of them. My former student, Francisca, is religious. She finds great solace and comfort in God and believes it is God who directs our footsteps. She said I had faith that I would find my students when I went to Bolga. It wasn’t, according to her, mere coincidence that Shetu was at my hotel for the first time in a few years the very night I had dinner there, and that we would find each other. Francisca believes it was God’s will. I would never dispute her. Even if I did, she’d laugh and tell me I was wrong. She’d say she knows better.

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12 Comments on ““The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.””

  1. Zoey & Me Says:

    Well we made the national news on ABC with our low temps of 20 degrees overnight. Glad I gave up Zoo watch two years ago or I’d have been down there dressing up the monkeys in tee shirts for the night. My Dad always referred to God as “the Creator.” I guess hedging his bets in case he showed up at the Pearly Gates and found a woman at the desk. My only regret is aging. My body still hungers for the sandbox. There’s always a boy inside me but he can’t do what he wants anymore. So retirement to me would be settling into a waiting room and watching the clock.

    • Kat Says:

      You had a taste of New England! I never did think about what you’d do to protect the animals. I had only heard about keeping crops alive.

      When you retire, you can do wahtever you want, including the sandbox. Retiring isn’t sitting waiting to die. It’s like being a kid again and having the freedom to do whatever or even nothing.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    Joseph Campbell said something about following your bliss. If you are on the right path, doors will open and unseen hands will help. It does give me a slight feeling of being Beauty in the Beast’s castle with the disembodied hands carrying plates and so forth. Still, I believe that it is essentially right. If I’m where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing, it will all work out.

    And Z&M! Retirement is so not settling into the waiting room and watching the clock. It’s more like getting totally caught up in a really good game/movie/book that only gets interrupted when Reaper Man taps you on the shoulder and introduces himself. 🙂

    Anyway, everybody have a great day.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I have to agree with Joseph Campbell as it seems the doors are opening, and I’m doing exactly what I should. I smile a lot.

      Your description of retirement is perfect!

      Today was another great day!

  3. Hedley Says:

    A very timely Kat reflection

    I am two weeks away from going back in to hospital and it was decided yesterday that I am in a position to have the rod, screws and plate removed from my right leg. Its a decision that will require a short period of crutches and some rehab but offers the chance of a reduction in “discomfort”.

    My road choice, following a good healing of the bones is to take the opportunity, have all the hardware removed, deal with some rather ugly scars (no beauty here anyways) and shoot for a brand new path

    I am excited…bring it on !

    • Kat Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I can imagine how excited you must be to be able to get rid of some of that hardware and the discomfort.

      I figure you can have all sorts of stories ready about those scars if anyone should stare or be impertinent enough to ask. Let you imagination soar!

      I know you’ll enjoy the path you’ve chosen!

  4. olof1 Says:

    We haven’t had a winter as warm as this in decades! But the temperatures will drop already tonight and will stay low for a couple of days. I don’t mind the cold as long as we don’t get snow as You know by now 🙂

    I really can’t complain about the road I’ve taken in life even if I do it anyway sometimes 🙂 🙂 🙂 I only wish I had moved out to the countryside much earlier than I did though 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      We had the 2nd warmest December since they began keeping records iin the 1800’s. Off Cape has had one snowstorm, and we have yet to have any snow. It is 32° right now but no wind so it seems warmer.

      We will warm up for the weekend.

      What counts is you did move to the countryside!

  5. Bill S. Says:

    One of Peg’s friends got laid off last summer, and recently found another job. She is collecting off her deceased husband’s social security, but really wants to work–good for her at the age of 67. She gave Peg a framed motto: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.”

    • Kat Says:

      I totally agree with that motto and figure it’s up to each of us to find happy. I find it unimaginable to live life unhappily when the world is so filled with wonder.

  6. Bob Says:

    Today the temperature is 65 degrees at four in the afternoon under a bright blue clear sky in the Dallas Ft. Worth area. It must be El Nino or is it La Nina in the Pacific Ocean that determines the severity of our winters here in North America. The weather is one of the only things we can’t influence.

    What you describe is the age old conundrum between free will and predestination. Are we truly free to make decisions in life based on our own interests? Or, are we just puppets who go through life making decisions which are not determined by us but instead are driven by the will of an invisible deity?

    I for one like the first proposition. I believe that the deity gave us the rules to enable us to make good decisions for ourselves and the deity has no part in whether or not one should open door “A” or door “B” in their life. I for one take the responsibility for choosing my profession, my spouse and our decision to have children. The deity had nothing to do with it.

    • Kat Says:

      I agree that we make decisions based on what we have learned, what we care about and who we love. I’m not following any list of instructions or a line on a roadmap. I make a choice.

      We are stuck in some sort of a weather cycle where the warmer air is keeping the colder Canadian air away from us. We have only had one really cold night, in the teens, so far. This is a crazy winter.

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