An Insignificantly Significant Anniversary
While I was pondering the timing of my cat-hair experience, the quote widget on my homepage told me that Douglas Adams once said, "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be." This saying pretty much sums up the last year and much of my recent state of mind and the origin of it is simply splendid. The quotes that come up are not usually that personally meaningful. The previous one had been from Barbra Bush and concerned Clinton's oral sex and the following one was about the failings of capitalism.
So, just how have I changed in the last year? A year ago I was walking during lunch breaks for exercise, but was not really losing weight. I was dreaming of more hiking and camping, but had done little of either in the last five years. I had not been on a bicycle in years, but wanted to bike more. I was not eating all that well, though there had been some overall improvement. Even so, my allergies were bad enough that I'd thought about moving away from Portland. It meant regular doctor's visits and 4-8 courses of antibiotics a year for repeated ear infections. There were also several aspects of my life that felt chaotic and out of control.
A year later and I'm a consistent biker and in the best shape I've been in for many, many years. I've gone on more outdoor hikes in the last two months than the previous five years combined and have a big hiking and camping trip planned for next month. I'm cooking better and healthier food than ever and as a result of all of these factors, I've lost 30 pounds and am in far better overall health than I've been in for a good long while. My doctor told me that whatever I'm doing, I should keep doing it... and that was 20+ pounds ago and I've not seen her in quite a while (and I can't wait to see her face the next time I see her). My allergies are still a challenge, but I've had just one ear infection in the last year. I also recently started dating again, someone surprising, in very good ways.
It's not a journey I would have chosen and in truth it started when I was a boy and this last year was merely the latest chapter. There have been rough times, mistakes, regrets... and the whole phoenix from the ashes thing is, well, for the birds. Yet, somehow I've found myself at a point where I'm much happier than I've been since... well, in some ways...the happiest I've ever been. While I still have life challenges, I'm in a peaceful apartment with more order than I've had in a long time... again, maybe ever. All my African stuff is front and center, unbridled and unblemished. Things just feel manageable and filled with possibilities. For the first time in a long time I really value my own company and my own time and I'm feeling more at peace than I can remember being in many, many years. I'm not quite sure where I lost the plot and I know I'm still on a journey here, but I feel like I'm heading in a good direction.
It has not gone according to plan... but here I am, where, somewhere that in so many ways I always wanted to be. I have a feeling this is going to be a special summer, no matter what happens.