The Final Straw


I wish I could enjoy with wild abandon the New England beauty around me, particularly now, during these dry, sunny fall days—these are good hair days through and through.  But I can’t when I am preoccupied with Stressful Things because I am hard wired that way, dammit.  A confessed linear thinker, I can be faulted occasionally (okay, frequently) for a skewed view of the big picture.  In defense of this blot on my character I submit that being a linear thinker allows me to get a hell of a lot done and with painstaking attention to detail.  Some people actually appreciate this.

My big picture is not terrible (far from it) and my rational self knows this at some level.  I should be able to allow beauty—like the beauty in the photograph I made yesterday of that interesting barn and resplendent foliage, that is right here, right on the street where I live now—wash over me.  Instead there is an incessant hum, not unlike the sound you hear if you have ever stood underneath high voltage lines, that insinuates itself into every waking hour and somehow communicates to me that the beauty around me is for everyone else—not for me, not now, not until I resolve <fill in the blank>.

The other day I wondered how the scenery might change if I just pretended there was no looming threat of, say, complete financial ruin.  Just to choose a random example.  I tried it on for a few minutes, and it felt good.  And then I snapped right out of it. (See hard wiring, above.)

But here is a paradigm shift that is emerging ever so gradually in my life:  succeeding, at least in part, means thinking like you are enjoying success, or are about to, even if you are not.  So I have resolved to take a shotgun approach to my future, fighting and clawing my way out of a pretty dang bleak situation one teeny, tiny solution at a time.  And I am coming to grips with the reality that success may actually look a lot like failure for a little while.

I am okay with this, because I am tired of feeling beleaguered, and more tired still of deporting myself like a beleaguered person.  My nest egg dried up last week, and that is that.  I refuse to be a victim, or to behave like one—to wring my hands or tear my hair.  Think I’ll paint my nails and wear sparkly pink lipstick instead.

I love that barn across the street, by the way.  My plan is to keep a photo log of it with the changing seasons.  Stay tuned for some beauty.

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