Warning... today's post is not happy or uplifting. If you choose to read on (not really recommended) it'll either make you feel superior, what with my drolling druthers, or it'll ruin your day. I'm hoping for the latter because misery likes company. Oh, but the pictures are purdy. You can just look at the purdy pictures.
Every once in a while I say, "This is it" as in "This is it?" I have battled my way through the first 25-years of my life – a life of hell, mind you – to spend my days as a tiny, insignificant cog, churning about in the parent, career, church, and society machine? This is it?
(Just bare with me while I work this out, kay? I have no idea where this is going.)
It's my attitude, right? It must be. Life is about attitude. Believe and achieve! What you think you become! Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Life is what you make it! Nothing is impossible!
Thing is, I see my kids two or three hours a day. I see the Spouse less. And when I see the three, I have to share them with various interludes; interludes that as of right now, take precedence. Interludes like work, and homework, and friends, and piano, and church, and household chores. Not to mention the interruptions that just show up and say "Here I am! Deal with me! I know you have stuff you're trying to do, but I'm here and I'm more important so give me attention and do something for me or else you're being rude!"
It's all enough to squeeze every last bit of air out of my mid-life inflatable lifeboat.
(Remind me to build my next midlife lifeboat out steel.)
I'm not lazy. I'm not a quitter. I have the will of a giant. Anything I want, I will get – through stubbornness alone – all I need is the want. But therein lies the problem. The want is gone. Gone, gone. I don't want anything. I don't want food. I don't want a house. I don't want a vacation. I don't want more time. I don't want more friends. I don't want to ski. I don't want to run. I don't want to have fun. I don't want... anything... except the one thing I cannot have.
What do I want? I want more time with the people I love. More time to watch, interact, and be –without the distraction of having to "get something done."
While in Washington DC, we were out monument browsing. One of the last monuments visited was the Franklin D. Roosevelt memorial. It's beautiful. Cascading waterfalls, statues and this:
"Freedom from want."
Ask the Spouse. I stared at that placard for a good five minutes. Freedom from want... freedom from want... freedom... from want. Shield us, protect us, ward off.... the want. Want is bad. Want is evil. Want must be kept away.
Now we all know what President Roosevelt was saying back then. The world was jobless, homeless and depressed; life was a mess for most. But "freedom from want?" I know what freedom from want is. Freedom from want is depression.
Seems the tools that can get us out of depression (jobs, affluence, luxury, technology, etc., etc.) can take us right back.*
Freedom of....? Freedom from....? There sure is a big difference.
*I'm mostly speaking of me here... didn't mean to lump you all into my depressed category.