Thursday, May 7, 2015

Searching for the Presence of Mind

Mind dump.

It's been too long since my last post. A semester circus full of monkeys and two more linger before I can declare a clean break from it. One look at my March/April calendar on any week demonstrated my inability to grasp the reality that at 50 years old, I no longer have the same energy that sustained me through grad school, internships, five simultaneous orchestras a season, multiple adjunct gigs, serving on a festival board and redoing a kitchen all before twins. I was trained to sustain 60+ hour weeks. 40 hours of work was being lazy. If I was going to be noticed, it had to be through hard work, over extending myself and constant work. I never practiced enough, made enough reeds, read enough, wrote enough, cleaned enough, cooked enough, worked out enough.

Jack of many trades. And who really cared?

All of this work to just be noticed. This embarrassing busy-ness of my life actually becomes the thing that fuels my resentment. At 50 years old, I now see how I've allowed this kind of anger to fester. If identifying the cause of the problem is the first step towards a solution, I need a few months of badly needed reflection to find a new balance.

It takes the death of the high school classmate to slap some sense into me. He wasn't a close friend; but I've been reading his tributes on Facebook during his last days with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. His funeral is May 15th; I really wish I could be there. I ache for the same lake that drew him back home.

I didn't know him well during high school. That was the beginning of my "Busy-ness Therapy" to distract me from my own pain of losing my dad and never feeling like I was good enough.

According to people who knew him better, his life code was, "Help people. Love people. That's all that matters." Here's a story about him that ran in my hometown newspaper on May 5th.

I think it's time I also gave some thought to help me, and love me. Not in an ego-maniacal way. Not in the way that it always sounds like; when I think it - annoyingly self-centered and a pain in the butt little sister who's always in the way. Just accepting who and what I am. Because I think there's something in that where I can find peace. And I don't know why it's so damned hard.

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