Sunday, April 05, 2015

An Afternoon's Pause

It's in the upper sixties here and spring is trying its best to show everyone it didn't sleep in. The sun is bright, the birds are chirping, and I saw a bicyclist almost get killed by a Mercedes. Happy Easter!

I have, during this Easter Sunday afternoon, the briefest of pauses. It's been hectic up to this week and I start a new/old job tomorrow morning. But for the space of a few hours after my Easter gig, I have no responsibilities.

That tends to be good and bad.

It's good, because it's nice to just sit with my windows open, reflecting on life. Today, at the Easter mass -- full of descriptions of eternal life and resurrection -- a man collapsed on the main floor and was hastily ambulanced to a nearby hospital. It served as a healthy reminder of the here and now, in the midst of all the high-minded religious fervor.

Earlier this week, my nephew was born. He was slightly early, and in abundance of caution, he's spent all the days since in the NICU, getting pampered as much as one can be before solid food and massages are appealing. Since even in the modern era childbirth is by no means a cakewalk, it's a good result, and is one of those events that causes me to let out a breath I didn't realize I was holding.

The "good" of no responsibilities continues: I'm in reasonably good health, barring a nagging shoulder pain that now lessens by the day. What was it? Should I have gone to the doctor? Probably. But it's improving, so I now have the privilege of shrugging it off. Not literally, though: my shoulders are still a bit tight.

And I don't need to prepare anything for tomorrow's first day, aside of a bit of laundry, so yet more weight removed from my poor poor shoulders (figuratively).

But then there's the bad.

I've found the bad to be something that sneaks up on me, like a rising tide. Sure, there's water near my feet, but so what? It's the beach! But then there's more water. And more. And then the cooler is floating away.

It's the bad of being left to exist in my own head. "But wait!" I hear you cry. "Don't you live by yourself?" Indeed! But I'm not always left twiddle thumbs; usually, I've got a bit of purpose and nothing helps keep the bad away like a purpose.

In the recent past, I've been very tied up in being available for friends. Friends who were making their way against heavy obstacles. Nothing provides me with a sense of purpose like helping someone else. It's definitely my guiding star.

But it's also my Achilles heel. Once people move their houses, put the demons at bay, and edit all their papers for spelling mistakes, I'm sort of... less. It puts me in a position to consider my own life, which I don't always care to do, thank you very much!

Adding to that feeling of... less-ness, the world insists on paying me for things I don't particularly care to do, and not paying me for things I enjoy immensely. Is this how life works? Boy, aren't all of us in a terrible place!

That tends to put my self-opinion into all kinds of weird tangles. How am I supposed to feel about the stuff I work hard on being unvalued, while others clamber to bring things to my attention that I care very little about?

And then relationships. I'm metaphorically trapped in a boat on a river, rapidly approaching the turbulent waterfall. And instead of paddling toward the shore, I just keep thinking, "Well, I've always liked being on the water. And maybe things will change! Isn't the churning of the water refreshing?" Future Spoiler: I don't think it's going to change. Waterfalls don't suddenly turn into calm streams.

So I'm glad to have a regular job again, if for no reason other than giving me something to think about. Also, I tend to write more when I'm busy, so it's good news for blog-lovers, too. I'll meet you all at the next pause, in about a month's time.

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