At my latest appointment (before my mouth was filled with things that make it impossible to have a conversation) my orthodontist and I were talking about my upcoming move to Nova Scotia, and moving to new places in general.
He has been living in the same house, in the same city (Toronto), since he and his wife first started raising their kids 30+ years ago. All the kids now live as adults in TO, and there are 5 grandkids. In many ways I envy people with this kind of life. I imagine that the continuity, the sense of place, and the security of it must be tremendously comforting, even though I also know it was never really what I personally wanted from life.
So here’s the interesting thing he said: That the past thirty years, although beloved to him, are all a kind of blur. A lovely blur, but one in which everything gets mushed together in his memory. By contrast, the years before that, when he and his wife were living different lives in different places and experimenting with such things, stand out in his mind with many specific incidents of incredible clarity.
With those words I found I envied him a little less. And appreciated my own version of life a little more, as the only kind of life I ever really wanted to live. A life with many incidents of incredible clarity.
Now he’s on my gratitude list for more than just making my teeth straight!