Sunday, January 1, 2012

A year of Let It Be

Please excuse this indulgence-- this is a letter to myself. You can run away now, if you like.

A year of "Let It Be"

2011 was a year of snark. Oh, and I had all the snarky fun I wanted.  I poked fun at books, and people who read books...and people who wrote book. Not that I did this because I thought I was superior-- for the most part. Snark is in my blood. It's how I cope with the ridiculousness of life. And to my way of thinking, much of life is ridiculous. Not that I'm usually in a hurry to leave this life. Usually.

2012 is going to be altogether different for me. It will be a year of "Let It Be." I'm changing tactics. I have been chasing after things and people for so very long, in the mistaken belief that you have to go after what you want to get anything in life. I believe there is some truth in this-- just not for me. My goings-after have rarely yielded the best results. There have been a few triumphs-- like starting college at 32 and continuing on to my Master's degree...oh, and pretty-single-handedly rearing 4 spectacular sons. But every success was quite expensive, in my case. Other people seem capable of accomplishing some of the same things I have-- but with far less stress. 

My inclination has been to dismiss a great deal of my misfortune on circumstances. It's certainly has eased my mind to do so. I just seem to be unlucky-- even though I don't place a lot of faith or belief in the concept of luck. I seem to have more bad things happen to me than those around me-- so what do you call that? Anyway, it's not that I haven't wanted to closely examine my issues and own up to them. But there's only so many ways you can look at contracting an chronic (and most probably, terminal) illness and fault your actions for it. I do not believe, as my former friends do, that I have end-stage renal disease because I stopped believing in God. On the contrary, the disease started before I had left the Church. I do not believe that my unexpected illness is punishment for being bad. I certainly don't think that it's a reward for being good! It is, what it is. The researchers who have looked into my case believe my ESRD has a genetic link-- and there isn't a damned thing I can do about that. Yep, circumstances, on that one.

But what about the abysmal showing in a dozen other areas of my life? Relationships, career (what career?). My track record hasn't been the greatest in those areas. Let's start with easier of those two. Career. I don't have one (I consider motherhood a Vocation, not a vocation). It is quite puzzling to me that I not only don't have a career-- I don't really have a job. A "real" job, anyway. I work at a library for less than 20 hours a month-- that's almost counts as volunteer work. I work for an online SEO firm for less than the 20 hours I get at the library. I occasionally pick up $20 here and there from selling plastics of one kind or another-- dildos or food containers, it doesn't seem to generate much income either way.  I was under the impression for the longest time that all I needed was more education, and I would find the perfect career. But  two degrees (and 70k in student loans) later I am still under-employed. I have chased after work in the clerical field, working as a receptionist, a file clerk for a law office and a hospital. I got my real estate license and chased after home owners and buyers for a couple of years. I worked as a janitor, and at Target and a couple of fast food joints. I interned at several museums, libraries, a university archive. I volunteered at churches and with various community organizations, often serving in a leadership capacity. I networked my ass off at each and every turn. But all that getting didn't really get me much more than stressed out. I seemed to be following the conventional wisdom-- and doing what seemed to work for everyone else. But, none that seems to work for me.

Ah, and relationships. Romantic ones, platonic ones-- it really doesn't matter.  That's been a tough row to hoe, too. Not that I ever expected relationships to be easy. I guess I just envy the people who are effortlessly loved and adored. Um, and maybe some people have all the right moves that attract lovers and friends. Me, I seem to repel people, and if I really look at myself I can probably come up with at least half a dozen reasons why. I would imagine that keeping my big trap shut would go a long way to making-- and keeping-- friends. I can always be more kind and considerate. Maybe the biggest change I need to make is to give up on trying to make friends, and just letting it happen as organically as possible, though a part of me sees a long, lonely road ahead if I do that.

I don't know, I guess as I approach my 50th year I feel like I need to try a different tact. I have been feverishly trying to accomplish so many things, and failing miserably. I'm going to experiment this year with doing the opposite of what I usually do. I'm going to stop spinning my wheels, and just let it be. Who knows, maybe the perfect job will find me once I stop frantically applying for every job that seems even a remote possibility. Maybe I will finally make some consistent friends in Austin, by letting them find me, instead of seeking them out. And just maybe someone will take an interest in having sex with me more than twice a year-- oooh, now that would be something to write home about. The possibilities may be endless, but just doing... nothing-- or next to nothing.

Ok, now I'm really excited. A year of doing less, and getting more? I'm willing to give it a try. I'll start by saying less in blog posts-- I'm sure that'll be a relief to my readers, hehehe.

So um, yeah, let it be.

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