journal . stories . life

31 ~ December: Best of 2021

2021 was a good year of staying in cabins with the dogs, along with camping and backpacking. I went on eight trail rides, so got my needed fill of seeing the western landscape from the back of a horse. In March the dance halls started opening up, and I was able to once again balance my solitary life with some incredible times dancing with beautiful women.

I go out most often to the Rose, a couple of times a week. It is large enough that I can sit at a table in the back until a good song comes on, and then get up to hopefully find a partner. (I have always been on the introvert spectrum, so the pull of a favorite song starting is often what I need to go try to find a lady to dance with). Some times it works out, some times not. The spontaneity of it is what is appealing - not knowing what songs the band will play, not knowing who will say yes to a dance. My favorites have always been the fast triple steps, but bluesy country songs and waltzes are also good to dance to.

I turned 70 in November, and was thinking about that milestone all year long. Nothing can stop change, which is why I try not to take for granted my continued health, and the quality time with all three of my lifelong border collie friends. Mollie is over 13 now.

This was the year I finally managed to drop some weight (over 20 pounds) What finally worked for me was to do a hard detox off of all sugar, which necessitates reading packages very carefully, since sugar is hidden in so much of our food. What that means is that when I go backpacking my load is a lot less, and I had some amazing trips in late summer and fall. Dancing is also a lot more fun at this lighter weight.

I started storytelling in person in the schools again in October, and was reminded what a wonderful volunteer job that is. I feel like I am doing a lot better at it now, with the mental clarity that comes from giving up all sugar. Sugar affects our brain a great deal, and is thought to be a leading cause of Alzehimers in old age.

After 70 years on this planet I am grateful for the life I have had - the mountain journeys with my dogs, the snorkeling and free diving in tropical coral reefs, the years of dancing with skilled and gorgeous ladies.

It took a long time to get over my divorce, but I think after 20 years I have moved on. There will always be some of hiding the heartbreak deep within, but you just accept what is and be thankful for what you have now. Most of all you look ahead to the future. That includes the time I have left and also welcoming the unfurling of the mystery that comes from end of life.

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“Wherever you go, go with all your heart"