Over the weekend, something noteworthy happened: This blog turned ten years old.
Decile anniversaries have their purpose, I suppose. They make us stop swimming long enough to look up and assess where we are in the ocean, whether we've made any progress or been swept off course by the riptide. And when you're a Man Of A Certain Age (a show I still miss), it's common to think about how many strokes you have left in you, before the inevitable time comes when the best you can manage is to ride with the current.
I'm happy to say I'm not there yet. I bring up the whole swimming thing, though, because yesterday I began physical therapy on my left shoulder, which recently has decided not to let me swim freestyle (or open a car door) without sending shooting pains down my arm. From what we've figured out, these pains come directly from hunching over a laptop and staring at my phone (which I usually hold in my left hand). As of now, since it's an unnamed thing that is affecting my rotator cuff, I'm applying for a trademark on "French Cuff Syndrome." Look for me on a fearmongering medical website near you!
So, yes. I'm still swimming, even though it stings like a bitch. And when I noticed that my blog was 10, two thoughts occurred to me.
- I've been blogging for longer than I was married, suggesting a phrase like blog longa, matrimonia brevis, which I just made up.
- On the same day as my blog's birthday, June 1st, my older son mowed my lawn for the first time.
When I began this blog, in the dark days of clam-shell phones and TVs as deep as a mini-fridge, R was 15 months old. He was nursing, grappling with object impermanence, and had progressed from mere walking to a type of "speed waddling" that most closely resembled "Fred Sanford with a pressing appointment." And now, that winsome little pip was maneuvering a 50-pound mulching mower. Like a BOSS.
The stock response in situations like this might be to lament lost time, crank up Time Stand Still, and rage against the dying of the light (which I do enough of, anyway). But I didn't feel that way at all.
I felt joyful. Because throughout these ten years, as he and his brother have grown from larvae to tweenolescents, I've been with them. For all of it. I've left jobs and a marriage and New York all behind, but my touchstones are still the boys and this blog. I love all three of them, they nurture and define my life, and I can't imagine the person I'd be without them.
I'm very happy, ten years on, that I don't have to.