What is the biggest challenge you will face in the next six months?
The months change but the challenge never does. How does one stay alive? How does one survive? How does one pass the time from one minute to the next, one hour to the next, one day to the next, one week to the the next, and one month to the next?
I faced a challenge this morning. I got to the shop and could not climb over the piled up ice to reach the slippery step that led to the salted sidewalk that led to the shop’s entrance. Fortunately a kind young man took my arm, and helped me upwards, onto the sidewalk. He waited while I shopped and brought me back down to the car, arm in arm, and carrying my shopping. I gave him a poetry book, Septets for the End of Time, as a reward.
What will be the next big challenge? I honestly don’t know. Starting the snow blower at -20C, perhaps? Blowing the snow and avoiding a slip, a fall, a sit down on a snow bank from which I cannot get up? Who knows? I don’t. I need more medicine – will my biggest challenge be finding that the pharmacy has again run low on my medication and I have to wait for my renewals? I have just had a blood test – three months late – and I don’t know what the results will be? Will that be my biggest challenge – coming face to face with a negative result that demands more action? I just don’t know. Driving out the other day, I met a speeding car on my side of the road, in my lane, coming straight towards me. The driver was staring at his cell phone, one hand on the wheel, eyes down, concentrating on something that certainly wasn’t the road. I swerved aside, towards the snow bank, honked the horn, and he looked up, eyes wide with shock, and swerved away. Brown trouser time, I guess, for that unfortunate individual.
It would be so nice to have a smart answer. My biggest challenge will be to find a solution to the chess problem that has puzzled me for years – how to defend Queen side openings when Black. My biggest challenge will be to draw the cards for a perfect hand of cribbage. My biggest challenge will be to pay the grocery bills as the prices rise. My biggest challenge will be to pay the dentist’s bills when I have no dental coverage and the savings dwindle every month. My biggest challenge will be how to avoid the pain in my teeth now that I can no longer afford the dentist. My biggest challenge will be to crawl to the telephone and get help if I manage to fall in the kitchen and cannot get up.
So, what is my greatest challenge over the next six months? Living from day to day, without falling downstairs and killing myself – how about that for an answer?