Yesterday was a gorgeous, sunny summer Saturday, and a glorious day to be out and about doing summer things. Today. . .not so much. Pouring rain, and cold. I've spent the entire day catching up on some reading, much of it in my jammies. There are so many days that the skies just say "don't get out of bed," and yet so few when I can actually listen.
Among the things I've read today were the first three chapters of Randy Pausch's book "The Last Lecture." I cried through every page, although the book itself is very uplifting. The premise goes to one of my deepest fears, which is why I found it so disturbing even though it's not meant to be. The idea of my husband dying and leaving me terrifies me. I think it's because his own father died at a young age. . .I have always worried the same fate will befall him. I am nonetheless determined to work my way through the book, despite how sad I am finding it. I need to find a way to put my fears to rest, as they are simply not useful.
There are so many feelings that I've been experiencing that I have realized are no longer serving me. I've also spent some time catching up on blogs today. I was particularly struck by this post:
I want each year of my life to get better and better, to live up to the bumper sticker picked out years ago by a friend from an English class that says "Destined to be an old woman with no regrets". On the sticker is a woman at the beach wearing a one piece suit and a floppy wide-brimmed hat, waving in a care-free "Mary Tyler Moore" moment.
I want to be her. The woman who lived and lived well. Who sucked up every horrible terrible moment, set them beside all the laughter and smiles and love, and declared her adventure of a life, equal and balanced. I want to be the one who at the end of her days, casually waves it all away like a dream and sends her spirit, her soul out into the energy of the Universe to be mixed, melded and dispersed with everyone else. To be everything and nothing all at the same time.
I am in something of an in-between place right now on so many levels. I have some sense of where I want to go, but no idea whether I will actually get there. I know what I really want, but I'm not sure if it can be achieved, both personally and professionally. And in some respects, I feel held back and weighed down by so many thoughts and feelings and issues big and little.
As I mused over the above post and read throughout the day, it all became clear to me. I need to just face the things that are weighing me down. I need to figure out how to cast them off of me. I have been waiting for the right time, thinking things will sort themselves out, thinking that if I wait a bit longer, I will have more time in my schedule to deal with all of it, or that it will just fall away. But it's been six months that I've felt this way, and it's clear that it's simply not going to happen on its own. In some aspects of my life, I've become a passive observer, and that just doesn't work.
If I want to truly have lived a life without any regrets, if I am to be that old woman who has LIVED, then I need to make some things happen for myself RIGHT NOW. I believe that if you want something in this life and you work to make it happen for yourself, you will get it. You might not get it exactly how you thought you were going to get it, but you'll get it just the same. It's so easy, though, to get complacent and stop actively pursuing what you want, and that's sort of where I've been lately.
I have almost three weeks of vacation time that I haven't taken. It expires in five months. Tomorrow when I go to work, I'm going to arrange to take a week in early July. I'm going to spend that week casting off the bow lines. The issues, the problems, the things weighing me down are not enormous. They are not insurmountable. They just need time and attention and dedication and commitment, and a week of that should be more than enough. I both dread it and look forward to the freedom that I expect I will feel when every last demon has been vanquished.