I came home from work yesterday, frustrated, tired, spent and before I even said hello to the dog or my husband I said, “honey I have to go to the bathroom, pop one, I’ll be needing a large pour, and by the way we’re going out to dinner tonight.” While reclining in the restroom I heard the pop, the pour, the sound of glasses being gathered, and carried to the patio. Thank God for the wisdom of a man who quietly procures that which is most needed! Obedience.
I have a simple philosophy: Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. Scratch where it itches. Alice Roosevelt Longworth
I joined Larry on the patio for a splash of Tempranillo and spent the next ten minutes ranting about my day. This is somewhat out of the ordinary because I love my job. What I’m really spewing about is the extraordinary state of disorder I found the materials in for a new course I’m teaching this semester. It’s been quite a challenge and one I should probably tackle with less drama and more focus. #LessonsLearned
My natural inclination is to have all my lessons organized, up dated, and ready to present for the entire semester. This is not going to happen this year. So I’ll be stretching myself to be more, what’s the word, spontaneous. This might be the adage I fear most in the classroom. I like to fit in ten minutes or so of spontaneity a week. I think that’s more than enough of that sort of shenanigans. I’m sure this too shall pass but what I’m more interested in is the ritualized attitude and behavior in which I’ve become accustomed?
Here’s the deal. When we become addicted to an emotion, thought pattern, or action we give away our power, our ability to exercise choice, they become mindless repetitions that seemed meaningful at the time, but after a little mindful consideration appear empty, and without purpose says Marion Woodman. Maybe crazy shit does happen for a reason?
There are many things that dominate and control our lives ~ perfectionism, order, approval, illness, money, the Internet to name a few. What is the cost to our well-being? It’s like participating in the game of Life without a “get over your neuroses” free card. “I’ve come to realize that life is neither a battle nor a game to be won, it is a game nonetheless, but to be played… enjoyed. There are neither winners nor losers… just players–and what’s great is that you can choose who to play with,” says Val Uchendu. I do love my playmates. Best part of life.
“Once the game is over, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.” This is an Italian Proverb ~ of course.
I think it’s noteworthy that my list of “neuroses” keeps perfect pace with my age? On the way home from a body sculpting class this morning (yes, you read that correctly, but it involves torture not clay), one that would have killed most people my age, my friend Sue and I lamented about post-menopausal weigh gain, the cruel shift in our shape, and a general feeling unattractiveness. Aren’t we a fun bunch? Now we do realize this is due to the enormous number of birthdays we’ve celebrated, but also lifestyle, the time we devote to exercise, a balanced diet, and the biggest culprit ~ adult beverages ~ which seems cruel and unfair. How can we view this stage of life with greater optimism, joy, and gratitude if we’re constantly jeremiading about the process of aging? The word acceptance comes to mind.
“My smile has become my best asset” Jan Geremia
It’s not enough to worry about my own issues, I also worry about the well-being of my children, who find living in the Bay Area financially prohibitive. Where can we all go where the cost of living allows for actually living? I want to be close to my family and friends but I feel like a dandelion with my significant others being blown in diverse directions. I know it’s not rational but I want to gather them up and glue them back to the stalk. It’s sort of a sticky issue these days.
All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. Henry Ellis
I worry I don’t have enough time left to become a good writer, publish a story, or at the very least establish my own niche in the writing community? I’m struggling to find enough time to write at all, to sit with my thoughts, and figure out what my readers (yes, both of you) are interested in pondering? I’ve tried out all sorts of topics, some hit, many bomb. So your feedback is imperative if you want me to stay away from the benefits of ear wax, how to get rid of dog lice, and creative use of dryer lint in the garden (don’t even go there).
I’ve also noticed my immune system is less robust then it used to be. This pisses me off because for many years it was such a gloatable subject, something I claimed to have control over (mud in my face), and implied was due to my amazing self-care (embarrassing much). I completely avoid imaging a future where obscure illnesses dominate the landscape. I realize (God willing) I may have a few more decades of predictable health, but that doesn’t stop by thoughts from going to the dark side, and worrying about applying for assisted living before all the good spots are taken. Wouldn’t it be fun to reserve an entire wing in some swanky retirement facility, something that would accommodate all us old farts, located, “I don’t know,” on Maui? Exactly what I was thinking…sunsets, mai tai’s, and group physical therapy!
When it comes to life the critical thing is, whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. Gilbert Chesterton
This is my hope. If I can recognize what I’m trying to get out of these ritualized thoughts or behaviors then I can slowly begin to provide for myself what I truly desire, something longer-lasting, more efficacious. Maybe it’s time to stop fighting my maturity. I mean that in the best possible way. Go with the flow, be a little spontaneous, Lord have mercy. Oscar Wilde says to live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is not about the perfect body, the size of your bank account (although that helps), the place you live, or the work you do, it’s how we think about life that matters most. This is your novel and I say let’s write the best possible story.
Do not skip this jelly bean video ~ it’s excellent!
What have you been pondering lately? Drop a few notes in the comments.
- Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce. Vivian Komori
- The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. Henry Miller
- I think I’ve discovered the secret of life – you just hang around until you get used to it. Charles Schulz