Looking backward, looking forward, being here

When I started Transition Times a year ago, I was in a state of emotional turmoil.  I had just become fully awake to the scary reality of climate change, and was allowing myself for the first time to recognize the extent of the terrible environmental degradation of our planet that had taken place in my lifetime, on my watch as it were.

I was also smarting from some direct hits on the economic front, having just lost my second teaching post to state budget cuts.  I was looking at a yearlong evaluation process for a longterm contract at my primary institution (our equivalent of tenure), and the outcome was far from secure.

Added to that, I was just emerging from a yearlong divorce battle—nowhere near as vicious as some I’ve witnessed, but still painful and emotionally debilitating.

So all in all, I was in a pretty distressed and tender state of mind a year ago, when Transition Times grew from the flicker of a thought to a fully formed weblog.

Thinking back over the year, I see that I have grown a lot, and my blog has grown with me.

Many of my posts have charted the ups and downs of my outlook on the future: our planetary future in a time of precipitous loss of biodiversity, rapid, out-of-control global heating, and growing food insecurity for all inhabitants of the planet, humans included; our future as Americans, citizens of a nation that controls the largest military, police and prison forces in the world and seems to revel in showing off its ruthless muscle, even against its own children; and my own future as a newly single mom parenting two teenage boys, working more than fulltime, and trying to keep an even keel through turbulent economic waters.

As I embark on the second year of Transition Times, and close in on my 50th birthday, I am glad to find myself in a fairly calm, even mildly positive state of mind.

Although the past year has given us little to celebrate in terms of the environment, the global economy or the political scene, at least on the home front things are—well—okay.

A year into my life as a divorcee I am finding a comfort level with being on my own that I remember from years ago, before I married.  It’s been 25 years since I was single, which is a long, long time.  But I am beginning to get a remembered twinge of anticipation, the awareness that as a single woman doors may open for me that would have remained closed were I still married.

Stepping through any doors—meeting new people, visiting new places, making new choices—necessarily involves risk.  Twenty-five years ago, I took the risk of marrying—and it paid off in my two handsome, talented, charming (for the most part) sons, as well as many good times with my husband before and during our marriage.

A year ago I was so emotionally battered from the divorce that I could not have imagined opening myself up to that kind of attachment again.

Now I think—well, maybe someday.  There’s no rush.  I am pretty content as I am, just me and my family, as it was for the first 25 years of my life.

In the meantime, I will be doing a lot of thinking aloud on Transition Times about how best to channel my passions, concerns and talents in the coming years.

I am just one small woman with many limitations but I want to give the best of myself to the beautiful world I love so much—the birds and insects, the ocean creatures, the furry mammals and the cool reptiles, and the green forests, waving grasslands and flowering marshes that nourish us all.

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