Friday, August 14, 2015

Beginnings and Endings

I had planned to write something else for today, something on last lines in literature.  I still plan to, but right now, there are just too many other things moving around my head, demanding my attention and thoughts.  Write what you want, what you feel, not what you think is the best or most acceptable, or something to please someone else.  I heard a writer say this once and I wish I could remember his name so that I could give credit, but there it is, anyway.  I suppose it is appropriate that I am book-ending this post with my thoughts on opening and closing lines in literature because that is what I am thinking today: beginnings and ends. 

Today I will pick up my daughter for the very last time at her baby-sitter’s, a wonderful woman who has taken great care of both of my kids their whole lives.  Today I will be going out in search of a gift that I hope will show her our gratitude for giving our children a safe, loving happy environment.  Maybe it’s the sadness I feel about them not seeing her again, but none of the gifts coming to mind seem quite good enough. 

On Monday, things will change a step further and my kids will start school.  It will be my son’s third year and my daughter’s first ever.  I had the privilege of meeting their teachers, both of whom seem wonderful, and I took home a barrage of information on things we need to know, do, buy for the school year, etc.  It was exciting and overwhelming at the same time, and these feelings have not let up in the many hours that have followed. 

And then, after we’ve spent the weekend fighting traffic and crowds to buy all that we need, after we celebrate my daughter’s birthday, I will walk my children to the classrooms where they will spend the next nine months learning and (I hope) making friends.  I will drive to my job for the first time in three weeks where, I already know, about ten thousand things await the attention I will try to give even as I think and worry about my kids (the way I always do, especially on their first day) and wrap my head around the changes we will be adjusting to. 

It won’t stop there.  In a few weeks, my second job as an adjunct instructor will begin which means the prep work for that must begin immediately and then, I hope I will get more work with my third job as a test rater, when the season for that begins again.  Near the end of the month, my sweet son will start soccer just like he did t-ball in the spring.  I’m nervous and hopeful about that, also, hoping he will do well and make good friends.  I suppose it’s because I’m so shy and have always had trouble making friends that is triggering these emotions.  I’m so introverted that whenever I go to group gatherings or parties or meet someone new or what not, I always get the same nervous, heart-pounding, stomach-churning feeling, struggle to make conversation, end up being quiet to the point that most people think I am aloof and leave physically exhausted.

It’s a feeling I’ve prayed and continue to pray that my children don’t have to feel.  But, I digress.  These changes, these inevitable things we all face all the time in life have me all at the same time scared, excited, sad, happy, hopeful, worried, and many other things.  I guess it’s most appropriate to end with a line I’ve always loved and remembered from the film, Hope Floats.  It promotes the film’s message of hope, one of the loveliest of emotions, something we all need to feel.  In the film Sandra Bullock’s character is facing some changes (albeit very different from mine) but I think the message can apply to just about anyone going through some kind of change.  It goes something like this: “Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too...”

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