I took myself to Hawaii for vacation a couple of weeks ago. A college friend and I traveled together, and two other girlfriends caught up with us for part of the week.

It was a delicious week in the sun.

But then, you know, you have to come back. Back to indifference, and tiresome things like buying new tires, and paying insurance and bills and dishes and cleaning up the yard, and sternly telling yourself that if you are going to afford any christmas presents at all, that you are not allowed to shop or eat out anymore, because vacation cleaned out your bank account.

I turned 33 two weeks ago. Last week I  put in my 5th year helping to coordinate a fund-raiser for my the youth ministry that fostered me as a teenager.

If you had told me 5 years ago that things would be much the same for me this year as they were then, I'm not sure what I would have done. 

My birthday last year made me smile, made me hope. Not so this year, somehow. The thought of another year makes me steel myself somehow, brace, expectant, for the next wave that will erode a little more of time's shoreline.

"I'm not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship."--Louisa May Alcott