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Experiment life

Posted May 20 2012 11:27am

Mix it up

My email is driving me crazy. It keeps filling up with spam, and if I don’t keep on top of it every day, it gets out of control. I know I should be unsubscribing to a lot of emails, and I do intend to do that, but it takes time and energy and attention, and those three things have been in short supply, lately.

My company has gone home. I really enjoy these folks – they are a lot of fun and they like to explore and try new things. But they are also exhausting to be around. They’re pretty much insatiable, when it comes to life, which is fun to watch and participate in for 48 hours. But after that, our difference become troublesome and we start to get on each others’ nerves. So we part ways, happy to have been together, but even happier to be getting on with our own respective lives.

I actually did have a great time while they were here. We drove around and checked out places I either had heard about and had never visited, or had not even realized existed. They’re definitely slowing down in their later years, so we didn’t do as much as we used to do, but we still had some good times. News of their kids and their friends and other relatives I haven’t seen in years… Stories from years gone by. Lots of food and talking — constant talking, constant activity, really. If one of them wasn’t talking, the other was. Like sharks, they cannot keep still for long.

Maybe they feel like they’re drowning?

One interesting thing came up — a friend of theirs sustained a TBI in the past year, and they’ve been helping them get around and get back to normal. I meant to discuss that more with them, but I didn’t get a chance, and then I forgot to follow up. I’ll need to follow up with them later. One of the things that’s kind of bugged me about their concept of TBI and this friend (who I’d heard about before) is their sadness, their sense of resignation about this, as though their friend had lost their sense of balance and ability to judge distances forever.

Maybe they did. Or maybe they didn’t. I’ll have to follow up — maybe write them a letter or an email or something. I’m not sure it will help, because they are pretty set in their perceptions. But it’s worth a try. Stranger things have happened, than people changing their minds.

So, I’ve got most of the day to myself, now.  I can come and go as I please… kind of. I need to run some errands and take care of some little chores, but all of this can happen at a decent pace, instead of the headlong rush that my weeks usually turn into. There will be time enough for that tomorrow, and tomorrow will come soon enough.

For today, just for right now, the sun is shining, I’m sitting out on my back porch watching birds and bugs fly around, with the distant sound of a train whistle in the background.

These are the moments that heal — the rest after the headlong rush. Having my relatives here was a good break in my routine. They always teach me a lot when they visit, because they are such active learners and always investigating new things. But while I was sitting and breathing this morning, I found myself starting to cry, with a sense of total overwhelm. That’s how it feels with these relatives — total overwhelm — and my sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive. Relentless. Fun, fun, fun… but relentless. They really do put the “fun” in fight-flight-freeze-fun.

But now they are gone, and my spouse is still out of town, so I have the day to digest everything I’ve taken in. I don’t have to answer to anyone, don’t have to take care of anyone, don’t have to accommodate anyone on a moment-by-moment basis. I can drive around with my music pumping, run my errands the easy way, the way I feel like running them, at my own pace, without having to constantly explain or excuse myself. I can just live my life. I can experiment.

Which is the way I’m increasingly inclined to live my life — as an experiment. I used to be locked into the constant crush of having to do things A Certain Way, with the successful achievement of my goals the only acceptable outcome. Now I am seeing more clearly every day that being locked onto specific goals in specific timeframes is a trap that keeps me from finding what else is possible in my life. And I am just plain tired of that unimaginative way of living.

It’s funny – I used to be a lot more open-minded like that, with a lot less riding on specific results for specific activities. But the working world really retrained me, especially the technology world — and it’s made me a lot less tolerant of variations on “success”. I’m not sure that’s such a good thing.

But at least I can see this. And at least I am finding a way out of that particular rat-hole. Life is opening up… and so long as I get plenty of rest and take care of myself, it doesn’t have to wreck me when things don’t turn out as expected/planned.

Well, it’s getting late. Time for a little lunch, then pay a visit to some friends who need me to move some of my stuff out of their house, so they can redecorate. Long story, why my stuff is still there… mostly about plain old lazy-ass procrastination. But they’re friends. And it will be interesting to catch up with them.


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