One of the things I love most about my house is the front window. I know it’s 99 inches wide. I wish it was taller, and spanned down to the floor. There are three segments, the two outside panels slide back and forth in the spring and fall to let seasonal air flow in.
When I lay on my living room floor, I see the top of my neighbors tree. The blue sky glows behind a tangle of black branches.
When I come home, Jack the cat is usually waiting, sitting patiently in the window, greeting me when I pull into the drive.
Today I find myself looking out that window, thinking about this unseasonal day. The high today is near 60, when normally is expect 20 and snow. It reminds me of the day I started blogging, just one week shy of exactly three years ago.
That night I had gone for a walk as it was such a nice night, and I recall the deep feelings of joy I hadn’t felt in such a long time, brought about purely by Christmas lights put up by strangers. It made me think of the purpose of the season – spread joy throughout. I was in a very dark place and those lights were the only thing that season pure enough to make me feel happy.
That was three years ago – December 2011. When I think about all the things that have happened between then and now, it seems like a different life, a different person.
I think about the significant events that I’ve seen through my front window since then.
A completely different set of friends that helped me move into this house. I remember watching the tops of their heads as boxes and couches were assembly lined through the front door and out the garage.
I waited anxiously by the front window for trick-or-treaters my first Halloween in a house, as I talked with my best friends about what costumes they were seeing.
The summer of 2012 I was so broke, I refused to water my yard and almost all my grass died. The view from my window was pretty sad.
I remember when I painted the living room that late fall, and had to wear sweatpants so my neighbors couldn’t see my ankle-bracelet as I taped off and painted above my window.
Winter of 2012-3013, Zach and I developed a system set to tag team snow shoveling – I do the sidewalks and he does the driveway.
That January, my car windshield wipers broke. I was still so broke I couldn’t afford to fix them. As a light layer of snow fell, I sat on my couch and watched out my front window, as I was snowed in and had to miss my friend’s party at the new Blue Blood Brewery.
I remember how much I rode the bus until that spring of 2013. I could stand on the corner of my front yard, jack watching from the window, and the bus would stop on my corner. The day I got my initial result of cancer, I was waiting for my bus home.
The first day I came home from my surgery, I sat on my living room floor in a pile of mail and cried as the sunshine poured in.
I watched trick or treaters come to my door this year, but from my couch with my chemo bag plugged in as my mom passed out my candy. I think one of the kids fist-bumped her.
Through that window I watched Zach shovel as I was too weak and too sensitive to be exposed to the cold.
This spring and summer I finally could work in my front yard. I could mow, Blake and I did projects that I had to put on a shelf since I moved in. I painted all the window seals, including the front, foolishly on a 100 degree day.
Hopefully a fresh coat of paint of my window will signify another fresh start this year. Since 2011, each year has either been a year of crisis or recovery. 2014 has been the best year of my life since…. I honestly don’t know. And I still consider it a year of catch-up. Making up for lost time, reinitiating parts of my life I had to dead-end in 2012 and 2013.
I feel great about 2015. I love the people who I know I will see in January and beyond, and am already putting pieces in place for some big things. There will be changes, but change is good. Someone once told me, “it’s good to do things that make you uncomfortable.”
So, as I type while facing my front window and on the same couch, I think about today’s big project: putting up Christmas lights for the first time. It feels good to finally be moving forward with the ability to produce positive things, and not constantly reacting to negative. In this next year, I hope I can bring better things to myself and those around me, especially if they happen to be that one passer by whose only joy this season is seeing Christmas lights.
I wonder if those lights almost three years ago ignited the spark in me to find the happiness we are entitled to live with everyday. Maybe that walk remains so vivid, because it is my point of reference of the joy I was working toward these last three years. Maybe, this year, I’m finally here.