|Sunlight streaming through apple juice and ice cubes|
And today is the first day of spring, the winter season has passed and now we go into the springtime months. On this side of the equator, at least. In the Southern Hemisphere, they will move from summer into fall. While we have our vernal equinox, they have their autumnal equinox. If you're curious and want to know more facts about this day, more information is here at one of my favorite websites, timeanddate.com. I wondered why the equinox is at a particular moment (9:30pm yesterday on the west coast), and I learned this:
The March equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from south to north and vice versa in September.I continue to be amazed at the plethora of information available at my fingertips these days. I estimate that I use the google search engine at least a couple of times every single day. Already in these early moments I've used it to find out more about equinoxes. I wonder if this ready availability of information is partially responsible for my inability to retain facts for any length of time.
No, I think that is more a function of my aging brain. It's impossible for me to believe how much I've forgotten. The phrase "I've forgotten more than you ever knew" has turned into reality. Just the other day I thought about the fact that I've taught thousands of students in hundreds of First Jump Courses how to make their first skydive. I used a lesson plan and never deviated from it, since the consequences of forgetting to teach a critical part of that class would be huge.
And today I couldn't even begin to teach it, even with my lesson plan in hand. I've forgotten too much and am no longer an active skydiver. That skill is gone forever, along with much, much more. The only thing that remains in my memory of those classes are the wide-eyed faces of the students. One or two stand out: just because a student went through the course did not guarantee that he or she would make a skydive, since it was up to me to figure out if they had learned enough to save their lives. It didn't happen often, though, since the two jumpmasters holding onto the student while in freefall, the big forgiving parachute that would hopefully open above the student after freefall, and the radio in the helmet with someone on the ground giving instruction were all designed to make the situation as safe as possible.
And now I get anxious when I consider helping to facilitate someone with their Advance Care Directive, because I'm new at it, and it's important for me to make sure that their wishes are known and documented properly. I have been provided a lesson plan so I won't forget anything, but it's a different task: most people have spent their whole lives shying away from thinking about what would happen if they were unconscious and unable to regain the ability to know who they are or who they are with. My job is to guide the person towards thinking about it in a fruitful fashion without inserting my own opinions, staying, as they say, "value neutral."
I can do this and, as time passes, I'll feel more and more confident. But right now it's new and I'm feeling my way through each encounter. Helping someone figure out who might be their Health Care Agent, to make decisions in case one cannot do it themselves is sometimes rather difficult. Fortunately for me, SG and I have each other as our primary agents, and we know that each of us would do the right thing for the other. It's good to have someone as the secondary agent who is younger, so many people choose a grown son or daughter. I don't have anybody like that; my sister is my secondary agent and I know she would do the right thing. But since she's getting on in years too, I am pondering who else I might be able to ask. It's a big responsibility.
The good thing for me is that I get a great deal of satisfaction from a job well done, once it's completed. It might not be as sexy as teaching a student how to make a safe skydive, but that was then and this is now. Life moves on from youth to old age without us doing a thing, except living, of course. This is my new normal, and even this stage of life will change into something else one day. But not today. Today, I am reveling in the return of the light, with each day getting a little longer as we move towards the summer solstice in June.
I am also realizing that perhaps forgetting is part of my new normal, too. When I got up this morning and placed the teakettle on the burner for my usual tea, I forgot to turn it on. After I returned to the laptop and pondered what I would write about, I became aware that no sounds of imminent boiling were emanating from the kitchen. I got up to check. There it was, everything in order, except for that tiny little missing part: the burner had not been activated. Sort of an essential part, too.
But even though my tea was a little late, I was eventually able to enjoy it, part of my morning routine. And you all know how much I cherish routine. Since I've gotten plenty of exercise this past week, I will give myself a day off to have a little R&R (rest and relaxation). The only thing I know for sure that I will do today is head to the coffee shop to quaff my latte with the usual suspects. That is after I've done my Sunday morning meditation with this post, checked the news online, read my emails, and performed the Five Tibetans. Yes, I am still doing those ten minutes of exercise every morning and wrote about them here. One nice thing about a blog is that I can go back and find out when I began something that is part of my daily routine. That link takes you to a post from July 2014, which is when I first started with them, and why.
My friend Judy asked me the other day whether I think they make a difference. All I know is that I continue to do them and they are part of my morning routine. I don't even consider it exercise any more, just something that I do. Afterwards, I have breakfast and begin to make my way out the door to the coffee shop. And with that, I can feel myself being drawn towards finishing this post so I can begin the next part of my day.
Everything is quite normal right now, with my tea gone, my partner softly snoring next to me, and once I've read this over and posted it, I can get on with things. It's always a little daunting when I get started but it always feels good when I get here, to the end. And I will wish my readers a very good day of whatever equinox you experience today. Another bright and shiny new season begins.