Recently I read Losing Julia by Jonathan Hull. It was one of those books I picked up at a library book sale, on a whim, to fill a bag I’d paid $5 for. What a treasure! The narrator, Daniel Delaney, travels between his experience in World War I in the trenches in France to his current life as an old man in an assisted-living environment and inbetween to his return to France 10 years after war’s end.
This book reminds me of why I read: to enter into another’s life and world. To learn from other’s experiences and wisdom. I lived inside this book and the narrator’s life in a way I’ve rarely encountered before. I’m full of admiration for Jonathan Hull, not an old man, and his ability to create Patrick’s life. Poignant, moving, full of universal thoughts and feelings, making us care about Patrick, about others lost in that terrible war.
Beginning to watch Nationals’ baseball games again. I was never a baseball fan. But last summer, in preparation for a surgery, I got an inner nudge to sit down and watch Steven Strassburg pitch. I’d been reading about what a phenomenal young man and pitcher he was, and this certainly proved to be true when he pitched his first game and posted 14 strikeouts! I was hooked! It was a great way to heal from the surgery, in my new recliner, watching the games in high def.
Tonight, though, the Nats threw away a game they were winning. I decided that with over 160 games in a season I could choose to stop watching in the 8th inning, and did so. I’ve also been putting off posting in this blog and since I have done that so often with my writing goals over the years, I want to break this habit once and for all.
Tomorrow there will be another Nats game.
Recently, I decided that to lose the last 12 pounds of what will be an 80 pound weight loss from my top weight, I need to reduce the number of calories I eat, once again. Eliminating my before-bed snack seems be to the best option. I usually am finished with dinner by 7:15 or 7:30, and I get hungry every 3 to 4 hours. So this means going to bed earlier, like at 10:30, instead of at 11:00 or 12:00. When I am hungry it’s nearly impossible for me to sleep without eating something. So going to bed sooner rather than later should handle this.
It seems like such a small shift, going to bed at 10:30 and eating nothing after dinner. But it’s tied up for me with mortality, of all things. I have found I just have to stay up late and squeeze the most out of each day and night. That’s because their ending means I’m one day closer to my own death. And I very much love being alive. Sigh. So where is my trust and faith in G-d and life after death? For most of my nearly 69 years I’ve looked forward to life after death, believing it will be tremendously awesome and liberating to be right there completely with G-d and with everyone I miss in this life.
Increasingly, though, I find I cherish every bit of each day and night, even when things aren’t going so well, either for me or for others in my life, or not in my immediate life, for that matter. And increasingly, there are more and more people I love who are now in the next life, not here on earth anymore. Part of me hopes for and longs to see and be with them some day. And part of me says, oh not yet though, not yet!
So, something as simple as not eating a bedtime snack and starting to go to bed earlier is a big deal for me. How little a thing both seem, in the scheme of things. Well, tonight I’m trying it. I’ve done it before, gone to bed earlier and without the snack. So here goes, once again!
Beginning my first blog tonight. It’s late so I will only write a little. This blog will focus on my thoughts and feelings about being alive, being in this world, G0d as I understand G0d, short bits from books or essays or movies I’ve enjoyed and been touched by.
More to come.