I’ve gotten an amazing amount accomplished this month. I got the gutters cleaned, put the air conditioners in, fixed the window with a hole in it, and got the tub converted into a one-handle system (solving a leak from corroded pipes).
All while not particularly wanting to live. Yeah, yeah, I’m back on my anti-depressants and seeing my shrink more than ever.
The doctor’s office called and wants me to call back. Of course, I attempted to do so but the office was closed and there was no way to leave a message. The receptionist sounded a little upset. Of course, I will attempt to call again Monday, but I suspect they will not be happy with me (having gotten a mammogram that demanded a redo and not even making a doctor appointment to discuss the results). I will reassure them that I do have another one scheduled, but that I am unsure of the point of talking to the doctor before the results are in.
You see, normal people have the attitude of, “OMG. Don’t you want to live? What could possibly be more important than getting this addressed?” My response is, “Uh…Lots of things are a higher priority right now. My husband and I live in a house that neither one of us is capable of taking care of and, regardless of who lives or not, the house needs to be sold. This is bigger than either one of us. What’s more, this is Michigan and these things need to be taken care of before the snow flies. I am doing both of us a favor, which is quite remarkable given that I am emotionally and spiritually exhausted. You don’t approve? Oh well.”
In other words, I feel satisfaction. I never knew satisfaction was so utterly different from hope.
Trying to do things in a Zen way
I’m not sure how to do things in a Zen way. To me, Zen is about being selfless and doing things in a natural, uncontrived manner. I’m not sure I have that freedom right now.
I have to function for two, myself and my husband. I read Zen books and magazines and they talk about the virtues of silence and solitude. I read them and think, “That would be nice!” There is nothing silent about calling people to fix the various parts of the house that are breaking down. I have to let go of the money involved in a non-dramatic way. There is no solitude when Barry spazzes out about the window fracturing into pieces from the pressure of pushing it upward to put in the air conditioner.
What I have always loved about Buddhism has been how reality-based it is in terms of psychology. It understands how the mind works. However, much of it is Asian-descended and patriarchal (read: irrelevant) to me, married to a husband capable of taking responsibility for nothing. My philosophy at this point is basic: If you’re not going to help, you don’t get a vote.
I try to live a simple life, eschewing non-necessities. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize just how little one needs to live: shelter, clothes, food, and meaningful activities. Everything else is optional. Needing to function for two has forced me to put my physical and emotional health as a top priority. I just got my first mammogram in over a decade. I want to leave Michigan knowing my health status. I explained to Barry, when I saw the hole in my window so close to my head, about how to get things done if I should die. If there is no Cindy, his options get real limited, real fast. I can only “dumb down” things to a point. Beyond that, he’s on his own.
I am reaching my limits, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. There seems to be some understanding of human limitations in Zen. I cannot find solitude or silence at this point in my life. Anyone or anything that does not understand the slamming of a person against their limits is out of my life. It’s not just about other people’s suffering anymore; it’s about my own. I don’t have the time or energy to pretend otherwise anymore.
My life is taking a different direction now than I thought it might. For the first time, I have a sense of clarity about what to do and why. I am being driven by necessity and safety.
There is a hole in my living room window. I don’t feel safe sitting in my chair at the window as I have for years. (Turns out it was a BB, but a BB to the brain would still have been problematic.) So I had my chair removed. I had been planning on getting rid of my chair when Barry passed anyway and the chair is in sad shape, so I moved up the date for chair removal from “someday” to “now.” There is now more space in my living room. I feel like various problems (safety, space, etc.) all got solved at once.
And so now I have nowhere truly comfortable place to sit in my own living room. I don’t plan on fixing that issue. This is the best way to not sit and watch TV and waste my life I can think of.
I know I have to get rid of the vast majority of Barry’s modelling stuff. And I do a little every day. Progress is being made.
Monday, I got the gutters cleaned. Things are getting done. Perhaps I have had a spiritual breakthrough.
I’ve never had this degree of clarity. I have spent my life being continually overwhelmed. I still feel a little of that, but not like before. I feel like I have my marching orders for who-knows-how-long. Others can approve, disapprove, or whatever, but people not supportive will play no role in my future.
Do I know what I am doing? Not in the slightest, but I’m learning as I go. The fastest way to destroy any positive momentum would be to go to the furniture store and purchase another recliner. I could sit back, relax, take a nap….Wait a minute. Where did 2015 go?
No, that is not a valid option. Pick again.