On the eve of another departure for New England, my focus has shifted towards what to pack and how to arrange the boxes of gift-wrapped packages to keep them from the eyes of evil-doers in the back of my grandson's station wagon. I make myself stop watching the Weather Channel. Visions of sugar plums (whatever they are) don't dance in my head, but worries about bills that will arrive while I'm away do. Who did I miss on the Christmas card list? Did I send all the checks for the year-end contributions? And then I think of Samuel Pepys and his standard end-of-the day sign-off in his diary--see above.
And then I stop short mentally and try to concentrate on the fun I'm going to have with with the family. When you get to be old enough, one of the compensations is a kind of automatic reassignment of the primary satisfactions we're allowed on this earth. There are too many things out of our control to waste energy figuring out anything more than how to try to be prepared as much as possible and remembering common sense. If it snows a little, never mind. If it snows a lot, get off the interstate and find a motel. And so on...
Maybe there'll be a column for Senior Women or a poem or two that will arise from the the adventure. Surely one must grasp an opportunity when it's available. One of my friends will fly from North Carolina to Italy to spend Christmas with her daughter and two grandsons, another will do the same to Iowa City to be with her family. What's a mere 800 or so miles for me? We each have to be aware of how uncertain our chances really are of doing the same after another year has gone by.