I Ponder As I Wander…

Pam Pollock
January 2022

I am writing this column exactly seven days before Christmas Eve. It’s newspaper deadline day and I have been working at Movin’ Out for thirty-nine years now and I swear that this monthly deadlines just keep coming earlier and earlier. It’s been the usual, frustrating deadline week – people ignoring phone calls and emails, temper tantrums galore (and yes, they were all thrown by me), and just trying to put my nose to the grindstone while also finally putting up the Christmas tree, which was accomplished two nights ago.  I don’t have a single present wrapped.

I guess it’s also time to pontificate about 2021 and reflect on my hopes and dreams for 2022.  But I just don’t have that in me.  2020 and 2021 have been quite the crapshoot for all of us.  I feel like Sandra Bullock in Bird Box, I’m just going to put on a blindfold and stumble my way through this New Year.

As you know, nature has been my saving grace for these past two years.  It soothes my weary soul and gives me hope for the future.  The other day I was driving down the back roads in my “Rudolf the reindeer car” (as my grandkids like to call it).  I was on a bird quest, as usual.  I do a lot of inner pondering as I wander down wooded paths and trails. I wonder what it must have been like, hundreds of years ago, for the people who lived along the creeks.  Did they seek refuge and respite in the wooded forests?

I look to the sky and my heart soars as I gaze upon clouds drifting nomadically without a care.  Seeing sunlight filtering through the trees takes my breath away.  At night I watch the moon perform a dance as it sashays and dips.

I talk to the birds, chipmunks, squirrels, foxes, raccoon, and deer as I meander aimlessly.  Do they have any clue that they have been a lifeline to me?

I count my blessings that I have my spouse, parents and mother-in-law, my kids, grandkids, are alive and realize that this fact is not to be taken lightly.  I know that moments spent with them should be cherished and not taken for granted. 

My mind drifts to silly and mundane thoughts – are the people on 90 Day Fiancé and Below Deck real? They do make me feel as though I am not quite the hot mess that I always think I am.  I wonder if I could still roller skate without breaking a leg or an arm.  Heck, I wonder if I could get back up off of the floor if I fell. Should I shave my legs in the shower or just skip it?

Will we have a White Christmas? My Magic Eight Ball says, “highly unlikely.”  Will there be Peace On Earth?  “Don’t count on it.”

Occasionally, no matter how hard I try to avoid it, my thoughts roam to work and I have bouts of irritability.  It usually has to do with computers and programs.  My mindset has always been, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  And some jerk, sitting behind a desk inevitably says to his/her boss and coworkers, “Hey, Pam Pollock has been getting too comfortable in her work zone.  Let’s reformat all of the programs that she uses and make her computer go wonky.  She’s gonna lose her mind and it is always so fun to watch when she does that!”  And I know that they all just sit there, with their fancy-dancy latte drinks and laugh and laugh and laugh.  And it’s true, I do lose my shizzle.

The future for all of us is unknown and uncertain.  We just have to muddle on and look for joy and happiness – whether it’s solitary moments in the forest, laughing with generations of family, “talking” to friends through a computer screen, or eating a donut and not worrying about the calories. We just have to cling to the hope that while life will not be all sunshine and roses, there will be moments of pure and utter bliss. And when life knocks us down (and we all know that it will), we can ponder on those happy moments.