My sister has been visiting from Japan for the past three weeks, and this morning, she seemed unnecessarily stressed out. She’s leaving tomorrow, and the inevitable we-have-to-get-in-all-these-activities bug had struck. We never went to the pool. Movies went unwatched. Home decorating tips went unshared.
We shared a ton of meals, shopped (and returned items), laughed, played games, watched baseball, talked, and she ran a frickin’ triathlon while here, for heck’s sake. It’s not like we sat around like the vultures in The Jungle Book saying “What do you wanna do?” “I dunno, what do you wanna do?” We have fun just being together.
I’ve been victim to thinking about what I will miss or what I didn’t do in every place I’ve lived and visited. Even when I spent the summer in Amherst two years ago, I had a “last meal” mentality and made sure my final lunch was at the pizzeria where I could get avocado on my pizza.
As if I’d never be able to eat a pizza with avocado on it ever again.
But I think this is how we mortals subconsciously recognize our mortality. Do I expect to see my sister when I go to Japan next summer? Yep. Could I just as easily get drilled by a bus on the way to school in November? Yep.
I don’t like to function in absolutes, but there is one aspect to life that is absolute: anything can happen.
We like to think we control our fate, destiny, or whatever you want to call it, and to a certain degree we do. But sometimes we just have zero control. Which is my armchair psychologist way of saying that I get why today, my sister had lunch with a friend, took the kids to a trampoline center with my other sister and her kids, and why she wants to watch Sherlock Holmes with my dad tonight.
It’s her last night in town, and there’s a sense of urgency to see everyone important and do everything fun. And since I know I will miss her terribly (and my 4 year-old niece, who has quite taken to me in the cuddliest of ways) I’m giving myself the night off from the exercising efforts so I can hang out with her before she and dad watch the movie. I’m a little ahead on my goal anyway, and she’ll be gone tomorrow and what better way to deal with a little sadness than to exercise?
It won’t be the last time we say goodbye, but it will be the last time in 2012 that I’ll get to, as she says, “FaceTime to her face,” snuggle my niece, razz my nephews.
Thanks for visiting Deanne. It was a fun three weeks.