I just lost a power struggle with a bunch of mosquitoes while sitting out on the lanai trying to write.
They started biting, I resisted; they kept biting, I persisted; and then I realized my foot was itching with a good number of fresh bites, so I threw in the towel and bid a hasty retreat indoors.
Mosquitoes are definitely one of the items on the list of “Things One Will Never Win Against In A Power Struggle.”
Mac & Cheese, a dog’s liquid I love you eyes, going to bed “on time” when I’ve started a really good book, and Life are also on that list.
As for the latter, I have been thinking about how Life is a powerful force all its own. We never know what direction it will take us, it has a way of unexpectedly moving us along, and trying to fight its currents only leads to tired, waterlogged limbs.
Sometimes Life doesn’t always feel like it’s on our side, but I choose to see it as a benign force.
At times absurd, sometimes nonsensical, sometimes seemingly unfair, but even in those moments, I will never win in a power struggle against it. In fact, the more I struggle, the more I will create discord and disharmony inside of myself.
And call me 40, but I have come to value inner peace way too much for that.
When my brother died in 2016, I unwittingly leaned into the current. I was far enough along on my spiritual journey to know that you cannot fight the tide, even as a younger part of myself fought the truth of loss and the devastation that a grief journey takes you down.
You might say that my adult self willingly placed her yellow raft on Life’s river, grudgingly conceding the flow, even as my child self crossed her arms and built a temporary blanket fort to shelter her from the view.
And then there was my wiser self who recognized my choices: I could go through my grief with both eyes wide open, or I could shut my eyes and try and avoid, dance around, and short-cut the process.
Perhaps it’s being a psychologist for all these years, but I’ve learned that if we don’t deal with it, it doesn’t go away on its own accord and will only come out sometime in the future. Usually inconvenient and sideways.
And that knowledge has made me into a “take it as it comes” kind of woman. Somebody who doesn’t shy away from emotional work or self-examination or exploration of what lays untapped inside of me.
I may not always do the dishes, I filed an extension on my taxes (for the 8th year straight), sometimes my laundry threatens to run away and go be somebody else’s clothes if I don’t wash them, BUT I try very hard to stay on top of my emotional work.
It’s my process, and one of the biggest reasons I am a writer, as the writing and creative process makes me hold up a mirror and see what’s reflected each day.
Which brings me back around to this day.
Some things are going my way right now, some things not as much. I try and write about all of it and learn my lessons of being human.
I wanted to be an editing monster machine today, chomping through page after page of proofing. Instead I was more like the little editing engine who sorta could, chugging away slowly, page by page, word by word, taking a nap somewhere in between.
And I staved off an existential- why am I here?– panic, with a reminder that I am HERE.
And here is a gift. Here is Today.
Sunday May 7, 2018, with the mosquitoes and sluggish editing and thoughtful reflections on the nature of life. Whether or not it is what I thought it would be, it is a day I will never repeat again. Which makes it unique and special in its own right.
Worthy of finding gratitude for the buggy jungle green, the gift of not knowing and having the opportunity to find out, and the tension found where humanity’s questions meets divinity’s dreams.
And of course the gifts of a bit more editing, a dog’s liquid eyes, and an evening graced with a bowl of mac and cheese.