Another Birthday I Wasn’t Supposed To See

Sorry if that title reeks more than a little of melodrama. If someday you find yourself marvelling at your own continued existence, it won’t feel even slightly melodramatic. Trust me; I know whereof I speak.

So how do I feel?

Glad you asked, sunshine. I feel overjoyed. I’m exhausted because I’m still recovering from the cold I caught after being foolish enough to do the world science fiction convention in Dublin and EuroCon/TitanCon in Belfast on two consecutive weekends. Never again. Earlier this year, I hung in for a record three weeks as a guest instructor at the University of Kansas courtesy of Chris McKitterick. It’s the longest period of time I’ve spent away from home since I was diagnosed, and I wasn’t always up for going out to dinner in the evening but I managed to be useful for all three weeks, and I hope to do it again. And again. And—who knows?—again.

But that’s later, not now. Right now, I just have to live through the rest of today. And seeing as how it’s always today, that’s not asking too much.

Today is the one and only thing life hands us. The only thing we get for free is the gift of now: that’s why it’s called the present.

That sounds trite until you face the prospect of not getting it. Then you re-evaluate, a lot. It’s been four years since I realised I was going to outlive my prognosis by a substantial amount, and in pretty good condition, not as an invalid. But the OMG-I’m-gonna-live party is still going on in my head, as alive and intense as it ever was; I’m just better at getting things done now. But then, my ideal working environment is a rave; when no rave is occurring, I’ll settle for doing my homework in front of the TV.

It’s been four years since I started giving the horse singing lessons and there’s a chance he could become a decent tenor. You never know what today may bring.