Today went from silly to somber in 12 hours.
I started the day by participating in the Austin Tour de Donut. It’s a 25-mile bike ride that includes three donut shop stops and time bonuses for donuts consumed. I expected to dominate the female category because there were zero women entrants last year, but this year a huge group of people showed up for the ride. The group included two women who went to Kona for the Ironman World Championship. I didn’t have a chance. I did, however, make what I thought was a valiant effort on donut consumption. I had three Krispy Kreme donuts and three Shipley’s donuts. At Dunkin Donuts, the third location, I couldn’t stomach the thought of another donut, so I passed there, but I redeemed myself by successfully climbing Lost Horizon Drive, which some say requires getting out of the saddle, to finish the course. I just sat and peddled, feeling almost as though I could peddle no more, but I made it up the steep hill. I was pleased despite my poor showing comparitively. It was ridiculous fun.
After lunch with some of the Tour de Donut organizers, Mom and I went fabric shopping. I’m giving my house a facelift complete with curtains where there once were blinds and new bedcovers in both bedrooms. I loved selecting the fabrics. Normally, I get overwhelmed by having too many choices, but today I picked my fabrics efficiently. And I think I picked well. I can’t wait to get them all made and installed.
After fabric shopping, I worked on a speech for my Toastmasters Club. I’m working in the Humorously Speaking manual, but, as I wrote my speech, I made myself cry – not tears from laughing too hard, but real tears. Obviously, tears are not the best thing for what is supposed to be a humorous speech. The speech is filled with humor but, given my own tears, I had to question whether I could deliver the speech with the kind of energy I would need to make it funny and to get through it without tears.
Normally, when I have some doubts about a speech, I email what I’m writing to a trusted friend and ask for input. But tonight I realized that the two people who historically have read my speeches and offered input in advance of my delivering them are both mostly out of my life today. That realization brought on more tears. The losses are old losses. I’ve mostly made my peace with those. But the realization was a new realization. It snuck up on me, and I wasn’t ready for it.
Just yesterday, I felt so at peace. I felt so well that my joy felt almost arrogant, even to me. I almost pulled yesterday’s entry down because it felt boastful. And now, tonight, despite all the peace of yesterday and all the fun of today, I suddenly feel a deep longing, not for what I once had, but for a time when I’ve had all the realizations that I’m going to have about what is dead and gone and for a time when thinking back doesn’t hurt my heart quite so much.