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Ten percent left of my laptop battery and 20 minutes of time…that’s all I’ve got to write this!

It did me good to be gentle with myself last night. I was very productive today! The Christmas shopping is done. The Christmas cards are done. The bills are paid. I answered an important email which required thought and attention. I went to an appointment. And I attended the funeral service of my friend’s husband. It was the loveliest, most touching service…full of sadness and love. I will always remember the memories my friend shared of her husband, and the priest’s words: “Suffering later is the price we pay for love now. There’s no avoiding it.” Unfortunately, as he acknowledged, my friend has to suffer far sooner than any spouse should.

Being at that service, sitting next to my own husband, made me realize that if pain and suffering are guaranteed later…which it is, even if you get sixty years together and live a good life…then we really must live and love now, to the fullest. I think of all the schemes my husband and I come up with (living in Venice for a year, living on a narrowboat in England for year, me quitting my job to write). They sound wonderful…what life should be…but then I step back from the ledge. What about retirement? What about health care? What about our house? We have to plan for the future, right? But there’s sadness in the future no matter what. And you never know how much time you have together. I think it is time to give serious thought to these schemes and this suffering/love exchange.

Tonight I’m going to get as much of the Christmas wrapping done as possible and check that off the list. That doesn’t seem very writerly, but it does relate, I promise. If I get that done today as well, then the rest of my vacation…another glorious six days…can be focused on all those things I’ve been looking forward to doing: the writerly tasks, exercise, organizing…and schemes.

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