Sunday, January 8, 2017


As I sat in my living room Friday morning watching the snow fall through my big front windows I was reminded of how hard it is to be alone at times. Snow days are certainly one of those times.

I used to love snow days when the kids were young. WE would bundle everyone up, go out to make snowmen or walk to my parent's house. I remember a time when my girls were small - one about a year old the other maybe four - when we lived down the road in an upstairs apartment. We got them snug and warm in the sled with a seat on it to hold them securely. Wrapped in blankets and barely able to see under their warm hats they looked adorable with the baby in front of the older one as my husband pulled the sled and we headed out to walk down the street. In no time at all my husband had turned the sled over with his lack of focus and they both had faces full of white stuff. (That should have been a clue to me that his cavalier attitude toward the things he should be most protective of might become a factor of pain in my future, but at the time I found his easy-going nature to be amusing and fun!)

As the kids got older I would often stay inside when they went out to build their snowman, and stand over the stove making legitimate cocoa with real milk. When they came in I was ready for them, with mugs full of marshmallows and warmth and arms to help peel off their layers of wet clothing, placing them on the old-fashioned cast iron radiators to dry.

In my later years when the kids were gone it meant settling in for a television marathon of movies or TV shows not yet watched, but always there was someone to be with. The business of being alone is new to me and not always enjoyable.

But I loved the snow, the quiet, and the opportunity to take stock of things. I decided its better to be alone than to be with someone who neither values you nor takes care of you. And I realized that as much as I'd love someone to talk to, I'd rather they be someone who wanted to be with me the same way.

Life is a series of choices. Do I miss the friend I used to enjoy being with on days like this? Of course I do. But knowing what I know now makes those times together somehow not as much fun as I thought they were. Fantasy is not a substitute for reality and my reality is better now. Some choices are easy and some not so much. Its the difficult ones that lead to compromise and that's not always a good thing.

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