Monday, August 14, 2006

Too Much Introspection Drives ME Batty!

Huge sigh...........I am home again, and have not come to the conclusion yet if that is something I am happy about, or not, mostly not I think, even though I had a constant inner struggle the entire time I was away.

The 4 days I spent home alone (except for the occasional visit from my ever-hungry son) were the best days I have had in years. As I hit the road on Wednesday, I felt a serenity, a calmness of spirit I had not felt in a really long time. I am not really sure if that came from the much needed alone time, or the opportunity I also had to just write whatever was in my head, to put some thoughts in a form of balance. My serenity lasted until I was within an hour of the lake. Then a tenseness entered my being. I tried so hard to push it aside. To recapture that calm feeling I had. But it wouldn't come. At first I told myself I was just road weary.

That first night when I arrived, the day was done, husband and daughter already asleep. But it was just like being home, I had to mentally shake myself the next morning.....tell myself that I was on vacation...no, I could not worry about work, wonder what was happening, I had to make myself not check my cell phone ( I had told them to call me if they needed to talk to me--they didn't thank god!). I finally locked it in the trunk, so it would be harder for me to get to.

Then I started worrying about my son, had he finally gotten his act together and registered for classes? ( NO, he hasn't!) Again, something to push aside.

Next it was the little tensions between my husband and I, or to be truthful, maybe it is only me that feels that tension....I don't know, if he feels it, he hides it so well...but the tensions of not saying what is really going on in my head.

Anyway, my daughter was very happy to see me, she said,"There is only so much 'Dad' time I can take"....she is very much like him in many ways....but she is also used to spending time with me...and when we have the freedom to be spontaneous, that is what we are.....she said she was weary of having every moment of every day planned. There seemed to be a crankiness between them as that first day of my arrival ended.

So I wondered, was I creating a tension between them that hadn't existed before I arrived? Was it my presence? Or was it just that it was time for an infusion of new ideas? More tension I created for myself.

Then the self-questioning started again, something I had promised myself I was not going to do. I was not going to dig deep and examine my life, I was just going to be, be there, do whatever came up, and most especially ride the water.

So a mental shake each night before bed. Another mental shake each morning. Pushing it all back....not allowing myself to think......

That worked as long as I was on the water....how fast could I get the jet ski going? How many wakes could I ride before I scared myself? How many new tricks could I teach myself? I did scare myself and my husband several times....I realized that I do things on the water that I would never do on land....why is that I wonder.... the water makes for a softer landing maybe?

As long as I had the water to play on, the shore line to explore, a book to read, a nap to take, a short back-to-school shopping trip to take my daughter on I was okay. But each evening.... in our oh-so-not-my-idea of camping campsite, with no campfire except for the last night.....each evening I would sit alone, after they had gone to bed, watching the water, the nightlights of the boats traveling by, listen to the chatter carried across the water, and my mind would start digging away....once Acushla wrote something about picking at scabs...that is what I felt like I was doing.....picking away....trying to get the answers to a multitude of whys.

One night I actually found myself asking the godawful question of....why are we here, what is our purpose, what does it all mean? Oh god....another mental shake....I told myself, it doesn't matter why we are here, or what it all means...the only important thing is our purpose....have I found my purpose for being alive? At least that question, I could/can answer.... yes.....I have found a few of my purposes.....not all of them...but my job...gives me a purpose....my children ... give me a purpose...all the people I love....give me a purpose....the rest of my purposes for being here will come....I have to keep telling myself.....sometimes many times a day, but they will come to be.

So that little bit of craziness I was able to let go of. But as I sat there each night, trying to find the moon hiding behind the clouds, I would wrestle with some new doldrum of thought, it reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend last week, one in which we spoke of someone not happy, not really knowing what she wanted, and not really wanting to do anything about it herself, just allowing her general malaise to affect those around her. I sat there beside the lake thinking, is that what I am doing....burying myself in melancholy? Am I just so uneasy in my own skin right now that I have to find the reason? Can I not just let it go, just allow the world to flow by? So once again I would give myself that mental shake. You would think I would be dizzy by now.

So for these past few days, like a dog shaking off water, I would shake off my thoughts, close my eyes, take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and try to recapture that feeling I had on Wednesday morning....that feeling that even though all was not right with my world, it was my world, and I could live with it, I could make the proper choices at the proper time, and it would ALL BE OKAY.

Then I had the six hour drive home, alone, oh god! More thoughts, more and more thoughts, more self-talk, more burying those thoughts away, I opened the sunroof, opened the side windows, blasted the radio, and drove.....it took me the first two hours, and picking up the phone and calling my mother, just to check in with her, find out all the family news, new people to worry about, before I could put it all back in perspective. Realizing that I choose, I truly do choose how I feel, that I can pick at the scabs of my life, or let them heal in their own time. Sometimes they may get a bit of an infection underneath, and the healing has to start anew, but if I can just hold on to that feeling of balance I had, if I can just remember that there is so much more than my petty little problems going on. If I can occasionally stop worrying so much about how each little thing will turn out...stop worrying so much that I become buried in my own self-induced malaise then the healing will continue, the growth of me will continue, and I can smile today. I just have to remember the advise of a very wise friend who tells me I think too much, and sometimes I just have to let life happen as it happens....... sometimes anyway, I don't think I could ever completely stop questioning, wondering.



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I have just been exchanging comments with Acushla instead of finishing this post...it is so strange to me ......there is a woman, a beautiful, witty, brilliant woman on the other side of the world, who in just a few short days it seems has entered my life because of this wonderful online world. Reading her words, has given me a bit of joy, made me realize that I am not alone in my wacky world of womanly insanity. That what I feel is okay, whether it makes sense to nobody else but me. Thank you.

7 comments:

Fiona said...

Wow...just wow...I've never seen anyone give such a wonderfully open view of themself as you do Sunny. Astounding.

And wow again, I see so much of me in there...the doubting the reflecting, the over-analysing. Were we separated at birth? :)

Yes, I agree that ultimately we are responsible for how we feel but never discount the external factors. Sometimes life sucks and hey it's OK to admit it. I'm afraid I don't possess membership in the 'smile always' school of thought because damnit there are times we just have to fucking cry to get it all out.

Self reflection is sometimes seen as self involvement by some. Well why not? If we are not totally involved in our own lives, goodness knows noone is going to live it for us. I'm one of those who replays my days over at night, when my world is still and there's only me. And yes I do analyse a lot, I see things sometimes later that I don't see then and more often than not these moments help me grow. So I'm not going to stop. So many people say it's a negative but for me, I've learned so much from the introspection.

I'm lucky, in a way, that there is really only me for me to worry about, though I do give a lot of time to my mum (who has terminal cancer) and my sister (who at 42 is really only starting to find hersefl). But then again being only me does sometimes give me pause for thought itself. It's not really where I anticipated I'd be at almost 48.

At times I'm calm and easy-going, at others I want to scream out about something, anything, nothing!

And often, so often, I sing this song to myself:

IS THAT ALL THERE IS?
Peggy Lee

SPOKEN:
I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire.
I'll never forget the look on my father's face as he gathered me up
in his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement.
I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames.
And when it was all over I said to myself, "Is that all there is to a fire?"

SUNG:
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is

SPOKEN:
And when I was 12 years old, my father took me to the circus, the greatest show on earth.
There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears
And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads.
And as I sat there watching the marvelous spectacle
I had the feeling that something was missing.
I don't know what, but when it was over,
I said to myself, "Is that all there is to a circus?"

SUNG:
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is

SPOKEN:
Then I fell in love, with the most wonderful boy in the world.
We would take long walks by the river or just sit for hours gazing into each other's eyes.
We were so very much in love.
Then one day, he went away. And I thought I'd die -- but I didn't.
And when I didn't I said to myself, "Is that all there is to love?"

SUNG:
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing

SPOKEN:
I know what you must be saying to yourselves.
If that's the way she feels about it why doesn't she just end it all?
Oh, no. Not me. I'm in no hurry for that final disappointment.
For I know just as well as I'm standing here talking to you,
when that final moment comes and I'm breathing my last breath, I'll be saying to myself,

SUNG:
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing
Let's break out the booze and have a ball
If that's all there is

Fiona said...

oh...and by the way...your comments about me and you and us at the end of your post...


DITTO!!!

Sunny Delight said...

If we were separated at birth...I want my sister back!

I have been told I over-think, over analyse.... my entire life. Many have people do tell me it is not good for me. But maybe it just isn't good for them. Plus I have no idea how to NOT do it, and I don't really think I want to.

But this past week, I really wanted to be able to let it go, and it struck me this time, how hard that can sometimes be...thus my "mental shakes".

There are days when I truly wish I could allow myself to wail and cry it all out...thinking if that could happen, then maybe, just maybe I would feel lighter somehow...but something deep inside will not allow me to do that....instead I write, and write, and write, about my inner woes, fiction, whatever... writing makes me lighter...(hey a new diet!)

I am so sorry about your mom, I had the feeling from reading your blog that she was not on the same continent as you,which would make her illness that much harder for you. Now I am going to have to go back and reread. My father has been almost 10 years cancer free, but we have the fear it has returned, I am not sure how I will deal with that, and my mother becoming terminal...oh god! So many would crumble if we lost her....and even though I am often thought of as the second best thing to Mom/Grandmom, I am not sure I have the capability to fill her shoes.
Your sister is the same age as mine...she too is at the beginning stages...her life has been much harder than mine, but when we take away the details...the needs are the same...we are so different in so many ways but she is also one of my best friends, when we are together, and have the freedom to really talk, so much is learned from the other.

As to being where I am at this age...where I thought I would be compared to where I am...how the seemingly smallest decision changes so very much.

The Peggy Lee song says it so well, I am definitely going to have to find it and download it..I have heard it before that I do remember...thank you

~lets keep dancing~

Steve said...

Fiona is beautiful inside and out.

Fiona said...

I like my analysing ways too..it's me and we're all unique creatures at the end of the day, if it's not harming anyone then have at it I say :)

I lost my dad to cancer (oral and throat) a little less than 18 months ago and not a day goes by that I dont' miss my life's anchor. I still grieve for him, loudly and painfully at times. He went through a terrible terrible time with it, invasive surgeries and treatments, I'll write about him on my blog one day, he was such an incredible human being.

I'm not as close to my mother but I do of course care. And yes, her being in Scotland while I'm in Hong Kong is hard. She's decided to have NO treatment whatsoever, and I can't blame her having seen what my dad went through. But it does make it tough because she doesn't want anything monitored either, there is no tracking the disease, it's a wait and see what happens approach but I fear winter as she also has COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). And yes, she's still smoking.

I'm planning a visit over in September with my sister and after that I feel I'll be in a constant state of being in the starter's block. All her children live away from her - my sister in the Canary Islands, my brother in South Africa.

Sunny, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad's cancer, dear god it's such an awful disease.

~ yes,lets keep dancing, for us and them ~

Steve....hush now!!! You're embarrassing me!!! No wait, do you have any single friends? ;)

plano said...

The parallels in our lives are batty. After having 4 (5?) days home away from The Wife, just coming back from a 6 hour drive from vacation, not alone but with plenty of introspection time. Weird.

Sunny Delight said...

plano--and where my dear friend did that introspection take you? I hope to a better place....

I love driving, the time to just let the thoughts flow..but this last time it seemed so hard...I think it was that wonderful feeling I had on Wed. it was so great to feel that, and I wanted it back so badly...

missed you! and damnit would it kill you to let me know you are gone sooo long because you were on holiday?! :P