42 is not the answer to everything

I slept well, but felt dismal without understanding why, until I noticed the date.  42 years ago today, Russell and I were on our way to Yorkshire for an impromptu honeymoon in advance of the booked one.

I’ve come to dislike and mistrust anniversaries over the last few years.  I wouldn’t acknowledge our 40th anniversary nor my 60th birthday and, only a couple of weeks after Russell died, it wasn’t appropriate anyway to take note of my 61st.

When you look back, it’s either with nostalgia or sadness.  Why put myself through either?  I can work towards a better future, not that I quite believe in it, but I’m nowhere near being able to remember the past with pleasure or without pain.

I played the clarinet for the informal family service in church today, which went surprisingly well, considering I haven’t so much as opened the case for about three months.  I’ve tried to build up a determination to play more, over the last few years, but attempts haven’t lasted long.  I need to take lessons or have someone else to play with – both, really, but there’s not a lot of point in taking lessons without a purpose.  I haven’t given up hope, but now is not the time.  I’ve got too much else to do and wouldn’t be able to guarantee the time nor the concentration.

When my mother was unwell, which was the case for some time, she found it hard to keep a balance.  When she felt well, she became full of hope and thought it was a wonderful new beginning, so was bound to crash down the next day (because she’d overdone it) when she was back to usual.  When she felt worse, she was hopelessly despondent because she thought things would never pick up again.  I used to beg her to take a more general picture and not to assume that how she felt today would mean that was how she’d feel tomorrow, to be philosophical about a bad day and enjoy a good one, without making assumptions or predictions.  She asserted her right to be completely unrealistic, there was no prospect of a more balanced attitude and so she was never happy for long.

I’m not like my mother.

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