I wake to greetings and birthday wishes from friends and family. I log on to a memorial service for a dear friend. I drink some coffee, and stare at the ocean, thinking about the water, living as waves for a while.
It has been a hard year so far. But I have learned there is help when you ask for it.
I recently had to put my father in assisted living, and I am still sifting through the wreckage of his life. Those of you who have been through something like this know how wrenching it can be under the best of circumstances. This is almost the worst of circumstances, but I will save the details for another post. Suffice it to say if you are lucky enough to have both of your parents alive and lucid, go talk to them about their finances and make plans for their futures.
This challenge seemed nearly overwhelming on my own. But when I allowed myself to ask for help, friends stepped up in every way, from taking on tasks to sharing advice and experience, and even helping load a box truck in 110-degree Nevada heat.
I have also found myself struggling to stay motivated at times. I am still trying to understand how much of that is the pandemic or old age or stress or fatigue or just "time for a change". And then wondering what to change, or what to change it to.
But I know I am making progress, because those questions -- what to change, and what to change it to -- bring feelings of possibility and excitement, rather than dread and anxiety.
My friends provided guidance and support, and when I asked for it, concrete help. It is still difficult for me to do that asking. But like all things, it gets easier with practice. I am practicing. Learning to show a little more of my self, to be more vulnerable and human.
There is light, too. I am writing this in one of my favorite places, gazing out at the beautiful blue Pacific. I have been reading some good books this year. Listening to music. Going out for some good dinners. Spending time with friends, always my favorite.
I have a new record coming out soon - another collaboration. This project (Snow Westerns) has been one of the more enjoyable things I have done in a while, and it is sounding pretty good. Lauren took some great photos. Another instance of asking for help of a kind, letting people in, releasing a little of that white-knuckle grip I often have on everything.
And it looks like Sid Luscious and The Pants might return in one form or another with a little help from friends old and new.
The waves crash outside. They are all connected to each other, reinforcing and pushing each other. All made of the same water, all part of the same ocean.
Thank you for your help, everyone. Happy birthday to me.
|The author, a few weeks before his 54th birthday.|
Photograph by Lauren Tabak.