Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Gears of Life

I knew there was a post hidden here in these gears, but until now I couldn't see it.

Life (and the world) goes on like a machine. These gears are in rest, their job is done, for the moment. They are used to haul up the anchor on the American Pride, the ship I sailed on to Catalina. But life doesn't stop or rest. It goes on and on.

There are times we all want life to stop; to give us a chance to catch up to what is happening, to let us settle in for a while before we get hit with more we have to take care of.

I remember wanting life to stop when my first partner died. Didn't the rest of the world know I was grieving? Didn't they care? My friends did, bless them. But why would the rest of the world? They didn't know me. I needed time to process my feelings, to take care of his estate, what little there was. And in time, I did. I moved on.

I remember wanting life to stop when my husband left. But, it didn't. I needed time to process what he was asking for, and to understand my anger and pain. I also needed to know why our marriage failed, but I couldn't figure it out while dealing with the pain of having a failed marriage. I was the only one in my family, at that point, not to have one. We all do now. I still want to understand why, and maybe I never will. Maybe that's one lesson I need to learn; life has unanswerable questions. At times, it still hurts, but I will continue to move on.

Right now, I want life to stop while I sort out my most recent pains and difficulties; a recent heartbreak, a confusing adjustment to a new philosophy of teaching and the bits and pieces that go with it, the myriad of changes in an adjunct job I have for my school, the complex and confusing modification process for my mortgage, and now, the sudden deteriorating health of one of my dogs.

All of this is happening at once, and is very overwhelming. I know that what doesn't kill me, will only make me stronger, but I feel I need time to get through one event before having to tackle another.  The Universe, however, has a different take on the situation; I am strong enough to get through all of this. My lesson here is just to believe in myself that I can and will, and to prioritize what is most important at the time. That doesn't make it easier.

Right now, my priority is to get some medication for my dog, and some chocolate for me.


  1. Well, Jeff, if it's any comfort for you at all, I'd like to share that you have company in your attempting to face and work through more than one very challenging circumstance in your current life...all without the luxury of processing and recovery time in between. A few lines you just wrote, are exact words I have found myself telling myself in order to find solace in the midst of the pain and chaos.

    First of all, I am so truly sorry for the pain and emotional trauma you must certainly be feeling about the health of your beloved dog. I will pray for you both. I too, am in the process of working through the horrific emotional pain and grief associated with my mother's recent terminal diagnosis.

    At the same time, I resonated with your line about becoming stronger as a result of having to address so many challenges at once, and I've even used your exact phrase, as well as telling myself that "I can and will get through all of this."

    For not only have I been addressing the upcoming loss of a loved one, I've at the same time, been working day and night on a most taxing project where the deadline just seems to be impossible to master, and i feel as if I'm rapidly drowning.

    And Jeff, just as you get up each day and are there for your kids, i too, take much solace and comfort in seeing my clients, as we recognize that putting all our focused attention on others is the surest way to move beyond our own struggles.

    I applaud your courage, determination, and strength, as well as your dedication to your students and your dogs. May you find your moments of silence and grace.

    Evie Ball

  2. Evie,

    First, I want to thank you for sharing your struggles with me, and so publicly. In reality, I find we are never alone in our multiple struggles, it becomes a matter of finding a companion to share our burdens with, as a means of lightening the load until we are through them. I have wonderful colleagues to help with the school issues, and my ex and I are in terms of how we want to care for all our pets and any final decisions that need to be made. I am sure you have someone who can listen, if only for you to get it out of your system. It can only help.

    I also want to say how sorry I am to hear of your mother's illness. Having watched a loved one go through the same situation, I know how difficult it can be. Please remember to take time for yourself.

    All things come to an end, and this period we are experiencing will too. And we will be stronger for it, if we remind ourselves of it.

    I miss our sessions,
    Peace and tranquility,