There is something irresistible and alluring about the promise of a Fresh Start, the dawning of a New Day, the turning over of a New Leaf. Is it because we crave perfection or possibility? Or perhaps a little of both…
In any case, and without any further philosophising, today will be my Fresh Start for blogging! After yet another abysmally long hiatus, I am back. And, as always, it may be for a day, a week, or a year – who can say? All I know is it’s nice to feel the flow of words and creative juices once more. It’s been too long.
For the past few (ahem, more like six) months, I’ve spent a lot of time being sick. There’s no need to list all the types of flu (stomach and influenza, in case you were wondering) and other ailments that took me down but suffice it to say, it has been a fairly long and bumpy road. In fact, even as I write this I am once again getting over a cold, trying to make strategic decisions about exactly how much housework I can do without setting back my recovery by another day/week. I find it ridiculous how doing laundry and chopping vegetables suddenly become Major Life Decisions after one has faced many weeks of back-to-back illnesses. “Shall I sally forth into the wilds of my tiny urban kitchen to do battle with tomatoes and onions, or shall I resign myself to a sadder but more restful fate of eating take-out on the couch, once again?” – said no one, ever. (Until now.)
One of the positives of this unplanned pilgrimage into the Land of Disease and Contagion is that I have been forced several times over to re-evaluate my schedule and my priorities. This is no fun at the time, and generally results in minor panic attacks, tearful hysteria, temporary mental and emotional breakdowns, and phone calls to my Life Coach (read: father) with conversations that last for hours and get repeated multiple times over until I finally come to a Point of Acceptance. Cue another bout of sickness (which of course seems exponentially harder than the one which preceded it) and repeat, with similar results. One would think this process could be streamlined into something more along the lines of:
Me: “Oh no, I’m sick!”
[Cry of anguish]
[Sob of despair]
[to Father:] “Help, what do I do? I feel overwhelmed!”
Father: “Do not despair – you will get better soon. Perhaps you should reduce your commitments in the meantime…”
Me: “ Ok, good idea. I feel better now.”
Alas, it has not been so, and countless hours (literally, they were numerous and I did not count them) have been spent mentally tossing and turning as I pondered the meaning of life. (You may think I jest, but I’m actually serious. When you’ve been sick for a while and are facing the possibility of having to reduce your involvement in things you love and think are important, it does make you wonder what the point of your existence is.)
But (remember I said there was a positive here?) thanks to this time of (forced) reflection, I have been reminded of some basic principles in the midst of all this angsty self-examination (such as, I need to stop defining myself by what I do!). I hope to explore those in more detail here, over time. (No promises, though, because see my track record of posting? Yeeeep.)
For now, though, I’m trying to create a fresh start and be wise about my daily decisions. I’m striving to let go of the things I can’t control (really, I’m not in control of anything, although we all like to think we are and I’m no different in that regard) and just make the best use of my time that I can. I’m realizing that I will not stumble onto a Magic Formula/Schedule/Way to Do Life that transforms my life from bumpy and often disorganized to smooth and perfectly ordered. (I believe that is called Heaven…) And I’m trying to shift from a mindset of “let me make a better schedule to change my life” to “let me stick to a few top priorities, and make sure those are in the right order.”
Sometimes it feels like I am the only almost-28-year-old who is trying to figure these things out, but in my saner moments I suspect that is not the case. I’m sure there’s at least one 30-year-old guy out there in the world who doesn’t have it all together, either. (That guy is totally my hero. Keep going, 30-something non-collected dude who is still figuring out life!)
It might be a crazy ride, but I hope you’ll stick around to hear about it and help me figure things out.