On Edge

Today is Thursday October 29th. Kia ora katoa.

Here we are still rejoicing at Jacinda Ardern’s success in our recent election.  Our minds turn to other things, such as why isn’t there a rush worldwide to this kind of kindness?  The main concern, however, is the US Election, due to take place on 3 November. We all,  along with many Americans, look at Biden’s rather good standing in the polls, along with early voting, against ongoing dirty tactics by Republicans that look alarmingly like all kinds of attempts to suppress the vote; then, having voted, and overcome all kinds of difficulties in so doing,  to have your vote counted.  It should not be so difficult, to exercise your democratic right to vote, and have your vote counted, and to respect the result.

In New Zealand, we are still on a high. There have been no Coalition announcements yet. There’s no rush.

Another matter I must consider is how we should spend out 50th Wedding Anniversary, which comes up next year.  I should send out a “Save the Date” message, perhaps, and issue formal invitations later. We could use gelli prints to design the invitations. I could plan a party. I should like to plan a party. It would be nice to have a party, to celebrate, to perhaps receive some presents: perhaps I could compile a register. After all, although we have lots of things, there are things you run out of, that need replacing.  Many things do not last for ever.

But exactly what are we celebrating? I should like to have a romantic occasion; I should like to make a speech, but it could be a challenge to find appropriate things to say. JD’s relations from Australia have signalled that they would come; it’s sad that after several failed marriages, two true loves have sadly passed away (cancer). The Trans-Tasman travel bubble (both ways) should be open by the time of our anniversary.

We have evaded serious (and not so serious) illness; there is much to celebrate, including five wonderful children and six beautiful grandchildren (so far).  But there is enormous room for improvement, particularly in terms of relationships. Surely one wants to maintain good relationships – with one’s Faith, with one’s family, and with one’s friends.  And I am not where I should like to be, where I aimed to be, well before now.  I realise that plans can be futile, but it’s still good to have a plan A and a plan B, and revise, or abandon them, as circumstances change. There is a bottom line, even if that keeps moving. One has to be prepared to “let go” of many things one would like to happen: however during the lockdown here, I was glad of my large house, my piano and my collection of books. So I’m conflicted.

Coming back to the party, I try to think of a good venue: such a place should be easy to reach, have plenty of parking and seating; nice food; nice restrooms, and perhaps a dance floor or some nice background music. I can certainly arrange a good party, but it would be nice to have some help, and a budget.  It would be nice to have nice food, and plenty to drink, including tea and coffee.  Decorations, too, and a cake. One needs to decide whether to do lunch, dinner, or afternoon tea. It should be enjoyable, and not a burden. The more we spend on a party, the further away are my main objectives. 

On Monday JD played golf with a friend. This was somewhat anxiety-filled. I was concerned that our friend would love to play golf with JD; it was enormously difficult to get JD to go on this trip, so it was quite an achievement to have it happen. I used to know what was going on at the golf club, when we received hard copy newsletters, and an annual printed report, but it’s all online now, and needless to say JD doesn’t know how to log in. I am not a member, so I can’t. He had promised to find out what the dining arrangements are, so that we four can go and have lunch there.

The outing also brought up some difficult memories for me, but I pushed those aside. For JD, it exorcised some memories. So, although it infuriated me on some levels, there was a measure of success.  In my view, membership of this golf club is something JD should let go of. In my view, he should look forward, to what we need now. The people who hurt him when he was younger have now passed away, for the most part.  I wish my friend was still alive, and I could discuss these things with her.

This past week I have tried to think of things to be happy about.  My grandchildren in the US have Kiwi passports. That is huge. The Khandallah Town Hall now has a sliding front door. In the past, you had to open a heavy door, and step onto a narrow ledge outside – always a challenge.  The sun came out as I took several bus trips this week; it is weird driving around Newlands, Woodridge and Paparangi: I have so many mixed memories of these places.  I have used cognitive therapy many times, forcing myself to contemplate things that are rewarding, that bring me peace and happiness. I distract myself by playing a great deal of music in my head.  I find that if I have memorised the opening notes, I can continue, and play the whole piece, although movements of concertos flummox me sometimes.  A good book is a great distraction, although sometimes it is hard for me to read.

The mainly US-based podcasts I listen to regularly are filled with horror about the coming US election. It feels like a great relief to have ours out of the way, and the Labour won big time; that here, at least, we have a Prime Minister we can be proud of.  The US anchors and journalists are displaying varying degrees of nervousness and fear, as indeed I am. Who can blame us? It’s hard to be at peace about the outcome.  It’s heartening, though, that there is a huge amount of early voting, and the encouragement to vote is given at every turn. US citizens want to have their say, and good on them for that.  Meanwhile, we watch and wait.

The novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in most places overseas. Australia seems to have brought their latest outbreak under control, but in the UK another month-long lockdown has been announced, and in the US they just keep having huge numbers of infections (90,000 odd), each day. Now over 230,000 Americans have died.  I am sure everyone, not just Trump, has had enough of this; unfortunately, it won’t go away just yet, perhaps not ever. 

That’s it for now. Ngā mihi.

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