Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Where Have All The People Gone?

I left work yesterday with some dread. I didn't sleep well on Sunday night and was in a daze much of Monday. The home pantry was bare so a trip to the grocery was needed. Walking through the store I looked at the other shoppers. Most of them looked like extras for a remake of the "The Night of the Living Dead". I fit right in with them. After arriving home and cleaning up I was soon surrounded by dirty laundry. The swishing of the washing machine and the tumbling of the dryer played harmony with the music coming from my stereo system. I was trying to keep moving so I did not fall asleep and repeat the tossing and turning of Sunday night when I went to bed. The sandman pursued me relentlessly so I had to resort to some coffee. I hate it that I am often so tired on work nights. I really don't want to fall asleep and waste the precious few hours of personal time that I seem to have during the work week. What kind of quality of life is this? When you feel that all you do is work and sleep it is no way to live.

I did sleep well last night and felt reasonably refreshed this morning. Although the temperature today is expected to be 80 degrees it is a cool morning. When I went outside to retrieve the morning paper the air smelled sweet.

My personality is one that loves peace, seeks harmony, and hopes for a calm life. Although I have moments when I experience all of these things, I sometimes feel neither peaceful, calm, or harmonious on the inside. That may be a shock to some of you. Most people think I am a "go with the flow" kind of person. Admittedly I sometimes go with the flow for the sake of peace and calm but on the inside I am waging a silent battle. I do not want to be king of the world or a person in charge. Although I can be a perfectionist I am not a control freak. What I have noticed about myself over the years, however, is that I sometimes bristle when others try to control me. Now in an appropriate situation like work I can do what I am told. Following direction from someone who has a legitimate right to give me direction is not a problem for me most of the time. I think what I am trying to say here is that I am at a stage of life where I am a little tired, in general, of having to do things I don't want to do and of trying to meet other people's expectations. How old do I have to be to do what I want? Most of us are surrounded and presented with other people's expectations and demands. Am I selfish because I long for some personal freedom and some control of my own life?

Sometimes I wonder about all the people who have been part of my life and then quietly moved on. Thinking of them sometimes makes me feel like I have spent my whole life standing still while everything and everybody moves around me. I have been a married family man for many years and have also worked for the same company a very long time. I believe I have always been dependable and reliable. I am a creature of habit and routine. When my alarm clock goes off in the morning, my mind and body go on automatic pilot and I robotically go through my day doing all the things I think I am supposed to do. Some days I am not sure I am even awake when I do them. I believe I have always been there for whoever needed me. I am sure many of you could say the same things. Do you have days when you wish you weren't so mature? Do you have days when you wish you could be more carefree and have less responsibility? Do you have days when you wish you were more adventurous and perhaps a little less cautious? Another one of my more annoying tendencies...at least to me....is taking the path of least resistance. I wish I would take a direction more often that has no path and on which you can only make progress by hacking your way with a machete. I wish I took more risks. We are sometimes overly concerned with our security and this often causes us to play it safe. Safe is not always best. Of course, in my defense, and the defense of others like me, I have done many things and continue to do many things because people depend on me. Most of us do not totally own our own lives but I am not sure at what point taking back your own life is nothing more than selfishness. None of us are out of chances yet to be more adventurous or to take more risks but the clock is ticking. Are you standing still?

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