Wow, is time ever playing tricks on me right now! My mind is stubbornly insisting that it is February - early February - and really can't seem to grasp the concept of, you know, March.
My mind works in strange ways sometimes...the fact that I've been steadily receiving W2 and 1099 forms didn't drive home the passage of time; my birthday came and went, eh, whatever; new year, yeah-yeah, sure-sure; but digging a shovel into the richly-scented loam of finished compost suddenly turned the abstract numbers of the calendar into shockingly meaningful things.
Suddenly, things that have been back-of-mind ‘yeah, I really need to think about that soon here’ are...real. Now. Immediate.
Somehow, my contract extension kind of lulled me to sleep, in terms of planning, and figuring out What's Next - I have had the “new contract” feeling ever since, and that happy mental glow of “got it covered, yay me!”
But, um, hello...18 month limit ringing any bells, babe? Yeah, I'm out the door on May 10 no matter how much love we all may still be feeling, or what I'm in the middle of...or how much more headway I wished I'd made on Things, or whether or not I have given even the slightest thought to What's Next.
Time is mean like that. Life, too; we humans scurry around trying to enforce our ideas of what is or is not “fair” on it, but really that’s like trying to tell the wind you disagree with his decision to blow down your fence.
Not only is the wind not going to change his fence-toppling ways, you’re not getting an apology, either. The wind is not merely indifferent to your problems...there is not even the slightest hint of acknowledgement that you even are.
We humans have remarkable trouble with this, bless us. It’s a marvelous thing about our species, really, our willingness to stand naked before God and take Him to task about “unfairness.”
Our refusal to take our individual insignificance lying down has wrought some mighty wonders.
However...at the same time...wellllllllllll...I think we occasionally forget who is actually in charge of our health, happiness, wealth of possession and spirit. Hint: You see that person every day...in the mirror.
Life can be unfair. You can plan and plan and plan and still find yourself caught by surprise; I honestly don’t think there is any conceivable way for any of us to be so completely thorough in our planning and execution (…oh…yeah…that…) that we can be assured of a “perfect” life.
@*^@ happens, ya know?
But at the same time, we can help ourselves avoid it. We can notice that the fence is leaning over and shore it up before it falls; we can realize that unhealthy habits are making our bodies more like a sewage treatment plant than a temple and make smarter choices about what-all we put into the system; we can decide we don’t want to walk the razor’s edge of financial ruin all the time and start taking steps away from it.
This is a storm I can clearly see coming, tracking toward me on the old triple Doppler.
And I know I need to start spending some time getting ready for it.
I admit I don’t feel like it. I have a million things I’d rather be doing than thinking about whether I’d rather take a job in San Jose come May, or try for something local (again) (wait, let me rephrase that: spend a good year looking, in vain, for work that even enters the same ZIPCODE as what I actually do that pays at least a THIRD what I make in The City before giving up and going back to work for MegaBank like I always do), or do something else, entirely, or, do nothing at all.
I also don’t want to be turning the thumbscrews on the household budget, or tucking things in so that my income is left completely untouched, to get a feel for how it would really go, in really-real real-life.
A lot of times, what looks awesome and oh-so-do-able on paper turns out to be…yeah…a tad more challenging on a day to day basis.
But I’ve got to do it, like it or not. Because ultimately, it’s what I need to do – for myself, for my family, for our individual and collective futures.
And also, I need to get our taxes done.
And I’ll get right on that. Right after I finish, uh, organizing the embroidery floss.
(Seriously, I need to get on that.)
(Why can’t my “need to get on that” list ever include something like, I dunno, “try all 31 flavors of ice cream”?)
John Kenneth Galbraith
21 hours ago