I wasn't doing the fair this year (which started Friday) - and oh, was I deliciously, delightfully glad of that. I loved the fair, but it was so much work - so long, and dusty and dirty and wet and cold and so often discouraging. 9 days of busting ass, plus all the days working up to it, and all the people, and the inevitable cold I caught, and the stress and the way the weather and the economy mattered so much to how things went... no it wasn't because of the fair that I was looking at the calendar.
After a while, it finally occurred to me: August 5th was the day I broke my back. Every year, I spent that day doggedly trying not to remember, not to focus on the nagging pain in my back and the dark, unresolved feelings that came with it.
This year? Not so much.
It was 18 years ago. More than half my life, now.
If I can't run, I can still walk, and build houses, with little or no pain. I can think about that day without crying, or wincing, or falling into a depression. I can remember my life around it, without flinching at the person I hated being.
I'm... in such a better place than I was last year, or even just a few months ago.
In every way imaginable.