A lot of us hold off fully inhabiting our lives. We’re waiting for a magic something that will shake things up, put us on a different trajectory, get us to the place of a vision of ourselves that exists in our (over) imagination. In the meantime, we fill up our time many ways, depending on our personal inclinations, be it with distractions, compulsions, addictions, people, relationships, children, pets, or busy schedules. There are many things to pick from.
We’re not what we think we should be, even if we’re the only ones who know it. Sometimes we fall short in ways indicated by time markers: by age “X” I should be [fill in the blank]. Our lives should be more thrilling, more accomplished, just plain more. Reams of material have already been written on why people feel this way. It’s the Culture, it’s the Media, it’s the Economy, it’s the Times. Maybe so. We measure ourselves against external forces; judgment systems we had no part in making, but that are omnipresent. I don’t know about you, but I’m not anywhere near ready to throw off all those outside elements, maybe in no small part because so many of the people I see who have are whacky, and not tethered to society the way the bulk of us wish and need to be. It’s wise to keep your society membership dues up to date and there’s plenty of reminders in the form of people who haven’t.
That said, I’m old enough now to take a cool look at things and ask myself, “What if this is it?” “What if things get no better than they are right now?” I’m forcing my own hand. It isn’t as grim as it might sound. In fact, there’s a certain degree of relief – not fatalism – in this kind of thinking, at least for me. I’ve seen too many older people who are bitter over the turns their lives have taken. Somewhere along the way they said “This is it”, but they weren’t putting a good spin on it. They meant “This is it and it sucks Big Time and I am going to live out the rest of my miserable days reminding myself and telling anyone else I come into contact with, that I feel that way.”
That mindset, found on a psychic road well-traveled, is not what I’m shooting for, not now. Allowing that this may be “it”, makes me reevaluate what’s at hand, and what’s within my control and capabilities. Some people would call that settling, but that’s not how I feel. Settling sounds like giving up, losing hope, being resigned, and riding wherever the tides go. I intend something more active than that, namely if this is it, what’s possible from here?