Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Life is

...just a series of days sometimes. My mother was offering me some unsolicited advice and the observation that she thinks I often too idealistic. Rather than be defensive, I remained quiet. I can't say honestly that I was truly listening, only that I indeed heard what she was saying. I think it will take some time for me to really understand and process what she was conveying. Today she came in and good naturedly shared some of the angst she's experiencing...

In so many ways my life is not turning out the way I expected it would. I mean that in the existential sense. Try as I might, I could not even muster the energy for my usual pity party. Maybe I'm further gone than I realize, but I'm not depressed. Mom and I rather darkly exchanged an inventory of people who were worse off than both of us. In the scheme of things, I know that things for me aren't that bad. I am--to be euphemistic-- unencumbered. And in many ways that means I am open for any possibility, there is nothing I cannot pursue. But there is nothing that I passionately want to pursue. By that I mean, I could apply myself and do well at any number of things, commit to any number of worthy causes or endeavors. But at the end, I am afraid that all we are left with is ourselves and it seems a rather long walk to take to arrive at exactly the same spot.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm, I continue to search for gainful and hopefully meaningful employment. There are certain material obligations to which I must attend. But I am motivated by neither money nor ambition. I have developed a healthy respect for the reality that there will always be more things that I do not know than I can master. That there is always someone more than I-- smarter, hungrier, clever--and I am not envious or more determined for it. And I think that hard work at any station is as noble as another.

I am mostly happy with my own company. In the midst of one of my occasional, tongue-in-cheek tirades that I would become a cat-loving spinster, I realized I already was one. That gave me great amusement. Paradoxically, I am instantly repelled by men who are not taken with me. So rejection wears off quickly, especially when I realize that I will not have to suffer the quirks of another. Having spent all this time on my own, the idea that I'd continue as such seems reasonable and not at all unpleasant, if not occasionally predictable.

My health continues to float. My mother is annoyed that I have in her words 'claimed lupus.' In fact, I have not. I do not have a definitive diagnosis. But my aches persist and sleeping remains a pleasure unparalleled. My top priority is monitoring my physical, mental and spiritual well-being. It has also had the unforeseen benefit of tempering my anxiety about other matters. When, like today, my armpits ache--who knew they could hurt-- and my hip throbs, I could care less about the minor dust-up or major misunderstanding I may have had with whoever. I must sheepishly confess that I do not relish going on in this manner or worse into an unforeseen future. But Idon't know or care to explore what that means, so I figure I'll just take it as it comes. And as much as I can, without falling into self-indulgence I'll honor whatever emotions surface--even self-pity and then promptly move on to the next thing when I start inevitably annoying myself with self-awareness.

When my body hurts or my life falls short, I retreat to my mind. Not necessarily my thoughts. I have almost adamantly been avoiding any of the deep introspection or close analysis that usually wracks my brain. Instead I have been going on flights of fancy, distracting tangents, and so on. Not productive, but hardly a waste of time. While rummaging in my brain, I thought idly, I had the rather jarring observation that my life has hardly turned out as I expected. By now I thought I would have attained some, if not all of the trappings of so called success or progress. I have not. In fact, I question whether I actually want them or ever did. Maybe I was just pursuing them in lieu of admitting that I would rather meander.

So life has become, for now, a series of days. Perhaps a new passion will emerge, perhaps not. But either way life continues inevitably, so perhaps it doesn't matter either way.

1 comment:

AnnaC said...

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

I am not sure if this is truly an appropriate comment on your post...but since reading your post, two folks have sent me email messages with "life is..." statements at the end.

I think life is what you make of it... and that can change with the mood if you like, but ultimately, whichever perspective you prescribe to at the moment is the right one for you.

Living through it feels like SUCCESS to me. I consider you incredibly successful.