Friday, January 17, 2014

Relativity


I've felt light and buoyant all week, but this morning when I opened my eyes, I was aware of worrying about something, or many little things, and the air was heavier than it had been all week. Maybe I am just processing the fact that my lovely girl with her happy spirit returns to college in just two days, she has already begun to pack, and I'm going to miss her. She got offered, not one, but two summer internships this week, both of them paid, and she will have to decide which one she plans to take. This is a good problem to have! The truth is, if that girl walked into my office, all that light spilling off her, I would hire her on the spot. They're getting a good one, whoever she decides to go with.

My son also picked up another job at a sports club, and he starts on Sunday. He gets downcast sometimes at how tight money is, but he just needs to hang tough; his EMT course is almost finished and he'll be able to get a job in that once he's certified. That along with his job as a track and field coach, and now his lifeguarding job, should have him in better financial shape soon. This boy hates to be without his own money. 

Maybe that is what I am worrying about. Money. Everything related to having enough of it to meet our needs. I also have a long to-do list, most of which I punched through very efficiently this week, but now I have to find the doctor and have her call in a new prescription for physical therapy, and I have to send in Aunt Winnie's monthly bills to her disability trust, and my daughter and I have eye exams this afternoon, both of us needing new contacts and glasses, and it just feels as if the horizon is closing in. As if freedom, financial and otherwise, is a cheap tease. 

I just feel blah, and I look it, too. While I was in  Jamaica my skin glowed fresh in the tropical humidity. People even said to me, look at you, you have no lines on your face, but now that I am back in winter, the mirror shows me the lie of that. Aging is so cruel, my cousin Maureen said as she leafed through the program with youthful photos of my uncle at his memorial service last week (was it only last week?). My weight loss efforts have also stalled; it feels like a slog again, whereas I had been sort of sailing along for a while. I did have a sore spot on my gums that I feared was an abscess, but now that has healed and disappeared so no dentist needed, although I do have fond memories of the drugs they give you when they have to do work in your mouth. But they also give you a whopping bill behind that, so no thank you. 

I am wondering this morning what it must feel like to be independently wealthy, to not ever have to worry about money at all. Then again, I probably need to call back the consciousness that compared to many, I am wealthy. It is all heartbreakingly relative.

That photo up there, it cheers me up. I happened across it while looking for a photo to run with this post. My girl was 8 in that picture. She still makes such faces. Her cousin calls it her superpower.



15 comments:

  1. I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be one of those people who wake up every morning in basically the same cheerful mood. Would it be boring or would it be wonderful? How would you even appreciate the gift of it? But you, like me, will never know as we sail from emotion to emotion.
    Ah-lah. It is who we are.
    I know exactly what you mean about your daughter and that light. Some people are just bound to go through life being chosen because no one wants to pass up the opportunity to be around them. Is this fair? Who knows? But how wonderful it is to have children like this. It is a vastly wonderful gift which we know will serve them well throughout life. I'm sure your son has it as well.
    Drugs. Dental drugs. Is it wrong to say that I am grieving slightly for the drugs they gave me a week ago? No. It is not. Those drugs may well have saved my life.
    And when I'm in Cozumel, I look at least five years younger than I do here. I looked in the mirror a few weeks ago (entirely by accident, I assure you) and I was HORRIFIED.
    We go on.
    Love...Mary

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    1. Dear Mary, I remember once asking my husband could he feel his emotions shifting moment to moment, and he looked at me as if my head was cracked, so foreign a concept it was to him. Though he does have his periods of brooding sometimes, and they last for days, he is not moment to moment as I am. Nor is my daughter, it seems. My son, however, seems to have inherited my disposition, and my father's. My dad was a highly accomplished man even with his obsessive train of thought and hyper attention to detail, so I hope it will somehow serve my son, this disposition we both inherited. And my daughter, I pray, i really do that this light will be with her always. It's not that she's always cheerful, but she is always, always kind. And quick to laugh. Even when she's mad you can make her laugh. Ah yes, we go on. Hugs, sweet woman.

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    2. She will; she will be one of those octogenarians whom the whole family flock to celebrate the holidays, because it wouldn't be the holidays with out her light. If they can keep it from becoming jaded, they keep it always.

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  2. I worry about money, too. And time. I was telling Noah the other night how hard it is not to be able to immerse myself fully into writing. Some days I have to go to work. But even if I didn't, life would interrupt this work constantly. Sometimes it helps to remind myself of the Buddhist idea that life is not supposed to be perfect, and that the true cause of pain is the belief we should be free of it. Sometimes. I'm so happy for your daughter. And about those lines--I'm sure no one else notices them the way you do. I am certain of that.

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    1. Brittany, I absolutely needed to be reminded of that Buddhist idea, that the true cause of pain is the belief we should be free of it. There is another similar idea I love; I have mentioned it here: Love your pain, it won't last. And the writing, it is hard while mothering, but you will do it, because it is who you are, and you do it brilliantly. Much love, friend.

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  3. These ebbs and flows...with worry, money, weight, mood... Does it ever get any easier? I am on an ebb day (again? still?). Anyway, as I have said before, I do understand and I am sending you positive energy and love.

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    1. Ah Birdie, I don't think it ever gets any easier, only that some days we think about it in a way that causes less angst, and other days not. Thank you for the positive energy. Sending you love back. xo

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  4. i feel that way sometimes myself. like things would be so different if i was independently wealthy. but then i think, there's a certain sense of joy and self-love you experience once you accomplish something big on your own terms. that time will come. sooner than you think.

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    1. Candice, i know what you mean. But money, scads and scads of it, would be nice around now, I think. LOL.

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  5. When I was in college I had this silly envelope system. When I got paid I cashed my paycheck and put myself on a budget. Some money always went to savings and then I allotted a certain amount of money for food and entertainment and clothes, etc. I would put the money for each category in envelopes and when the money was gone, that was it. Sometimes I yearn for those times. I thought it was hard but it was nothing compared to today. When I bought my home I had a friend who said he would never own more than fit in his car. I thought he was nuts. Of course he owns a lot more than that now but I get it. If I kept my life simple, I would not have to worry about money the way i do. The more money I made, the less conscientious I became about following a budget and saving and I was always okay. I was never extravagant and my house was my only debt but I slowly stopped putting money in savings. Now, things are tough, really tough. When I work I get paid well but work has slowed considerably over the last 3 years and after being a consultant for 21 years, it has taken a toll on my self-esteem and obviously my finances. And finding a full-time position in what I do is nearly impossible as it is so specialized. I so get what you are feeling. The older you get the more responsibilities you have and it would be nice to slow down a little and do more of what you want to do. So I worry. And though I know that worry will get me nowhere, I still worry. And I too know that I am wealthy compared to a lot of other people yet I don't feel the gratitude the way I should. I have work to do on that and talking too much on your blog. On the bright side, I can absolutely guarantee you that your children will be successful and will be able to take care of themselves. And judging from how they are now, they will probably be able to take care of you and Aunt Winnie too. Sweet Jo

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    1. Sweet Jo, I have always been a little superstitious about money, thinking that if I don't worry about it, I won't have to. This has in fact always been the case, so, if this makes sense, I actually worry that I am worrying so much about money lately. Until now, I have secretly felt that having enough money was not the challenges of this life, that my challenges were more in the realm of emotions and relationships, but in the current world economy, I suppose we all need to worry a bit, unless of course we're Bill Gates. What do you consult on? I wish I knew more about you. You are such a wise and generous spirit. I love that you are here. xo

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    2. Angella - I am a qualitative market researcher. There are a lot of us out there but in the full time arena, there are few jobs at my level. These jobs always have need for quantitative expertise, which is just not my thing. Thank you for your kind words. I love being here!

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  6. You always have so much movement and transition in your life -- people coming and going, challenges and adjustments. It's no wonder you feel a bit worried or blah every once in a while. As for aging, it doesn't do any of us any favors. (Did you see those pictures of Tina Louise I linked to yesterday?!) I'm glad your gums don't need any work! Peace and happiness to you, Angella.

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    1. Steve, hmmm, i forget sometimes that there is so much flux. But don't we all deal with that? Do I seem to deal with it more than others? You have given me much food for thought with this comment my friend. Thanks for the good wishes!

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    2. I think you are so deeply connected to so many members of your family that yes, you experience all the changes in their lives more than some of the rest of us. For example, I barely know my aunts and uncles -- I didn't grow up being close with any of them -- and I only see my cousins on Facebook. Of course I realize a memorial service is a sort of reunion event, but I still think you're more connected overall, and thus more exposed (and rewarded!) by those family connections. Does that make sense?

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