42 days – day two

Today was yet another blissful day of having no schedule to keep, no demands, no plans.  I stayed at home once more.

For those of you who don’t know, I saved a stray dog recently who needs lots of attention and care.  And so I decided to stay at home and work with her a little bit.  I did clean my bedroom (which is the beginning of another goal I hope to accomplish during this time off and that is to clean my entire house out and up).  I still need to vacuum, clean the light fixture, wash my bed sheets and carry out a couple of piles of items, but I dusted, cleaned windows and blinds, washed up a couple loads of laundry, sorted through some paperwork and put some of that in appropriately labeled folders.

Since this room has been the primary residence of previously mentioned rescue dog, I desperately needed to clean it.  But that is pretty much a true statement for the rest of my house as well… but it’ll get there.  One step at a time.

So I did not make it out to the barn today.  I decided that 2-3 days at the beginning of my sabbatical dedicated to relaxing a bit, working/playing with my other project pet, and getting started on this cleaning project isn’t a bad way to spend my time either.  Soon enough I’ll be playing with Dolly and all the other farm animals…

In between wiping windows and filing papers, I received some news about a family member who had passed away last night.  A cousin that I’ve never really had the opportunity to know died suddenly of a heart attack.  He was only 50.  This got me thinking today about how the choices that are made in life, both the ones we make and those made by others that are outside our control, can drastically effect the connections and relationships we build and keep.  Because of actions and choices made by others long before I was even born, I was denied knowing someone who shares the same blood and ancestry as me.  It was a decision made for me and without my consent.

Truthfully, I doubt we would have been terribly close even if given an opportunity to develop a relationship.  There are several reasons for this but one very obvious one is that he was 16 years older than me.  By the time I came along, he was already driving and getting ready to go to college.  He would have had very little time for a baby cousin and may not have been at all interested in getting know me.  But I suppose we’ll never know.  I’ll never know what his favorite color was or how he liked to spend his Sunday afternoons.  I’ll never know what he thought about music (apparently a hobby we both shared) or which family member he believed to be the craziest… I’ll never be able to piece my memories together with his to help us both build a better and more complete picture of ourselves and our family.

And then this all lead me to think a little about other family members, one in particular, who I was once close with but how over the years, because of choices we’ve both made, have become so distant that I could say those same statements about our relationship… because I don’t know his favorite color or how he likes to spend a Sunday afternoon.  I am not able to share memories with him or listen to him share his own memories in order to complete each other’s history.  It is a small tragedy when you think about it.  That the foolishness of a single moment, or a few bad choices, along with a hardened heart filled with wrong assumptions can completely wipe out all ability to communicate and stay connected.  It’s as if there was never a relationship to begin with…

But I digress… I’m supposed to be enjoying my time off from work.  And really I am.  I still am struggling with the idea sinking in that I will not return until mid-November.  But I’m sure after another few days I’ll be very comfortable in my new schedule.  All in all, day two has been a success.  Looking forward to the next 40… stay tuned.

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