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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Whose Life Is It, Anyway?

I looked up at the clock and it had gone from 9:08 to 10:39, and I had barely noticed. Sometimes I feel as though I could spend all day, every day, reading other people's blogs. Who wants to read about other people's lives instead of living their own? Apparently, I do.

This realization begs the question - why? Well, obviously because I am supremely dissatisfied with my own. Surely this is not good for my mental health. But what to do about it?

I recognized my dissatisfaction a few weeks ago, and resolved to move to the Canon land, if for no other reason that to quench my city created thirst with that wondrous view, and to cut some of the numerous dead trees we will burn for heat. I knew I would miss the boys, but maybe they would come down with Mikey. I had hope.

Meaningful work - maybe that's what I miss. Housekeeping is necessary, but repetitive and boring. Alas, that plan has come to a screeching halt by our slip-sliding adventure in the truck after Christmas. It is just not safe, especially for me by myself with an increasingly variable set of palpitations. And so I sit and read other people's blogs and dream of pit greenhouse and swales collecting snow melt and ponds and ducks and fruit trees and hazelnut bushes.

I was raised in various suburbs as an Army brat. For years after reaching adulthood, I would get "itchy suitcase syndrome" if I lived too long in one place. Then After Kids, I craved to be home, which was wherever my dad was. And he was in Colorado Springs. So home I went.

Life was stressful as a single parent, but doable only because of his existence next door. And then, when I was 36 going on 8, he died. Nothing has ever been the same since - well, how could it be? It is different now without him - but I have been surprised at how the pain of his absence and the one  rock solid love I could count on have become things I have learned to do without. I think, if you let it, time can heal a lot of wounds.

I think that having to get up each morning for the boys lent a stability to my life that I desperately needed. Thanks, fellas. You also helped me force myself to be a better person, because I couldn't just continue on being that big selfish jerk. I loved you too much - more than I knew was possible. I'm profoundly, sincerely sorry it took so long.

The older I get, the weirder I get. I don't know if this is true with most other people. I wish I did know. It might make me feel better. In my youth, it was much easier to "act". I was an actor, after all. Amateur theater, but none the less, theater, and lots of it. I could be in large groups of people and be OK. Now, I just get tired. Like they are stealing my precious energy. And for what? What do I gain? Unless the group is a choir, nothing. I have about 12 people in my life - that's it. And if you put them all together in the same room, even though I love them all, I don't know how long I could stay, comfortably.

I spent as much of my youth as my dad's Army career allowed in the company of horses. They were never frightening to me - just gentle giants. I loved the crappy little ranch where I learned to ride at age 3. My parents loved to tell the story of how we all went WAY out to Black Forest to look at a horse they were thinking of buying for me because I was so horse crazy. (So was Daddy.) The small black mare stood quietly while I was lifted up on to her bare back. Then I gave a good kick and off we went, at a full gallop, through the pine trees. My folks were scared to death - what had they done? But Trixie and I just went for a lope in the forest, and everything was fine. Up until her wretched death, everything between us was fine.

Some part of that kid is desperate to get back to the land where the houses are widely spaced and you can stop and look at the native grasses at your feet and look up and see the birds cruising and feel free.