The beginning of a new month

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Today is July 1st. If you live in Canada, it’s Canada Day. If you live in the United States, it’s the start of the long weekend for the 4th of July. If you live elsewhere in the world, as far as I know, it’s just another day.

Today I’m headed to my primary care doctor. Since I saw him in February, I’ve had several seizures, I’ve got other health issues going on, and I need to see him. It’s a 3 hour round trip at least, not including traffic. It’s the holiday weekend and people are going to be flocking to the coast. I live on the coast, so getting home from Salem is going to be a real adventure.

I look at the beginning of the month as a clean slate. Everything that happened in the previous month slips away and new opportunities and choices lay before me. There are some things that carry over from month to month, but those are responsibilities and must always be dealt with. But the rest of the month is wide open to all sorts of possibilities.

I spoke to my dad last week. He was leaving Tuesday of this week to go camping and wouldn’t be home until July 5th. I was feeling a little jealous. I haven’t gone camping in a long time and I find I miss it. When I was a teenager, I resented having to go with my family because of how unpredictable my mother was. So I would find any excuse to stay home. Once I stayed home in order to take care of the tomato plants my mom hadn’t planted yet. I spent so much time with my best friend that I forgot to water them. It was summer in Boise, so they died. When she got home, my mom was pissed. That was the last time I was allowed to stay home. No matter what, I had to go on the camping trips.

We did a lot of outdoor things when I was growing up. When I was really young, we’d go out and chop firewood for our fireplace. We stopped that when we moved from Northern Idaho to Boise. Then we would go on picnics, long drives, we’d go fishing and camping. I was always scared of being out there with my mom because even then she was unpredictable. But there was some peace and enjoyment. I can remember one specific camping trip. I was wearing a shirt/skort outfit that I really loved. It was a beautiful reddish orange with huge flowers on it. While I was writing at the picnic table, a hummingbird came to investigate me. It thought I was some strange flower. My mom was there and saw it happen. My dad and little sister were down by the river. It was the most amazing thing that happened to me.

One of my favorite picnic stories happened long after I’d moved out of the house. I was living in Washington. My parents and little sister came to visit me and we all went to Hurricane Ridge for a picnic. We were eating and the local avian wildlife was watching us. There was an overabundance of gray jays there. A few of them were coming close to the table and even though we weren’t supposed to feed the wildlife, we tossed them a few crackers. I’d just taken a bite of my sandwich and was pulling it back from my mouth when a gray jay landed on my arm, snatched some of the meat from my sandwich, and flew off with it. We all cracked up laughing and took better care to guard our food.

Even in my darkest moments with my Bipolar, I still have those happy moments I can draw on to give me strength. There are times when event hat doesn’t help, but they’re still there if I look for them.


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