Kathy Riordan

Kathy Riordan
Florida, United States
April 27
One woman's view of life and the universe. Follow @katriord on Twitter.


Kathy Riordan's Links

Poetry, if you like that sort of thing
Some great stuff around here
Where I've Been, Where I'm Going
What I Can't Write About
Twitter Is What You Make It
Articles on World War II
Some of my work on Iran
A little about me
I also write here
FEBRUARY 29, 2012 3:47PM

One More Trip Around the Sun

Rate: 14 Flag


A friend, Kirsten, in China said it best this morning, on a Facebook status update:

"I'm going to carpe the hell out of this diem."

It's a gravy day, to be sure.  A bonus.  That day that tags onto February only once every four years, making sure women can break the rules and politicians have another day of campaigning.

But it is a day.

Days come precious now, more precious after losing a partner, not counted but blurred.

When my husband's first wife died, he was out dating a month later, not by any particular design, but out of existential necessity, not wanting to be alone.  I wondered, when he died, could I do the same?  Probably not.  Our culture hasn't evolved to the point yet, however much we might think differently, that women can behave like men without the universe looking askance, whether you're Hillary Clinton or Sadie Hawkins.

As this day approached, the illegitimate child of the solar calendar, I pondered how it would affect me, if at all.  Could I suddenly toss everything on the winds of abandon?  Stay in my pajamas all day?  Give not a thought to stock markets or presidential campaigns or whether Iran is squeezing us at the gas pump?

I longed for that freedom that Sadie Hawkins Day teases, where women determine their own fate and master it, not just in pieces, but in whole.  

Never could I have done what my husband did, something perceived as endearing in a man, scorned in a woman.  I loved him no less, dismiss him no more, found every bit as much the lonely room closing in, tried not to count the days.

Today is a day.  An extra day.  A bonus day.  A gift.  I can do whatever I want, and in my own particular rules for this day there are no rules. 

I heard this morning that yet another friend had died, and then, this afternoon, that Davy Jones was gone.

I lift off, for one more trip around the sun. 



photo:  Sunrise, Space Coast, Florida - Kathy Riordan 

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
I know that a lot of women in America are their own worst enemies and they tend to take out their self doubt by spreading gossip about other women -- a major part of the glass ceiling. It's always been particularly strange to me that they feel that women who choose the men with whom they want to spend an evening are sluts. Believe me any middle aged man would be happy if you asked him out on a date. As we get older most men disengage from dating because we fear rejection. It's like we wake up one day look in the mirror and go through an emotional regression to middle school. We're suddenly standing around the gym looking out over the empty dance floor and talking about football.
Instead of socializing we work extra hours, because at work we know what we're doing and how to do it - much less risk of screwing up. So this evening why don't you call someone with whom you'd like to share a bottle of wine and some conversation. Believe me he'll probably be more than happy to get that call.

As I get older I realize more and more how finite those trips around the sun are for all of us and I have come to cherish each of them. Today, being an extra day, came to us here at Almosta as a rare and beautiful, sunny one and we have been taking full advantage of it.
This day of anomaly here brought snow all morning. I supposed that the universe was trying to decide between winter & spring. But another day for us to carpe none the less.
Well I did carpe the hell out of this diem out of this day. I was tired and I gave into it. I took a nap and it was wonderful. One more trip around the sun to you. May it bring pleasant moments. R
jmac, clearly I wrote this piece too quickly and didn't elaborate on the finer points. I am dating, and even have a date tonight, but the piece wasn't about dating particularly, but just grabbing an extra day and breaking the rules. Thanks for the insights in any case, much appreciated.
Having an extra day is a blessing for sure. I'm afraid the day seized me, I tripped and fell, but nothing broken so the day is a good one.

We all are tripping around the sun in some way or another. Have a wonderful evening.
No wonder I was so tired yesterday. Well written, as always.
A nice glass is full view of the 29th of Feb. I used to think of it as the day I worked for free. Of course, I don't work anymore and they all blend together. This gave me a boost. R
My Grandma had 6 husbands, burying 4 of them, and was never single. She died in 2001, at 84, with a live in boyfriend. As far as I know, the only one who looked askance was my mother, her daughter. Grandma just refused to be alone. I wish I had her courage.

Moral of story: Do what's right for you. And have fun doing it.
I think everyone adapts to change and loss in their own way. No matter what the day is, you've got to live it as you feel.
I agree with you that, in our society, men replace their partners quickly, and women, slowly or not at all. A generalization, after all, but one that I have observed for decades. I loved your friend's quote. Once, I wired a friend on vacation a little emergency cash. You had to pick a password. I picked, "Carpe Diem." When my friend went to pick up the loan in Key West, the man at the counter said, "It's something about a fish."
Καthy,excellent..and the image and the writing and the mentality..Sad the feeling,for me.You made me remember me.

This is true..the need of love is an existance need..."but out of existential necessity, not wanting to be alone.."And you are also true when..."something perceived as endearing in a man, scorned in a woman"..

I hate myself when I leave my days to live in my ρyjamas..So glad that you are dating..Wishes for beauty and good luck..It is difficult being alone after living in the together..not wanting to be alone..not at all wanting even to be an I but a We...It is difficult not to burden your feeling needs to the other also...You must learn yourself again..

Thank you for sharing..I have the mentality of carρe diem..Now,after almost 40 years in days and nights..I can not remember or name not even one..that I did the carρe diem..

Rated..Best regards and wishes,although late..Better late..than ever..Have a beautiful new month..