Sunday, November 13, 2011

WHAT AM I DOING ?.....and why does it matter

It is official.

I am having a midlife crisis.

Good news; I don't feel a need to buy a red sports car.
My car goal is to pay off the one I have: I love Hannah the Hyundai.

So what is this all about ?

It just hit me yesterday - but it's been coming on for a while.

A confluence of things I guess; turn the clocks back, first quarter of the school year over, a rapid visit upstate with the family, moving things around and OUT of storage; some shedding of goods and treasures that are no longer needed or treasured; beginning a new phase of my two year plan, reading day six of A Purpose Drive Life, by Rick Warren, and BAM. There it was.

WHAT AM I HERE TO DO - have I found out MY purpose yet, and why does it matter ?

Since I had had breast cancer, I thought I knew my purpose; to educate anyone who would listen to me about the Chemo Sensitivity and Resistance Assay and empower people to make well researched choices about health care. I have had opportunities to do that and its very rewarding.

But there is more.

There has to be.

There has to be more to life than rushing around, fitting everything into a schedule to pay bills and have a few bucks for brunch at the diner or libations on occasions with friends, ( both of which I enjoy beyond words), fill up the gas tank, and get back to work and run a treadmill. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I have been giving a LOT of though of where I am and where I will be in two, twelve and twenty years. I have come to learn that EVERY choice I make now is going to impact me for that long. It's rather daunting, actually. Cleaning and disposing of worldly goods has become a gesture meaning so much more. It's as if I have to make room for something; be ready for something...or is it maturity ?

Am I ready to get rid of what my mother not-so-lovlingly, but jokingly referred to as, "..those rags from high school," meaning my well heeled bohemian clothes and accessories. Is it the merging of those treasures from my childhood home and my life in NYC that is saying, "...ok, choices HAVE to be made, you cannot keep everything."

Or, is it just that there is too much stuff. How many tee shirts that I don't wear do I need ? Do I really, TRULY, need all those work out clothes that I don't work out in ? Just because I made that skirt in 1991, am I obligated to keep it ? I can sit here and REMEMBER when I made that skirt and why - does that mean I have to hang on to it ? Or, can I let it go...does it matter if I keep it or not ?

Is it the clutter of it or the fear of letting it go that will way on me ...and does it matter ?

Yes, it does. Within reason, you cannot build a new life with so much of the old one hanging on, hanging around and weighing like an albatross around your neck.

Ah - this is what I am doing - I am loosing weight; not on the scale, but on my soul.

Last week I deleted text message from summer 2010 - I hung onto them because I had thought they gave me joy to reread them; but realized, now, they only reminded me of disappointments. Let it go...they do not matter now.

I gave the thrift shop bags full of clothes, craft items and household goods at one time I believed I had to hang onto as reminders of past projects. No I didn't - I let them go - that was a week ago - and the exact list of WHAT I gave them is unclear, because, it does not matter now.

As a teacher, especially in these economic, "keep it cuz you may not get another " of it times, it enables my proclivity for pack rat like behaviors. But, as I see that I feel trapped by the weight of all of this stuff, I ask myself; "WHAT AM I DOING ?"

And as a matter of fact, in shedding the weight, the load, the excess and the goods, and giving them to others through various means, it does, indeed, matter.

A lot.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just because the dress fits...take a good look at the WHOLE image; and other little summer musings...

Did you catch that BIG full moon last in, just a few nights ago ? My friend called it, "Cosmo's moon," and it was true ! Creamy white on Thursday, golden on Friday and blush on Saturday - no wonder poets and scribes have written so much about it....ahhhh....

How's your summer ? Great I hope - I have a few stories for you from a whirlwind weekend...

While in Albany ever so briefly last week making a much needed bank deposit to truly stave off financial ruin, I happened into Mentor Closet, a nicely run/stocked consignment store. Browsing casually I came across a cotton dress that fell somewhere between "Stepford Wives" and bridal shower in the garden. With a good label, (Talbots), a great price, ($18) and a size smaller, I gleefully took it to the dressing room. SCORE ! It zipped, hung well and was all floral and light - and all wrong.

The style was that great 50's line - sleeveless, rounded scoop, fitted bodice, long zip up the back. Great look in a light floral with a background of white. Great look if you are 32. I took a long look at myself in the mirror. I wasn't fixated on my hips' width or my narrower waist, the length of the dress, or if my bustline revealed any anomolies.

I looked at the maturity of my face in this dress and could think of only one thing: "Mutton dressed as lamb."

For the first time, I admitted quietly, I was too "old" for something off the rack. I had out lived my demographic; I am not "21 Forever" at all. Regardless of the label, the cut, the craftsmanship the good fit or the price, the dress was wrong. Too late.

Sometimes just because the dress fits, it doesn't mean you should wear it. No matter, I have lots of other timeless rags to adorn myself with.

I shared this story with Kimberly Duryea whom I hadn't seen in nearly 20 years at breakfast the next morning. We giggled about it, but as I thought about it more, I realized it wasn't the end of the world. I still was ME, just with more experience. It's okay to not be 21, 32 or even 40 anymore. Time marches on and I am choosing to be happy about it and join the band !

Avocados; let's talk about avocados. I was invited to join an acquaintance for breakfast over the weekend. He served a resplendent impromptu spread with sliced avocado, cherries, strawberries and bread rounds with gourmet cheeses, prosciutto and salmon. It was delightful and WAY too rich for first thing in the morning - accompanied only by green tea. I was ill for the next six hours. Note to self; no avocados before 5pm !!

Regardless, his hospitality touched my heart and I enjoyed handwriting a thank you note to him. Yes, I omitted the post breakfast meeting consequences, but still, I was so touched by his generosity. It was truly a great experience.

Thanks, too, to David, who literally took me by the hand into the Atlantic to jump the waves. I had been ceremoniously knocked on my tuckus two years ago while holding his son's hand when a big wave crashed down on us - I lost contact with Jacob for what seemed like an eternity, my glasses and sun shield had been knocked off my face rendering me visually challenged, and I was unable to get up quickly with the undertow. I was never so frightened in my life. Since then, I did not go into the water beyond my knees - I had always had respect for the sea, but now I had bona fide fear. That ended this weekend. David's tutelage brought me back to waist high water where I jumped the waves, and learned to lean into them - much easier than diving by the way. Thank you, Dave, for reintroducing me to the joys of the sea.

Lastly, thanks to my brother Bill who so unselfishly has appointed himself handy man for my house in Qbury - he's an amazing guy - giving up an hour of his time here and there to fix this and that....and Steve, who has his back. And their WIVES !! Great people - all.

So many people to be grateful to and for; so many opportunities and choices.

Please, keep in touch..