I’m rereading Joan Chittister’s excellent book, The Gift of Years and reflecting on the gifts my years have given me this week.

  1. Trying to organize a neighborhood meeting is like herding cats. As soon as I get some cats lined up, others have other ideas. By the time I get back to the first batch, they’ve wandered off. The gift of years is I know it will all work out somehow and you can only please some of the people some of the time.
  2. Since our church secretary has left, I no longer get the bulletin or newsletter electronically. Having gotten them for about nine months, I really do miss them now. I’ve emailed all the right people and gotten some vague promises, but no bulletins. The gift of years is I can keep persisting and going to plan B, C, D…to achieve my goal of knowing all the parish news.
  3. A friend helped me set up my television for the digital transition Charter is doing in this area next week. When all the publicity says how “easy” it will be and how “wonderful” the results, my life experience teaches me it’s going to be quite difficult and probably minimal benefit will follow. Sure enough, it took a couple hours and figuring out other steps that should be in the step-by-step guide but aren’t. In addition to the fact that as a blind person I couldn’t have done it alone, my years have taught me that work shared is much better and more fun. We prevailed and my friend left with horror stories to swap with others across the community who are walking the same road.
  4. Several people asked me to do volunteer work for them and I was able to say quickly and calmly that I’d love to if my accessibility needs were met. Self-acceptance is much better than when I was younger. Donnalou Steven’s song says it much better than I can: http://www.sunnyskyz.com/happy-videos/736/The-Older-Ladies-Anthem-I-LOVE-This-#KUlFEiAbf4L5Feow.01
  5. Back to that no church bulletin problem. I went to Mass and a frail elder who sits in her wheelchair in the back row with us, read me the announcements. She was pleased to be able to give help as well as all the receiving of it she does. The gift of years Chittister mentions that is still in process for me is trusting in the universe that we will be given what we need.
  6. Chittister says “Life is about becoming more than we are…about being all that we can be.” I wonder what gifts next week will bring.