Wednesday, August 1, 2007

August and Stuff.

Laurie's ability to express the inner workings of her mind in a way that makes her readers identify with every word, and love her for it, just takes my breath away - damn, she's a terrific writer. She got me with this one, again. Especially the part about living your life "waiting until...."

We all "wait until" to some degree. We have to, it's a requirement of Modern Life. This Live in the Moment, Mindful, Be Here Now is fabulous in theory, but doesn't work in a world governed by Outlook Calendars and Franklin Covey, and scheduling vacation days at least two weeks in advance, and paydays and doctor's appointments, and it takes three weeks to get friends together for Happy Hour. We have the life we are living now, with meetings and laundry and cat boxes and the gym, and we have the promise of the future, where more interesting things will happen. And the trick is to be mindful and appreciate the life that is grounded in meetings and laundry and cat boxes and the gym.

It seems like the best I can manage, when I'm really trying, is "One foot in the moment, and the other poised to take the next step." I clean the cat box and make list of things I have to do before I can put the house on the market. I go to work every day and think about what career change I want to make. And I have to remind myself to take a look at the foot that's in the moment now and then. And sometimes that next step is off into the unknown. That's where I'm standing now. I need, I crave, I gotta have, a major change in my life, and I want it Now, but I have to wait until the gears of the machine that is modern life turn a few more notches. And maybe by the time the gears turn I'll have an idea of where I'm going and what I'm doing, because right now I have dreams and intentions, which I can't talk about, because those books about dreams, intentions and the Law of Attraction always warn you not to talk about it until it materializes. I'm thinking this may be because if you go around talking about what you are trying to attract to yourself, your nearest and dearest may drop a net over you.

Laurie's smarter than me, she figured out this stuff about "waiting until" without a ruptured brain aneurysm to make the point. I can't say I've learned too much wisdom in this life of mine, but one point that has been hammered in hard is that we aren't guaranteed a Later, and all we really have is now. My husband died at the same age I am right now. I damn near died in February, but against the odds, I got a second chance. And five months later, I'm still trying to figure out what to do with it. And maybe what I'm supposed to do with it is just what I am doing, but it doesn't seem worth the quarter million in medical bills that got me here.

Holding onto Stuff - that's not really a problem for me for sentimental reasons, my roadblock is my upbringing - "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without." You don't see "Give it to Goodwill or just throw the damn thing out" in that little rhyme, do you? I have "I spent good money on this!" guilt when I start weeding through my Stuff. I don't want to keep it but I hate the thought of "wasting" it, so I want to pass it on to someone else, so at least I don't feel like I bought something that ended up in a landfill for the next 10,000 years. I've made umpteen trips to Goodwill, I've donated furniture to two other organizations, and I've had a garage sale, and I'm still weeding out Stuff. Tonight is Garbage Eve, and I should celebrate the festivities by filling at least a couple of extra bags with things that really aren't even Goodwill material, and sing to drown out that voice in my head that says "Somebody might be able to use that!" and put the Stuff out by the curb.

And it strikes me as humorous, when I'm being mindful and "living in the moment," that I'm talking about an evening of loading trash bags. I survived a ruptured brain aneurysm for this? Dr. SL put my brain back together perfectly so I could listen to Keith Olbermann while bagging random crap from the back of my closet? That's the downside of this mindfulness business, sometimes I truly get into the moment and the moment I'm in is like watching paint dry, and I think, "THIS is my life?" And then I reach for the gratitude, because yes, I really am grateful that I am alive and well and able to spend a rainy Wednesday evening bagging trash. Because if I'd died, Girlchild would be stuck doing this, and God knows, it'd never get done. Clearly, the Universe has a plan for me, and it involves many large Glad bags. At least, in the moment in which I'm living right now, that's what I'm here to do, and I'm grateful to be here to do it.


Ginnie said...

I am a combo of both, the sentimental keeper and the frugal, use it up keeper. She is such an eloquent woman and somedays can just crack me up, and some days just reach in a grab your heart, and some days, she can do both. I dot he same thing, my life will be just right in another town or another house or another job, or at another weight. But it is the same me, just in a different place.

Vicki said...

I'm with you - she got me good on that one. I went through a time like that when all I could think about was Is this all there is? If so, I was robbed. And then, I almost lost my daughter when, as it turned out, her tubal pregnancy ruptured. Hello? Wake up call! I don't mind the cat box, the never ending laundry, the twenty eleven annoying jerks of everyday life. Ok, maybe the jerks a little. But, my point is I try very hard to live and soak up life. It feels great to just enjoy the little things. I know you understand that.

Sorry for the wordiness, as Laurie puts it. I look forward to reading your blog everyday. Hang in there and do something nice for yourself.