Be still my beating heart. My brain hasn’t caught up to you just yet. I’ll get there. My brain and my heart will reach a peace agreement, an armistice of sorts, one day. It’s dawning on me that yes, we are the architects of our own life. We can do just about anything. But we can’t do everything. We can’t do everything. You can’t do everything. I can’t do everything. It’s a hard pill for me to swallow. Time is finite. You have to decide who, or what, gets yours. For now, I will make it work. I will find a way to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together. Pursuing your dreams takes blood, sweat and tears. You have to want it more than anything else in the world. But a soul that sings is worth the effort.
For now, real job will be during the day, doing what makes my soul sing will come after. I know that it’s a blessing to have a stable income to provide for my family. I totally get that and feel blessed beyond measure. My parents taught me to earn my keep, have fun doing it and play a good game; learning the importance of a solid work ethic has served me well. They also taught me that life is a giant board game. Take the pieces you’ve been given. Do your best with what you have. Play a good game. Leave the board in good shape. Don’t chew on the corners. Roll the dice every once in a while. And one day? One day we’ll have to pass on our chips. And holding on tighter won’t help at all. Our time at the board isn’t up to us. But our moves while we’re here, are. So it completely baffles me how many of us aren’t making our moves count. What gets in our way? It sounds harsh, but in my case, perhaps it’s greed. My husband and I could likely live off one salary. That would mean completely altering our spending habits.
And yet maybe it’s another sort of greed… that insatiable desire to be everything. I’ve been sitting on these thoughts for a while now. I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to share this or not. I don’t know — parts of it feel too personal. It doesn’t portray me in the best of lights. But then I remembered why I write in the first place… to have an honest account of my life. To put stuff down that I don’t want to ever forget. To have something I can share with my kids one day… stuff that isn’t all made up to make me look good. Rather life, as I remember it. I live by the code to always tell the truth. My sister informs me that when it comes to being honest, there are varying degrees of truth. She compares it to a cough lozenge. You can give someone the Vicks version, or a Fisherman’s Friend. Vicks, being slightly less invasive, tastes all right and is somewhat soothing. Fisherman’s Friend? It tastes like s**t. But it works much faster. And it’s likely better for you in the end. I fear I’m about to shove a Fisherman’s Friend down your throat.
So the truth? It goes something like this…
My desire to earn a solid income to help pay off our mortgage drives my behaviour. My desire to put away money for our children drives my behaviour. My desire to have money to travel the world with my family drives my behaviour. My desire to buy really nice shoes whenever I feel like it drives my behaviour. My desire to feel important, feel wanted, drives my behaviour. And my fear, yes it’s fear, of letting go of a big part of my life drives my behaviour.
I could also just call it fiscal sanity… the logical thing to do. That’d be the Vicks version. I guess we call it what we have to call it, in the hopes of making it palatable. After all, it takes a clever line to fool a yearning heart. Maybe the real culprits are vanity and pride… is my ego attached to my title at work? I don’t think so. But if I really scraped away at it, perhaps there is a tie that binds.
I’m going to make some changes. One day. As I blaze through my 30s, I’m attempting to line up my head with my heart. I suspect therein lies the key to eternal happiness. And it’ll happen for me. One day. And yet, after thinking all of this through, it hit me, like a wooden bat upside the head. What if I don’t make it to that one day? Why do I take for granted that I’ll always have that one day? We all hope for it. That’s a given. We all hope to make it through our 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s in one piece. Retire… punt our children from the nest. Make it through to the other side with the same convictions, drive and determination. Have the chance to pursue what we’ve always longed to do.
But what if that day never comes? And if you do arrive, what if your energy levels don’t permit it? Even worse, what if we don’t get that one day to share everything we’ve always wanted to share with our children? We know we won’t be around forever; each day is a blessing, not a guarantee. But I do hope I’m around long enough to share what I know. What I think I know. That is, when they’re of an age that they care to hear about it. If I don’t make it to that one day, what would I want my children to know? What about real life would interest them?
To be continued… as one kind reader pointed out, my to-be-continued segments remind him of TV programs from the ’80s, when you’d be in a blind panic to get home on time to watch Part 2 of some miniseries you had started watching. Once home, you then had to remember which of the three channels it was on so you could adjust the antenna accordingly. All this and hold your pee until the commericals. If you’re under the age of 25 and reading this, move on. You’ll likely just think I’m making this stuff up. †