I write dark things...
Time is a funny thing–moments and memories strung together in at times a haphazard fashion. We’re always seeking more. Living for the next weekend. The next vacation. The next day off when we can run away from work and finally relax and do all of those things we can’t do today. There’s a burning, unquenchable thirst to escape the tedium which won’t be slaked.
I’ve blogged about time management before, making to-do lists, productivity, and so forth. Yes, planning your roadmap is critical. It lets you know where you’re headed and what you need to do to meet your goals, both short and long-term.
Let me share a little secret with you: tomorrow doesn’t exist. Yesterday? It’s a relic you can talk about over wine and cheese with friends, but never visit. All you have is this moment. Now.
Never underestimate the powerful gift of now. When you surrender allow yourself this moment, your ability to focus amplifies and all other distractions fade away.
In a hedonistic sense, this is choosing to live fully within your skin. Owning your choices, good or bad, and handling each moment with as much grace and acceptance as possible. When you’re no longer fighting the present moment, each task eases. Instead of wishing to be somewhere else you can embrace the joy available in your current activity. Yeah, work may not be your ideal of sipping margaritas on a beach, but the fact is you can’t live on the beach every day. All of us live in a task-driven universe, with expectations–both external and internal–everyday. We can choose the joy in every moment or we can lose ourselves to a nonexistent reality of a tomorrow which may never materialize.
Joy is a choice. I invite you, in the moments of frustration and irritation, to seek it out.
No, it’s not easy. Life is imperfect, messy and sometimes painful. But if you don’t live it, immerse yourself in it, you’re missing the ride.
On rare nights my son and I enjoy a cuddly night watching TV together — neither one of us tends to slow down long enough to spend a ‘night’ watching television. When we do, it’s something akin to an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3K, where we heckle the actors and pick apart the shows at length. The experience is more about our discussion than what we’re watching.
This week we were watching a series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes on Logo, because he’s into the superhero gal and all things Whedon. He’s learning 101 ways to kill a vampire, and can’t figure out why wood is so magically powerful against them. We go a few rounds on this one. He’s pretty sure not all wood is strong enough to penetrate a super-strong undead being’s flesh, and I’m thinking he’s got a point. He’s been reading too much Harry Potter and worrying about Ollivander’s wand selections. I digress…
An ad for the show “1 gal, 5 gays” comes on the air. It’s a funny ad, catchy. My son takes offense. “Why’s the show called that?” he asks. I’m a little unclear–not sure what he’s asking–a common parental issue. I explain sexual orientation, which I know he’s already familiar with, because we have relatives who are lesbians. He gets worked up, his face twists with a frown and he puffs out, “It’s silly. They should just call the show, ‘1 gal, 5 guys’. Why would they do that?”
He’s got a point.
I understand the marketing department needing to communicate to the consumer the focus of the show. I get a lot of things about labels. There’s great pride in owning and reclaiming all of your identity and in being able to support others of like mind. I know through my blog I’ve connected to other people with epilepsy because I’ve stood up and owned that label as my own. It’s a powerful and amazing feeling. I’m not against a person’s right to champion their causes, but I do question our cultural need to place others convenient buckets instead of discovering them as people.
My son lives in a world where many labels happily don’t register on his radar–it’s wonderful to witness, and a great reminder to question and reset assumptions when needed. I’m reminded of the ongoing discussions about legalizing “gay marriage” while others refer to the same topic as “marriage equality”.
The words we use form the reality we live in. When filled with labels which intentionally marginalize, we deliberately divide our culture. When we choose inclusive, non-hateful language, we instead build a framework to rediscover ourselves through each other.
Anyway, I’ve taken another look at my own labels, and making sure the ones I wear are self-chosen. How about you? Anything you need to peel off?
My father passed this past week, peacefully and painlessly. He’d been in home hospice for a time, having survived a fight with chronic lymphocytic leukemia but lost to the chemotherapy and resulting pneumonia and immune system destruction. Cancer, and chemo suck. On this we all agree.
I’ve been asked, on more than one occasion, how I manage to multitask between a day job, winery, writing, and family life. Why do I take on so much? What drives me?
About a month ago I spoke with my father and his frustrations over ‘laying around doing nothing.’ He despised his inability to be productive and perceived his incomplete projects as signs of failure. I had to remind him, the psychologist, that no matter when he’d become infirm, something would have been left undone, because he always had so many things on his plate. Even at 77. He loved keeping busy.
He was, always and ever, fully engaged in life. It may not have been the choices you or I would have made, but he dove in and in the process touched countless lives.
After his passing my son shared the following poem with my husband:
An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.
My son explained how we’re the frog, and our life is the pond. The splash is the impact we have, and we only have this one jump to do it right, so you have to splash HARD! Really commit to that moment, because you don’t know until afterwards who you’re going to get wet.
He’s eight, but he gets it.
I choose where I commit my energy, and then go all in. There are no halfway points for me. Once you commit yourself fully to your jump, you’ll discover how your mind settles in to support you. (And often, everyone around you. Enthusiasm is contagious.) I promise.
Now get out of here and get on with your splash.
This goes out to my heroine, Meri (Meriwether) Storm in the Daemon Whisperer. She manages to get cursed by a Lust Daemon, and so the theme of being a bit ‘Love Drunk’ and dealing with the ‘hangover’ of love truly fits for her.
Listen to the lyrics more than the video, which is oddly not in synch. Enjoy!
When you stretch to your limit and begin to feel the discomfort set in, instead of pulling back, push farther. Push beyond where you’ve gone before. Beyond the places you know well and the ground you’ve previously covered. Push into your unknown.
Then you’ll begin to sense your full potential. Only then.
Friends love to give you advice when you’re in a tight spot. No matter how good the advice, or how well-intentioned, they aren’t in your shoes. Their advice comes from a certain perspective, and it’s completely valid, but not necessarily for you.
You are under no obligation to follow it if it doesn’t fit your needs. I think this is harder for women in relationships, fearing a backlash or loss of friendship. Making your own decisions doesn’t lessen your friendship. It doesn’t speak poorly of them, or how you value them. If they don’t respect this, it’s their loss, not yours.
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