Friday, December 30, 2005

the inbetween time - wanting striving and failing

Between Christmas and New Year is so w e i r d a space. Its the time that people start making resolutions, change job, get fit, move. I too used to make resolutions often to 'have more fun' in a life raining down with obligations. But its not specific enough and often I'd get to the end of the year and realise I'd had very little 'fun' let alone a big belly laugh on a regular basis.

I was lying in bed last night doing a mental inventory of my friends (prompted by seeing a friend on Wednesday who I was shocked to discover we hadn't seen each other for 6 months). Everybody I know has been walking slowly through the most horendous 'challenges' this year. Relatives dying of cancer, 3 breast cancer scares, degenerative blindness, a sister with breast cancer a brother with Hodgekins lymphoma (both brother and sister to the same friend), infertility, coping with parents growing older... I suddenly realised I had one friend without a major 'challenge' in her life and then remembered her cousin with the inoperable brain tumor!

We all have problems and one of the way we get through them is being a kindly presence with each other. Bearing witness to what we go through. I'm not good at this - when did I ever get the life lesson on how to help someone facing potential blindness? Was that one of the days I missed at school? I can only bring my ordinary human broken patched together wanting striving and failing self.

This year I've decided that my resolution is to be the imperfectly human me I am. Just as I am.

The friend I met (I wrote and erased a list of her 'challenges' it was too long!) said that after a close relative dying of cancer slowly and painfully over many months that her resolution was to stop putting off the things she loved doing but had put aside due to a focus on her work. She drew up plans for riding and skating in the coming year. Energetic outdoor activities she'd given up in her striving in her career.

What a challenge! I realise that I've been so focused on surviving the past two years I'm not entirely sure if I could write a list of things to do that would make me happy. Currently my list contains things I would like NOT to do. This is my second resolution. Remember and rediscover all the things that make me happy and do them and not let them get lost in the business of living.

3 comments:

SnakeHairedGirl said...

I read you often because I love your creative insight. Happy new year to you and yours.

m said...

Dear Snakehairedgirl

Hogmanay Greetings from Scotland! I pop in to see you too in the virtual blog cafe.

I hope that 2006 is good to you.

love m

hendrix said...

I haven't...been walking through horrendous changes (apart from the growing older one and that's why God invented make up, plastic surgery, good underwear, dimmer switches and photoshop) so you do know one person without a major challenge in their life. Perhaps I need (a slight non threatening to me and mine) one to remind me how very lucky I am to be alive in such an amazingly beautiful world. Sure there are things I'd like to change, things I want to accomplish and bits I need to work on but every bad, horrible and hurtful thing that touches you even from a distance - teaches you something, if you're willing to learn from it.

All you can ever be is there for someone. The "ordinary human broken patched together wanting striving and failing self"is not imperfect but perfect because it's what makes you, you (or me, me or them them!) The striving, wanting and failing is what makes you able to give (and receive)love.

Think of all the "perfect" people you know. Apart from the fact that it will be a very short list does it not sum up someone who is cold? robotic? an automan. Who the hell wants love, sympathy and empathy from a robot?

Have a brilliant year M. Don't wish to be anything other then yourself. Don't do anything that doesn't feel right. (NB. I'm not saying don't do anything that doesn't make you happy - often the things in life that feel right aren't the things that make us happy, their reward is quieter and slower in coming than instant gratification.) Go with your gut feeling, your intrinsic knowledge of what is right (and that's your knowledge of what is right not the world's cos often the 2 will be wildly different!) and you won't go wrong.