I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, January 8, 2023

The years fly by so quickly

Me, Wordle, and John

I didn't realize it's been more than a year since I started playing the New York Times game, Wordle, but here is a picture taken in February 2022, almost a year ago, and there I am, playing the game that I now enjoy once a day, usually in the morning. I'm now on a streak of 76 tries without a miss! (I hope I'm not jinxing it, but this streak does need to end somewhere.) I've learned that you if you miss a day of playing you lose the streak, and of course you can't miss the word or, well, you start over the next day at 1. John is obviously solving all the problems of the universe, judging by his expression in this picture.

I've gotten so obsessed with the game that if I cannot figure it out by the fifth try (you get six tries in total), I'll put it aside and hope that I can look at it again later and possibly figure it out. I have also learned that another regular coffee shop customer, Dave, has a really good eye for the solution. He figured out one that I couldn't get ("cynic") with just a quick look. John is always interested in seeing the word once I get it, but he's not a player himself.

Anyway, it's a nice pastime, and it joins several others that take me through the day. I am definitely a creature of habit, and really like to find ways each day feels similar to the day before. I don't know whether I've always been like this, or if it's because I have become more of a fan of routine as I age. I do know that when we lived in Colorado, I would get up each morning to bring in the newspaper, bring it back to bed and peruse it with a cup of tea as I began my day. These days, it's the laptop that joins me to read the news of the day. I've always been an early riser and early-to-bed person. Most nights I manage to get close to eight hours of sleep and really enjoy snuggling into my warm bed for a good night's sleep.

I stayed up a little later than usual last night to watch a special on CNN about January 6. It was probably delayed from its usual air time because of the four days that we watched the House of Representatives try over and over to elect a speaker. Finally, Kevin McCarthy wore down the rebels who didn't want him to win. Now the task of governing begins, and I sure hope that was the hard part, and now they will work together with one another and the Dems to make policies and laws for the good of the country.

Yesterday Melanie, Chris and I walked in the rain at Whatcom Falls Park for our usual Saturday morning exercise. It has been a while since we actually got seriously wet, but yesterday we sure did. Although only a quarter-inch of rain fell, and we were all dressed in appropriate gear, I had forgotten how much of a difference it makes to walk in serious rain. Nowhere near as nice as without it. However, in this part of the country you cannot wait for dry days; they come and go and make for a nice break from the usual winter precipitation. At least it's a warm rain right now, so I'll smile and be grateful for what I have, and be glad I have such good rain gear. And friends who also are willing to walk in the rain with me.
You have to accept the storms and the rainy days and the things in life that you sometimes don't want to face. —Bai Ling

Without the contrast of rainy days, the sunshine doesn't seem nearly as bright and cheerful, so I'll keep on looking for the rainbows that accompany the rain. It sometimes comes down to an internal conversation I have with myself: what is good right now in my life? Can I accept that I have so much more comfort and privilege than the majority of humanity without feeling bad about it? Of course I can, so that will be my mantra for the day: enjoy the soft rainfall that makes our Pacific Northwest such a green paradise in summer and enjoy whatever else the day might bring.

Plus, it seems like I barely get used to one year passing, and another has flown right by while I wasn't paying attention. It' already 2023, can you believe it? Since so few of my family members have lived as long as I have, I didn't expect to be around, but here I am, not only still happily living each day, but filled with gratitude for having my health, my dear partner, and all my friends, virtual and actual. It is a gift that I will enjoy for as long as I can. And I am also beginning to enjoy my status as an elder.

There's a silver lining somewhere in there

It won't be long now before we will start seeing little signs of spring popping up through the forest floor. Well, okay, maybe it won't be tomorrow, but with the ways the days, months and years have been flying by, it will happen that one day, while I'm out walking. I'll see the first primrose rise up to remind me that it's constantly changing from winter to spring, then summer and fall, and back once again to start it all over. It's a dynamic process, and I'm glad to have the ability to appreciate it, and to share the days with you and that special person sleeping next to me as I write this morning.

I got a late start, since I was up later than usual and woke a bit after my usual time, so I am feeling a little bit of time crunch. Before John gets here, I need to get out of bed, wash my face and brush my teeth, get my morning exercises in, and spend a little time in meditation. So that means I won't get to spend as much time as usual sitting here and pondering what to write. In any event, I am confident that by next Sunday, I will have caught up and will be back to my normal routine and will spend more time with you, my dear virtual friends. 

I do hope the coming week will bring you happiness, a bit of life's joy to remind you to smile and find the silver lining that is definitely there somewhere. Sometimes we just need to change our attitude to see it, but it's there. Until we meet again next week, I wish you all good things, dear friends.


gigi-hawaii said...

I am a creature of habit, too, but for some reason, Wordle and those puzzle games have never caught my fancy. Maybe, some day....

Rita said...

Love the pic of you and John.
I have never tried Wordle but there are sure a lot of people who love it.
Have a great day. :)

ApacheDug said...

I've never made a conscious effort to walk in the rain, but you make it sound really lovely DJan. I enjoy your sharing your "inner peace", I think there's a special wisdom with getting older and you show yours here, quite well. I hope your week ahead is more of the same. :^)

Marie Smith said...

I started the word game recently and am enjoying it a bit every day too. No winning streaks here though.

I love the routine of retired life. The challenge of aging is enough change to the routine! Enjoy it though. Many weren’t given the same privilege.

aurora said...

Wow, that is a reaaally long Wordle streak!! I was playing it regularly right after it was sold to the New York Times, then fell out of the habit. My longest streak was around 26-27.

Your blog posts are always so insightful & written from the heart. Thank you for sharing your time & inspiration!

Rian said...

DJan, I too play wordle each day... and enjoy it. And I too try for a bit and then let it go if it doesn't come after the first few tries. Usually when I get back to it, my brain must have readjusted as the answer comes faster.

And I think we've (DH and I) fallen into a routine in retirement also. It's a 'loose' routine that does change as needed - but that's one of the perks of retirement.

Your post reminded me of that old song, "Just walking in the rain..." (Johnnie Ray?) Just pulled it up to hear it again. Thanks for the reminder. Have a great Sunday!

Elephant's Child said...

I am also a creature of habit. Thank you for yet another inspirational post and a timely reminder of the benefits of keeping both mind and body active. And I love the image in my head of you and your friends enjoying walking in the rain...

Linda Reeder said...

I play Wordle in the late afternoon, after 4:00, when I take a break and relax for a while before it's time to start dinner. I failed at one recently, and some have been hard, even though the words were common. Am I losing it? Maybe, maybe not. Certainly I am not as sharp some days as others.
One of the reasons I like living here in the PNW is that we have four distinct seasons. Today is dark and rainy, not my favorite, but even now Spring is stirring under the ground. Nature never really sleeps here. Buds start to swell even as leaves drop.
We're off to Whidbey Island this afternoon for an overnight, to get some replacement windows installed. We'll come back home tomorrow. In this weather I prefer home to the island, with all of that gray water and dark windows with the long lights.
Have a good week.

Linda Myers said...

I've been doing Wordle since the early days also. For a while I also played quordle and octordle, but I'm trying to be more selective about my screen time.

Anvilcloud said...

I play Wordle almost daily, but I don’t login to keep track. I missed one this week. It was once of those words where many combinations fit, but I kept picking the wrong one. I didn’t get today in 2, however. I play 2 Sudoko first — a hard and then a medium.

John's Island said...

“It's already 2023, can you believe it?” Actually, no, I can’t. 😊 Your question made me think about Y-2-K … do you remember the fuss as we moved into the year 2000, 23 years ago? It sure doesn’t seem like 23 years to me.

“It sometimes comes down to an internal conversation I have with myself: what is good right now in my life?” This is an excellent attitude. I work on this daily. Having gratitude for what we do have just seems to put so many things in a more positive perspective.

“It has been a while since we actually got seriously wet, but yesterday we sure did.” It was exactly the same experience I had on yesterday’s waterfront walk. Got home, took off all the outer clothing, and spread it out on the living room floor to dry. I can’t recall a walk in the last 2 years where I got wetter. 😊

“I'm now on a streak of 76 tries without a miss!” Wow, congrats on that! Thanks for updating us on your enjoyment of Wordle. Did you know, according to USA Today, Wordle was the number 1 top trending Google search in 2022? 😊 Thanks for this week’s Eye and best wishes for the week ahead. John

Sheila said...

I started adding octordle and sedecordle to my daily wordle and quordle, although I often don't get all 8 or 16. We seem to be getting the tail end of your storms.

Galen Pearl said...

I love Wordle, and have also gotten hooked on Quordle (a Wordle game with four words to solve -- four times the fun!). Fortunately, when I go up to my cabin every other weekend, I have no access to it, so it naturally breaks my streak, keeping me from getting too obsessed--ha! Oh my I just looked back at the comments and I see there is something called octordle -- of course now I have to go check that out.

Gigi said...

I love word games period. So yes, I play Wordle every morning also. Today's had me stumped for a while but eventually I got it. Occasionally, I'll play Quordle as well.

Have a great week, my friend!

Far Side of Fifty said...

I played Wordle for a long time then I just forgot about it or got too busy with something else. Maybe i will try again:)

Red said...

Us dry landers treat rain much differently than you. We know we need rain but we don't like to be out in it. We don't have a lot of fancy rain gear so we usually wait until things dry up. I'm not thinking about spring as it's a long way off. we are having nice winter weather with highs from minus 5 to 0 C.

aurora said...

You inspired me to re-start playing Wordle (and am also trying Dordle).

I wanted to mention, my iphone shows this message at the start of a game:

"Wordle is even better with a free New York Times account. You can save your stats wherever you play and you'll never lose a streak again".

Not sure what this all entails.