Present Tense

Tick-tock, tick-tock

We’re all on a journey.  It’s impossible to think otherwise as the seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months, years and decades pass.  The journey will end in the same place for all of us of course, but I’m at an age where I’m exploring ways to make the remainder of my journey, a more conscious one.  Time passes and not ONE of us can stop it, slow it or control it.  What we can do is be conscious of it’s passing and make sure that we make good use of our allotment, while we have it.  Time may be infinite, but we are not.

I suppose that reaching the half century mark and watching my parents approach 90, has made me much more physically, emotionally and spiritually aware of the ticking clock of my earthly journey.  So, what to do; do I throw myself into ‘living everyday as if it’s your last’, mode?  Nope, not my style; I’m not one of those people who would book a flight around the world, if I was I informed of my impending death.  I don’t see any sense in cramming everything in right before you die; seems too frenetic and cliche .  Are there things I want to do and places I want to see?  Absolutely, but I also want to fill my days and my mind with more knowledge, more understanding, more clarity and at least a glimmer of inner peace.

I’m a bit of an ascetic (look it up), in that I am comforted and strengthened, by denying myself things that I believe don’t advance my journey. Complete disclosure:  I wasn’t always this way…okay, moving on. For instance, I absolutely believe that many things in pop culture chip away at our souls; they desensitize us to truth, beauty, self-reflection.  There is only so much time and I refuse to waste it on the “Bachelor”, “Bachelorette” or “Jersey Shore”!  Okay, call me a snob or an elitist or a buzzkill; I’m not, but I just don’t allow myself to consume certain things, whether it’s liquor, gallons of high-fat ice cream or junk TV because I honestly believe that we grow by resisting some of our non-productive urges.  Time is short folks and “Celebrity Apprentice” ain’t on my ‘to do’ list.

Culturally, I’m disheartened by the nonsense that we consume.  People say, “hey, I had a hard day/week/month and I just want to sit down and veg in front of the TV”.  I get it; but maybe, it’s your LIFE that’s the problem.  Your choices, your priorities, where you are in your journey.  What is it about your life, that makes you want to fill your free time with celebrity gossip and “Project Runway”?

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I enjoyed as a kid, how I spent my time when I had no real obligations or responsiblities; when I did what pleased me and filled my soul.  What if ALL of us put that into practice a little more?  When you were a kid, did you love to sit for hours, watching dysfunctional people on some phony TV show?  Did you take pleasure in observing other people’s failures and pain (other than your siblings)?  Doubt it.  You probably played games and laughed and built stuff and sat outside in the dark, because it was fun; it filled you.  Maybe you liked music, or drawing or painting or baking or sports;  revisit those passions and see if you don’t feel more alive and less numb.  One more thing: chances are, there was no wine involved.  Seems that lot of you can’t do ANYTHING without wine, wine, wine…..(okay, I admit it.  That’s the former boozer in me judging you, but trust me, life can be lived and enjoyed with a little less wine:)

Look, all of us need time for introspection, for self-assessment, for an honest look at how we’re conducting our personal journey.  Put some things aside; you REALLY don’t HAVE to do all of the things that you tell yourself are required of you.  If you miss one or two of your kid’s sporting events, they will not be damaged for life, nor will their precious self-esteem be dented.  Kids are resilient, despite the cultural noise about how delicate they are; and you KNOW that’s true, but there’s so much pressure to be perfect and involved and worn out and empty and useless.

Check out the clock and the calender.  It’s not stopping, EVER.  You and only you, are in charge of  the time you have left.  Ready? GO!

February 15, 2010 - Posted by | Musings | , ,

13 Comments »

  1. Love this, thanks, Jane….great writing, points and food for thought!

    Comment by Francesca Amari | February 15, 2010 | Reply

  2. You are singing my song girlfriend. Love ever last morsel of it!

    Comment by Margie Jennings | February 15, 2010 | Reply

  3. I’m really curious as to why you would think that we should attack you in some way for speaking your mind about our ‘mental junk food’ society. We talked about finding/re-finding our passion when I first ‘met’ you. (I recall when someone told you you needed to ‘try on dresses’ to find your joy.) Revisiting our passions in life and giving up the junk food in all of its forms rings no less true today than it did then….especially at our age:)

    Comment by kandis | February 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Because, most people don’t like being judged for their choices or behavior, that’s why. I sure don’t like stuff like that pointed out to me:) But, I’m doing my best to see through the fog of what makes me happy/unhappy and introspection and navel-gazing is a terrible thing to waste.
      Having said that, if anyone is really mad, something I wrote must ring true!!
      I do remember that about ‘trying on dresses’…HAHAHAHA!
      Maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to reject that:)
      Anyway, thanks so much for your note; you’re right: IT’S MY BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Jane

      Comment by janelondon | February 15, 2010 | Reply

      • I am always amazed at people who are critical of things they get for free. Your insights are eye opening and challenging and you offer them to us as a gift. you gift. If someone is unable to handle that then perhaps gifts and horses should come to mind.

        Comment by kandis | February 15, 2010

  4. your comments make my day:)
    enjoy the bologna sandwich, a side of simplicity!
    Perfect!
    thanks
    jane

    Comment by janelondon | February 15, 2010 | Reply

  5. your comments make my day:)
    enjoy the bologna sandwich, with a side of simplicity!
    Perfect!
    thanks
    jane

    Comment by janelondon | February 15, 2010 | Reply

  6. You all are marginalizing beer here! Never forget, beer is a healthy alternative to wine/booze.

    There is a lot to grab on to in your post. It really rings true at this moment in my life. Thanks for the deep thoughts and advice.

    Comment by ramone820 | February 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Good one Ramone820 – NEVER MARGINALIZE BEER! You sound just like my son! It’s a food group all on it’s own!

      Just be careful that your beer diet does not overtake the rest of your fruits and veggies!! Spoken like a true Mom!

      Comment by Big Sis | February 15, 2010 | Reply

  7. Happiness is overrated!!!!!

    Contentment is MY holy grail! And reaching that is a journey over a lifetime. Some reach it earlier than others; my hope is that all learn contentment sooner rather than later.

    Simplicity begets joy and contentment – think about that!

    Continue your journey little sis!

    Watching with love!

    Comment by Big Sis | February 15, 2010 | Reply

  8. Funny, I found myself thinking, and even journaling, about the things I did as a kid that made me happy, healthy, and whole. Of course I didn’t see it that way then, but hindsight is great isn’t it? Because of this thinking, I found myself lying on the stairs outside in a blanket the other night, just staring at the night sky:)

    Comment by Jen | February 15, 2010 | Reply

  9. Hi Jane,

    I don’t think you are a mom, but your comments about losing yourself in your children are insightful. My boys are teens now and what I found out is how much I really forgot about myself as I was raising them. I honestly don’t know what things I enjoy anymore – isn’t that crazy? But it is fun to think about “rediscovering” some of my previous (and maybe new) interests. If I forced myself not to do housework / cooking etc. one weekend — what would I do??? It would NOT be watching the bachelor shows on TV!

    Thank you for your thoughts!

    Comment by lrbbie | February 16, 2010 | Reply

    • Irbbie:
      interesting to contemplate, isn’t it? Give it a try some weekend, even if it’s only for a few hours. Thanks for the comment; I appreciate the you visted my blog!
      jane

      Comment by janelondon | February 17, 2010 | Reply


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