I got a belated birthday card from Mom (who forgot to bring it over to my sister's last weekend). In it she wrote "....I read your blog....it made me sad to learn how hard you have had it. Life doesn't seem fair!"
So I spent some time scrolling back through the blog, looking for evidence of a difficult life. And yeah, on one or two occasions, some of the less happy aspects of my life creep into my writing. And yeah, I *did* quote the Dalai Lama on suffering around my birthday. But were I to have quoted, say Mother Teresa or Jesus (both of whom, if I recall, have said some things about suffering) would that have been different?
Hey Mom, I love ya! And all life does contain pain and suffering. But that does not mean it is either hard or unpleasant. I am blessed in so many ways. I sleep in warmth and comfort, often snuggled by a small furry dog. I do not lack for food or clothes. I have crafted a life that provides both income and the time to nurture my spirit. I practice yoga almost every day! I am healthy, remarkably so for my age and genetics. I have been gifted with several years on this planet more than dad was. I chase hot air balloons, I play musical instruments, I camp out under the stars every year. I have been my own boss for over 12 years, and have never looked myself in the mirror and thought "well, you've sold your soul here"
Yes, I am not living the good life as represented by wealth, by a beautiful home, by cars. But that's, in part, my choice. I could go look for a job in corporate america. Face a daily commute. Spend an hour putting myself together in the morning, and an hour decompressing at night. Live in constant fear of down-sizing or transfer. Jump when the corporation demands it. Feel my spirit slowly ground down under the wheels of meetings and paperwork and the hierarchy. Not have time for ballooning or music or yoga.
In the production world, we have a little joke. When things suck: when we've got a 50 pound snake on our shoulder, or are down on our hands and knees troubleshooting an intermittant connection 10 minute before broadcast, or it's raining and we're out pulling cables - we look at each other, raise our thumbs to the sky, and say "I could have been an accountant....or a nurse.....or a marketing executive....but I CHOSE THIS!"
Yeah, life is not easy at times. But it's not easy for anyone. I've made my choices, and they work for me. Part of becoming who I am was letting go of some of the fear that I learned in our family, becoming less afraid of falling, becoming comfortable with some uncertainty. The me that might have been, who would have parked it on the lazy-by this weekend, watched some college hoops, and waited for Monday to get back to my corporate world. Instead of the me that is, who is headed down to the yoga studio this morning to do some headstands and take this body out for a spin.
Your Sunday morning video: It's a Hard Life Wherever You Go (Nanci Griffith)