Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Numbers by Eleanor Stem

2014 is an even-numbered year. Only a few more hours, a tick of a clock, and we’ll be in 2015, an odd-numbered year.

Which do you prefer, the odd or even numbers? Which years bring you more happiness, or more pain? Do you emerge from those painful years like a phoenix flying from its ashes? 

I like even-numbered years. They seem more rounded, less pointy. Four is more rounded than fourteen, i.e., ’t’ in teen is spiky, the 'ee' brash. Five is less desirous than four, harder to say, to read. Fifteen is definitely on the corrupt side.

2020 is a good round number. Only the 't’s' are a bit spiky. The rest just rolls off your tongue like sweet juice. Tomorrow, 2020 will be closer than we've ever seen it. We're half way through the teens, going into the twenties. My, how time flies.

That doesn't mean odd-numbered years are bad. 2013 that had lots of spikes, and is far too brash, was a pretty good year. My husband and I built a house in 2013, which could be a nightmare, but it wasn't. Our builder was really professional. He gave us no hassles, and now he and his wife are good friends.

Despite odd or even-numbered years, life’s road leads us through the landscape of different experiences.

My husband wouldn’t say he liked even-numbered years. For years, the Universe kept telling him to move out of his status quo existence, but he wouldn’t listen. In 2008, he lost several friends through illness and accidents. In September, Hurricane Ike pushed his house off the foundations, and the world called it a total loss. Two months later, we were married. A true up and down year. By 2009, his whole life had changed, and he was much happier for it.

I believe throughout our lives, we go through issues that make us better, help us to gain a higher spiritual level. Sometimes, we are supposed to make changes in our lives, but we are afraid, or we stall, thinking we’ll be fine if we don’t upset the applecart.

An odd year, 2005, which as I said I’m not too fond of, did that for me. No discreet knocking on my door worked to make changes. Apparently, everything I knew had to be broken before I saw the light.

Almost out of the gate into the new year, I noticed trickles of water running down the wall of my carport. I called a roofer, where not only did the roof leak, but the electrical gizmo that sends electricity into the house was pulling away from the structure. I needed an electrician and a roofer. The kitchen sink kept stopping up and the plumber said the sewer hadn’t been installed properly when the house was built. The entire sewer line under the house had to be replaced. At the same time, the car started leaking transmission fluid. I needed a new car. Then, I went to the doctor for a routine checkup and she said a lump in my breast was 99% cancer. January 2005 had been an eventful month.

My oncologist said, ‘Give me a full year, and then I’ll set you free, healthy and whole.’ With those words, I relinquished my care into her capable hands. This opened up a whole new world for me, gave me freedom to find out who I was. I took off work during the process, sat outside with a cup of tea and listened to the birds in the trees. I focused on the beauty that was all around me. I appreciated the differences in the human psyche, their own trek through life, how they responded to bumps in the road, and I bought a puppy.  

They say it’s not what you go through but how you come out of the experience that makes the difference. If you are a better person for it, then your journey was good. The odd numbered year of 2005 was a good one for me, one of the best years of my life.

Let’s drink to 2015. May this year bring you happiness and good cheer. May your experiences, good or bad, bring you joy.