All my life, my choices and behavior have been decisive and even radical. I have made stellar mistakes and accepted the consequences. I have had successes and happily accepted those, too. I have never claimed to have all the answers (at least not after adolescence), but I have always followed the path that presented itself to me as the right one, even when it cost me.
Some of my life decisions have cost me dearly in material terms, and even more in terms of reputation and broken relationships. I regret the relationships, but not the decisions. As long as I was doing what I believed to be right and good, I committed to it and took whatever came. If someone felt they could no longer be close to me because of what I did, then maybe they had never been close to me because of who I am. If I came to discover that I had made a mistake, I stopped doing that and did something else. That was my attitude in youth, and it still is.
So what’s up with me now? Is this some sort of malaise of middle age? If I were an American male is this part where I’d go and buy a sports car or take up white water rafting?
Or does it have to do with living with cancer for over seven years? Is there a kind of attitude attrition that accompanies long-term chronic illness? (Stop it! I tell myself. Not everything has to do with cancer. Get over yourself!) Maybe I’m just getting depressed and some nice SSRI will put me right.
Whatever the cause, my attitude at the moment is lousy. Time for a reality check. I have a little brother who loves me and I love him. I have dear friends who love me and I love them. I have a spiritual life that feeds me. I have a home that I love in a great location in my favorite city in the world. I live in a country that grants me free medical care, including expensive cancer treatments and preventative medicine. I have books, music, lacemaking equipment and supplies. Computers and a smartphone. Heck, I even have a blog where I can blather my fool heart out whenever I want.
So get over yourself, Knot. Quit the navel-gazing and the melancholy. Work when you can, rest when you need to. Life is sometimes smooth curves instead of peaks and valleys. That is not such a bad thing. Go to the kitchen and grind some spices to work on your masala recipe and have a cup of tea. Read something funny. Go help someone besides your own fool self and see how good that makes you feel.
(Yes, I scold myself. Don’t judge – it works.)
Okay then. In the words of the late, the great Gilda Radner: