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  • Betty Girardeau

A New Day


Yesterday afternoon I went to help a dear neighbor with a problem she was having closing out an account that had been set up to be paid automatically for a service she is no longer getting. Hopefully, I was able to help her get it resolved. But, regardless, the time we spent together was really delightful. Sadly, my friend is under hospice care because the cancer she has is no longer treatable. Her current medications, though, are keeping the worst at bay for now and she feels very little discomfort and is full of energy. Her sharp mind is not fazed either. Our conversations over the course of the afternoon ranged from the more serious to the mundane and sometimes to things that were definitely amusing. At one point she talked about missing living in Florida. She and her husband, who has been deceased for several years, used to spend their winters in that state and the rest of the year here in Tennessee. This made me think about the places that I have lived over the years and the things that used to occupy my time more than they do these day, and I realized that I really don't miss anything except, occasionally, some of the people who are no longer a part of my life. As we talked about this some more I realized that this is probably because I now generally live one day at a time. I try to get the most out of every day so that at the end of each one I am ready to tackle the next one with few, if any, regrets about the one that is completed. I am always looking for new things to do and new ways to challenge myself, which means that every day I am ready to move forward without looking back. To look back typically requires stopping at least for a while. Moving forward doesn't. I am not sure when I started to approach my life this way because I know that has not always been the case. There have been times when I worried too much about what had already happened and what was going to happen. Perhaps it is the result of having become widowed and knowing that if I was going to make the most of the rest of my life, it was totally up to me. For the most part, I do not have to ask permission of or be too concerned about anyone else. Having gotten married while still in college, I have never experienced this kind of independence before. Now I see each day as a personal gift that allows and encourages me to continue to grow and become in ways that I never would have considered before. I think when a person allows herself to get bogged down by worrying about the things she has done or left undone, she also is not allowing herself to see or embrace new opportunities. However it happened, I am so thankful to begin each new day moving forward and not looking back.

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