Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Favorite Years by Alison Henderson

Life is sprinkled with watershed events, sometimes watershed years, when everything changes. Being an eternal optimist, I choose to remember and celebrate the years when life took a turn for the better. Bad times I banish to the rubbish heap in the back of my mind as quickly as possible.

One such "favorite" year began when I turned twenty-one in early October of my senior year at Vassar. It was a perfect day in the Hudson River Valley, crisp and bright with brilliant blue skies and glowing fall foliage. My roommate (and lifelong best friend) and her now-husband took me on a picnic on the grounds of the Vanderbilt Mansion, high on the bluffs overlooking the river in Hyde Park. I don't remember what we ate, but I'll never forget the overwhelming sense of well-being I felt in such beautiful surroundings with such close friends. Later that spring, I graduated, got my first job, married my high school sweetheart, and bought a home. It was a year brimming with promises of good things to come. That marriage ended amicably a few years later when we both grew up but in no way dimmed the pleasure of those memories.

Another important year for me was the year I turned forty. Many women may regard forty with dread, but for me it was an age of self-discovery and actualization. Eight years earlier, I had quit my job to stay home with my daughter when she was born. During that time, OG suffered numerous career ups and downs, ranging from sadistic supervisors to employers leaving town, but he persevered in order to give me those important years with my child. By the time I turned forty, he was too beaten down to do it any more, so we switched roles. I went back to work and became the sole provider until I retired. Instead of feeling resentful, I felt empowered. My relationship with my daughter had a rock-solid foundation, and I was proud to be able to give our family financial and emotional stability after a rocky few years.

Because I am such an optimist, my favorite years don't stop there. I still hope for a few yet to come. Perhaps my daughter will marry. Perhaps I'll become a grandmother some day. Perhaps the next book I write will be The One. The future is rife with possibilities, and for that I'm grateful every day. 

Alison
www.alisonhenderson.com
http://alisonhenderson.blogspot.com 

12 comments:

Margo Hoornstra said...

Fond memories and bright futures. All in all, life really is pretty good, isn't it?

Alicia Dean said...

I love your outlook. Yes, I'm sure you have many more 'best' years to come. It's great that your memories of your year of your first marriage are still good ones. Enjoyed the post!

Alison Henderson said...

Margo, it really is. I can't imagine looking at life any other way.

Alison Henderson said...

Alicia, I'm grateful not to carry any scars from that early marriage. Many people are not so lucky.

Jannine Gallant said...

Good years. Great attitude! I'm sure you'll have many more memorable years to come.

Alison Henderson said...

Hope so, Jannine!

J.C. McKenzie said...

Great memories! Thanks for taking us on the journey down memory lane with you. :-)

Barbara said...

Lovely years to remember. THanks for sharing. Barb Bettis

Alison Henderson said...

J.C., I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by!

Alison Henderson said...

Barb, they were lovely years. Thank you for sharing them with me.

Diane Burton said...

I love your positive outlook, Alison. What glorious years you've had and more to come.

Leah St. James said...

What a nice post, Allison! It made me feel more hopeful just reading it. :-)