Most basically, I have survived for sixty-six and a half years. Considering some of the choices I made in my youth, this is not only an accomplishment, it's a source of wonder.
I have given birth to four decent human beings and raised three of them. Many of you know that I had a child at 19 and put him up for adoption because I just couldn't see how I could do a reasonable job of raising him. He got in touch with me after he was grown, I've met him, and we are friends on social media. He is everything I hoped he would be, and that he would most likely not have been, had he been stuck with 19-year-old me for a mother, and no dad. He was born via the usual hospital birth at that time, which was something of a nightmare. My next two were born at home with midwives in attendance, but with no drugs or other assistance. The last was an emergency c-section. So I have experienced the miracle of birth in all three of the most common ways. I became something of a birth junkie, and stood in as coach for several labouring women over the years. There is nothing like being present at the birth of a brand new human being. Nothing.
I have traveled a bit. Not as much as I would like, but, given my circumstances, more than I ever thought I would.
I have married the love of my life, and, even though it only lasted seven years and ended with his suicide, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Loving someone as I loved him was a joy, and that he loved me too was beyond my dreams.
I have found work that I enjoy, connected to and derived from the hobby that I love. Theatre is a wonderful thing. I have acted three of my "bucket roles," Martha in Arsenic and Old Lace, Nanny in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, and Maude in Harold and Maude. I have also directed shows, including one (Waiting for Godot) in which I was able to get outside the box in a way that I have never heard of anyone else doing. Thank you, Sam Bass Community Theatre! I have a costuming "bucket list" as well, and have done one of its shows...The Rocky Horror Show, for which I thank Austin Theatre Project, as well as Austin Entertainment Weekly, whose voters named it the best costumed in Austin last season.
I have overcome many fears...well, to be honest, some of them just went away by themselves and some were subsumed in greater terrors...but some I worked successfully at vanquishing. Driving, for one. Give me a full tank of gas and enough money to keep it so, and I'll drive anywhere there are roads; however, I still remember when I was too terrified to get on the freeway.
I learned how to make and keep friends. This is no small skill.
I have survived grief and pain and become a person whose face in the mirror doesn't disgust me the way it did when I was young. I really don't know if this is anything I actually did, or if it's just a side effect of getting old, but I'll take it, either way. I keep it that way be being honest and standing up for what I believe, and by trying to avoid hurting people and animals.
So. Now that I've cheered myself up considerably, I'll let you get back to what you were doing.
Oh--and many thanks to all of you who read this; those who found me in a search for something on a whim, and those who have stuck with this blog for the ten years (TEN YEARS!) I've been writing it.
Slainte mhath, y'all!