It’s official. The holiday season is over. Thank Buddha.
Hmmm. Maybe that is one of the things I like about Buddhism is its conspicuous lack of big holidays. I mean, think about it. During the winter months, Muslims have Ramadan, Hindus have Diwali, Jews have Hanukkah and Christians have Christmas. What do the Buddhists have? Bupkis, we got bupkis. I suppose it all comes down to equanimity. If we are truly trying to practice equanimity, why make one day more important than another? Besides, shouldn’t giving and love be practiced everyday and not just when it is cold and dark and we have nothing better to do?
Anyway, I’m relieved the official holiday season is over. It’s just a hell of a lot of pressure on someone who really doesn’t celebrate in general, and who wasn’t into it at all this year.
My geriatric cat, Alaska, has been having a tough time the last week or so. He was just seeming more frail than usual, and then he started stumbling when he walked. Never ever a good sign in an older cat. I was pretty well convinced it was the end, complete with premature mourning crying jags. I figured there was no need to rush him to the emergency vet since they would just tell me the obvious – end stage rental failure – and suggest I put him to sleep then and there. I know that decision to euthanize may be in my near future, but I want it done at home. I feel very strongly about that. I don’t want his last mind to be that of fear. I want the other cats to be able to see and sniff his dead body so they understand what has happened to their friend. There is nothing more plaintive than an animal who wanders around the house looking for their buddy because they don’t understand what has happened.
Fortunately, I don’t have to make that decision quite yet. His blood-work showed he had an infection and as that is being treated he is getting back to his old 17 1/2 year old self complete with his impaired kidneys, GI issues and heart murmur. But, he’s stopped stumbling and seems a lot stronger, and I’m very grateful. But, this episode really hammered home the possibility of losing him, and it hurts my heart.
And while I was on this mental path of shedding things I loved, I really started to question my long relationship with the boyfriend. I’m not sure that is going to last out the year either. It’s hard when all I can see are the faults in the relationship and he is perfectly happy, and sees no reason to change anything. On New Years Eve out having dinner at one of our usual haunts (sigh), I asked him if he had any resolutions for the new year. His answer: “nope, I’m good. I’m on the path I need to be. ” Sure, one view of his answer is that he is a very sensible man oozing with contentment. Or another view is that of a highly delusional man who is complete denial of his various areas of improvement, including his relationship with the person sitting across the table from him.
Maybe I’m still feeling kind of cocky having the thrill of accomplishment from NaNoWriMo and getting a new job that I’m really enjoying. I mean, I did that, who’s to say I can’t dump my longtime boyfriend and free myself to have this exciting new life? But, would it be? I’m turning 50 in exactly a month. And the outlook for finding someone else at my age is, frankly, not promising. So, do I trade the problems with being in a relationship for the problems of being single?
I don’t need to figure this out this week. As my friend John reminded me last night on the phone, I’m just suffering from a case of the New Year’s blahs. This too will pass.