Monday, May 17, 2010

Fear and Loathing...Part 2

part II
What is it you intend to do with your one wild and precious life? ("A Summer Day"-Mary Oliver Brown)

Posing this question to myself used to exhilarate me.  Lately, I just sort of glumly answer, "this, I guess."  And by-the-bye, my "this" is good stuff, no, great stuff.  Since penning the first half of this post (see "Fear and Loathing) I have had a bit of an epiphany.  It is not really about relocation or a move across town (both of which I have made some very serious plays for). It is that I am having some angst at facing the next stage of my life.

Without my realizing it, I had completed a major part of my life cycle.
*Marry a great guy who "gets me" and makes killer blueberry waffles-check.
*Figure out what I want to be when I grow up-check.
*Deliver two amazing human beings into the world-check.

So into the throes of family planning was I, that, like a bride after her wedding day, I was unprepared for the emotional upheaval of mission accomplished.  Finally having put all of this together it is apparent that my real trouble was never with my locale (although I am not suddenly a  parka  lover) but a trouble with feeling that this family was at the end, out of options; our story written.


This feeling has me caused me to take stock of my "this".  "This" is what I wanted, planned for, made happen.  So, how do I like my "this"?  Is it everything I dreamed?  It damned well better be because it's all mine. The decisions on the biggies like; life partner, family configuration, career direction, etc are pretty much set, or at least in motion.  I know these things can be changed, but you get what I mean. I am  not choosing, building, deciding anymore.  The sheet rock is up and now I am  supposed to live in this bad boy. For the rest of my life. At least until I break a hip on my steep driveway and those two darling girls of mine ship me off to a nursing home.  My metaphors are getting sloppy and increasingly personal but I am still making my point.

But after dealing for some weeks with this discontent and existential discomfort (it seems dramatic to call it a crisis) I realized something very important. The magic and beauty of life is that many opportunities are around the bend.  I don't know if this family will ever live where it is warm enough for me to grow my own limes for a gin and tonic, or even if we will ever make it out of this current house as it seems to (dammit!) be meeting our needs just fine and (frick!) be very well built. But I know that there are fabulous trips in my future, wild successes, learning opportunities, and unforeseen joys that are mine for the seizing.

My answer to all of this weird perseverance is this declaration: "Universe, this family is open for business.  Throw something cool our way. We are game." And to show the universe my game face I am making a public resolution to take on a few of the things I have always wanted to try but have been too fearful.  I proclaim that by the end of this summer I will have done some of the following things (don't you just love reading about the hopes and dreams of others?): start learning Spanish, take a ballet class, enroll in a piano class, take a swim class towards the goal of doing a triathlon.  I am also signing up to write and receive an anonymous diary. (what this has to do with anything I am not sure, but it sounds pretty kick ass.) Crazy stuff, I know.  Hard telling what could come from this, but at least I won't be sitting around like Mrs. Havisham.

I want to hear your ideas for staying in love with your town and your life. Lay your wisdom down in the form of a comment.


  1. Your post came at a good time because I am feeling very blah. I feel like I'm stuck at the moment. I had to shut down my piano studio to move to Wichita and leave all of our beloved daytime activities/people behind. So pretty much my schedule went from rockin' to nobody is knockin'. I hope that made sense to you, because it did in my head. ANYWHO, my dang house is still not unpacked and that is definitely not helping my progress in connecting to my new town. I don't feel settled yet because I am still looking at dang ol' boxes. So after being inspired by your blog, I am going to finally face the monstrous task of finishing unpacking! That is step one. Step two, go to local library and do research on daytime activities for Jack & me. Step three, sign up for said daytime activities. Step four, come up with a game plan about when I can resume working/piano lessons.

    I've been putting all these things on hold due to a lack of motivation/depression. Kind of a Catch 22 I suppose because not accomplishing these things puts me into a greater depression.

    So thank you, blog girl. I am going to go get my butt in gear and look one of those ugly cardboard boxes in the eye.

  2. Inspiring people, it's just what I do. Seriously though, don't give me credit. It was only a matter of time before your naturally positive and sunny nature broke through the Wichita clouds.
    FYI anyone else-I am really interested in the question posed at the end of this entry. I am really wanting input on you how stay engaged, dynamic, and non-blah through the various incarnations of your self-hood.

  3. Read Mary Beth's post on house angst. When Mark and I ended up getting divorced, I spent A LOT of time on the question above. Unlike you, I did not get to neatly check anything off a list. My life happened unplanned and precariously. BUT, I love my life and feel immeasurable gratitude at what I have experienced, given life to and accomplished.

    My question actually became "What is it you intend to do with THE REST OF your one wild and precious life"?

    So, I came up with a mantra "Patience, Gratitude, Laughter, Joy" and decided that I wanted to spend the rest of my life in a state of HAPPY. So far, so good.

  4. Well, actually you too can check things neatly off a list when, like me, you make your lists retrospectively. Just think up some crap you did in the last 10 years and then make a list about it. It works nicely at the end of a day; a "done list" rather than a "to do list." I love your ideas on looking at your life through a chosen perspective rather than a set of accomplishments and wishes.


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