Friday, December 5, 2008

Clearing the Fog

Four signs that your life needs to be reordered:

  • You feel as though your life is seriously out of sorts, but you can't find even an evening, or an afternoon, to sort it.
  • The bookshelf has a stack of unread and promising titles, and you literally cannot choose one.
  • You find yourself so frustrated that you well up.
  • You can't remember the last time you didn't feel behind. Very behind.
This was a week that had many many many moments of frustration at work. And...I'm quite sick and tired of work dominating my waking hours and my thoughts. So I'm not going to write about it here.

What was important about this week? I accepted a few things that I cannot change. I made time to walk, and made moving my body a priority. I danced, and it was fabulous, and bought music for my Ipod so I can dance with abandon wherever I might be, whenever I care to. My black boots that were once too tight are now not. Yay. My shimmies are faster and more sure, and my egyptian basic steps are snappppy now that the swivel feels easy. Yay.

Last weekend I watched the Kurosawa film "Ran" - it's very interesting. It's a retelling of King Lear, in Japan, with amazing costumes and complicated, bloody battle scenes...and quieter, more chilling scenes of a scheming woman who brings the brothers to their deaths. The film feels long, but certainly worth the investment of minutes. What I am still thinking about, a week later, is the intense and impressive way that Kurosawa used colors - the scenes are saturated with the colors of the landscape, the uniforms of the armies, the blood of the fallen.

This week I went to the orthodontist to have him do impressions of my teeth. I have this gap, see. And of course, he sees other issues, and he wants to make my mouth perfect. Which would require two years of braces, probably. Ehh. I made him laugh (he reads literature! I quizzed him!) and by the end of the appointment he agreed that he would give me not two quotes/treatment options, but three. The right way, the maybe not so perfect but still clinically pretty great way, and "a twist and orthodontic bondo." See - I kind of like my gap. But I don't like that it has become crooked since one of my wisdom teeth was extracted. It should be interesting, both hearing the options and whether I go for it or not.

Have you ever had someone thoughtlessly hurt your feelings, unintentionally, and had a flash of shame that YOU had certainly done that to someone else at some point? Something in my personality makes people feel comfortable enough with me to let down their guard, and let me just say, sometimes that's not all that great for ME. With some people, I'd like to see that guard stay up. High. Because the things that come out of their mouths make me like them less, or make me like me less, or make me like the reality of my life less - well, you see the pattern. For some reason, I do not always kick those people out of my life. Do I keep them around to remind me to be careful with the feelings of others? I truly do not know. But I'm not sure that it's a healthy habit.

It seems to me that my criteria for allowing people into my life is skewed, that I need to rethink the process I use to decide who will be invited into my life, to gift with my time and care. Basic "niceness" aside, these are essentially decisions about how we spend our lives. Those decisions should be active - people I choose to give my minutes should be selected, the way I once decided actively how to spend my days at work, and after. The people who only take, who remember to give only when prompted, who are too insecure or greedy to give until they get - they may be familiar personalities to me, but they are not good for me. Not at all.

The clarity of that realization was my gift this week. Something in the way Kurosawa aimed his camera, the unblinking and relentless view of truth - it reminded me that not looking is a decision we can't afford to make. Clearing the fog, recognizing the truly required and what only clamors to be so - that was my gift.

Have I mentioned that it was a brutal week?

This weekend is going to be one to recharge and regroup. Wish me luck!

~ patti

1 comment:

BikeBabe said...

Even your brutal weeks sound somehow like there is a party going on somewhere nearby.

I miss you!