Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I I think I've come to the age of foresight. I think about my future a lot more than I use to.

When I was younger I never worried about what was to come. I knew I had time to do it all over again. I had an infinite number of restarts and do-overs. While I don't fear restarts or do-overs, I don't waste such efforts carelessly. 

I feel as though I'm gaining strength back, physical, mental and emotional. After years of stress from my relationship and work, I thought I just couldn't deal anymore. Now, working in what many consider a high stress job, I seem to be doing fine. I just needed a time out to reset and do-over.

And that brings me back to foresight. In my 20's I just wanted to get to my apex. I climbed, I struggled, I fought my way up a mountain of achievement. (I know, that's a lot of metaphors, even for me.) in my 30s I was mired by my own expectations of achievement as well as the expectations of others. I had a reputation of doing the impossible, but those feats came at a cost. I would ruin myself to make shit happen. 

Now, in my 40's maybe I know better. I pace myself. I set better expectations for myself and I'm much more forgiving for my own failures. In fact, while I don't strive for failure, I embrace it when it happens. I know there's a lesson to be learned. Maybe this is the beginning of wisdom. 

If it is the beginning of wisdom, then I hope it serves me well. I believe it will. And maybe that's the value of foresight, being able to see what good that failures can produce. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Doing well-ish

I was feeling good. Real good. All the things seemed to be going well, but the universe is funny that way. All my things are still going well, but the rest of the world it seems is in chaos. I can't help but feel guilt for not doing more, not caring more than I do, and for distracting myself from the horrors  others must face right now. I just want to be ok.

I'm feeling centered for a change. I feel like I'm on a good path, but still have options. The cooking thing is hard physically, but I noticed this week that I've turned a corner. I'm not all body sore at the end of my shifts now, and I can get through a night with minimal errors. I'm coming into my own as a line cook, learning some best practices and employing skills I've honed for years. It feels good.

And, although I'm not in Canada this year with my beloved, whom I miss like crazy, I know that time on my own is important. He knows that too, and doesn't fault me for my decisions. I'm so very lucky that way.

Life overall is good for me right now. I think this is why I feel so guilty for not being involved in some way, for not doing more or saying more. But what can I say about a situation that is so multiply layered and complex? Of course I feel empathy for the people of Paris, but also for the people of Afghanistan, and Beruit, and Syria and every other country that lives with terrorism and the instability it causes. But we don't tend to mourn all of those lives in the same way, and I hate that in the same way I hate that people of color are treated differently by law enforcement officers in many places.

For us to be better people, for us to show the world how great we are, it's not always about showing military might and a use of force. As a people at least, we would do better to show that we can have empathy for those that don't look like us, and who don't share trends in music or fashion. We would do better to show that we mourn for every life that's taken or the sake of an agenda or ideal. 

I'm doing really good right now. I wish the rest of the world was doing the same.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Do Things Make Us Whole?

We got a delivery yesterday. Mine and Wyatt's portion of the household goods from what we left in Japan. Having moved more than a few times, I know this ritual well. Packages arrive, and all of a sudden it's Christmas. There's unwrapping, and "oos" and "oohs". The euphoria of reuniting with possessions is soon followed by confusion. First there the physical confusion. Labeled boxes everywhere holding things you've been doing without. But, that leads to another confusion that makes one wonder, "why do I have all this stuff?"

This particular reunification is ironic, because it's a metaphor for the end of a former union. It's one of the last remnants of two lives that were once bound and now are going separate ways. Looking at what arrived, most of these things are steeped in my own memories as opposed to those that I shared with my spouse. 

In some ways I feel like all these things coming back to me is a final step in becoming my own person again. But I know that things do not make me whole. I've been on this journey, back to myself for a long time. I'm glad I found me again. And although things can be reminders of how I got here, they don't define me. I am who I am because of all I've experienced, and all I've endured. I've made mistakes and learned from them. I've also made achievements and learned not to mistake them for happiness or life satisfaction.

Part of the unpacking process will be deciding what to keep and what to donate. It's a good exercise and an even better reminder of what's important and what's clutter.