“Penultimate,” means the second to last in a series, and today is the second to last day of the year, which strikes me as something special to celebrate. We have all, even the most curmudgeonly among us, at one time or another celebrated New Years Eve or New Years Day, if only with the purchase of a new calendar or a perfunctory toast with a bit of bubbly, but it seems as if this day is just as worthy of a toast as those two more iconic days. I mean, how often does one get to use the word penultimate? For that alone, I will pop open a bottle of sparkling apple/pear juice and toast the day.
Being cognizant of the second to last day of the year also gives us a chance to ease gradually into the end of a year/beginning of a new year cycle. Too often it seems that one second it is the old year and the next second it is a new year (I’m being silly here because obviously, that is the way things work), and celebrating this day gives us more of a buffer, an extra day to reflect on what was and what we hope will be.
Besides being penultimate, today was worthy of celebration in itself. For me, anyway. It was a gorgeous day, a perfect day for a practice hike. So I shrugged on my trainer backpack (my real backpack but with minimal weight) and headed out. That I could even walk three miles with ten pounds on my back and two pounds on my front (a fanny pack flipped to the front to make the water bottles more accessible) is something to celebrate. Even more — for a few minutes during the trek, I stopped feeling all that weight, which makes me think I will eventually be able to add more without any trouble. (Well, a little trouble. I was trying to make sure I stood upright instead of leaning forward, and I must have forgotten to tilt my hips forward to lessen the hip arch, and I can it feel it in my lower back. Ouch.)
Still, a little pain never hurt anyone, and pain in itself is something to celebrate. It means we’re alive! And that, for sure, is something to celebrate.
So, have a wonderful penultimate day!
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Unfinished, Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.