Lately, I pretty much always think I can’t.
As someone who was raised on the belief that if you work hard enough, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to, my adult life has been filled with sobering lessons to the contrary. As much as I would like to believe I can fight my way through any obstacles that are put in my path, I see that this is colossally not true. At a certain point, I think it is worthwhile to stop raging against the windmills and just stop.
So I have stopped.
And I have become surprisingly good at inertia.
After years of being the most organized, the most goal-oriented, the most type-A girl around, I am now the least of everything. And I don’t really have the mental energy to even care.
Some people look at me now and say I am taking a break. I look at me now and say I am broken.
In truth, though, it’s a matter of semantics.
A few weeks ago I went outside to pull weeds from my empty garden beds. There wasn’t any real purpose to the activity, except that I was craving more emptiness and the weeds were interfering with my blank canvas. So for several hours I sat in the dirt and just destroyed one plant after another. I thought back to the garden in Michigan, and what a contrast it was to pull weeds to allow food to grow, versus ripping out stuff just for the sake of killing things. If I could’ve napalmed everything here, I might have done that too, but getting down to the dirt was pretty darn satisfying.
Last week, I went for a pedicure. I’ve never done that before, and I thought maybe if I did something that was about as unlike me as I could get, perhaps it would rattle my brains so much it would knock me into reset. I had a lovely chat with the lady there (who was touching my feet, which incidentally is icky to begin with…), but other than that, I left with the same me I went in with. I guess it will take more than $20 to snap me out of this mindset…
I took myself shopping, vowing to buy whatever caught my fancy, thinking maybe I just needed to treat myself to something or other. Like the Supreme Court’s definition of pornography, I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking for, but I was thinking maybe I would know it when I saw it. I ended up buying some much-needed clothing for several of my kids, but didn’t really find anything for myself. And after a few hours of trying to channel my inner pampered lady (which apparently doesn’t exist), I went home exhausted and with a blaring migraine.
I’m still casting around trying to figure out what might light my fire again, but so far I haven’t been able to nail it down. I guess the good news is that I haven’t totally given up on the idea that the solution is out there somewhere. I’m wondering if maybe it’s simply a function of getting older that one just becomes more blah about things, but it seems like there are plenty of people out there who are much older than I am who still have plenty of passion in their lives.
There is a Shel Silverstein poem I remember (I think called Lazy Jane) about a girl who is so lazy that when she wants a drink of water she just lays there with her mouth open and waits for it to rain. That’s kind of how I feel lately. Like I’m just in a holding pattern in my own life, waiting for something to shift, but with no clear idea of how to bring that about. Meanwhile, even though I live in Seattle, there is no rain in the forecast any time in the forseeable future.
Not sure what to do about that…