Living in Books (Or, Turning Over a New Leaf)
There are many things that I want to say at any given time on any given day at any given moment: a complaint, a compliment, a kudos, a thanks, and far too often, many, many unhappy remarks about my current situation of not working. Of being disabled. Of not having my health, the one thing I would trade nearly anything to have. (Except my soul, should the Devil suddenly show up with an offer... but he hasn't yet, and frankly, I don't expect such a high personage to stop by for a visit. Although, if he did (or is it correctly He, as in the way Catholics capitalise the word for God?), I find an interview (for this, my belovèd blog) would definitely vein order. I should think He would like the free publicity.
That aside, again, not expecting so august a diety, there are a great many comments bursting out of me at any time. The usual, well, you all know. The new is what you don't. And yes, the answer is it has taken me all this time to arrive at the knowledge that will lad, swift and true, to a much overlong needed realignment to see what I actually have rather than what I had perceived as lost.
First, some people to thank, for without whom, real or imagined, this could not have happened:
1. My father, who has made the best of some truly heinous situations, and came out clean on the other side.
2. My cousin, Renée, who always keeps a sunny attitude through it all.
3. My husband, Luis, of almost twenty-five years; you are my lover, my confidante, my best friend, my soulmate.
4. David and Dorita Reyen, who keep the darkness at bay.
5. Kevin Vitale, who was always my biggest fan and has had many notes written in my head but never sent. My support and love always for giving me the last, best job ever. Everyone should end that way, career-wise: happy. Also, all of those who were there with me - I love you all.
6. All my friends who have given me years worth of love, new knowledge, a different way of seeing the same problems, and still love my bossy, overly opinionated self!
Are you still here? Wow. All waiting breathlessly for that new leaf, eh?
The new leaf is this: I'm bloody lucky!
And suddenly I can hear all this exhalation of air while at first, disappointment reigns supreme. What were you expecting, the key to all life? How to stay young but live to be 3,000 years old? The cure to cancer? Well, in a way this IS the cure to cancer: my own personal cancer. You are scratching your heads and thinking, "So what?"
No, now back it up a moment. What had I written about primarily since ceasing to work? (Don't say everything, because we both know that is not true. And don't say that it has just been Old Farmer's Almanac, as that is copying, not true writing, or giving of oneself. But I know what theme has come time and again: my condition. My not working. This complaint, that complaint, all centred around the same issues. And what did that do for me? I guess the truly charitable could say that it allowed me to work out all my issues on this forum, but really, did it? It's one thing to suddenly reach critical mass and throw up your hands and cry out, "Oh, Lord, what have I done to deserve this?!" But if you do it over and over again, the best you could ever hope for is the Lord to open one irritable eye and reply, "Have you not yet tired of making demands where none will be tolerated? Grow up! Suck it up! These things happen!"
So this is the new leaf. I am no longer as sad about not working. (Will I always be that way? No, and it is not reasonable to expect it. We all have our moments of crawling back into the abyss, of wrapping our misery like a warm cloak about ourselves and revealing in depression. But I have been revelling in it far too much of late and it needs to stop.) This is the bright, shinier, happier me. I need this very badly and as I said, it has been very long overdue.
Oddly enough, the thing I am most grateful for in this different life is the time and need to read. Many others may look at reading as a chore, but not me, I consider it a need, and one I will never outgrow or put away. When people would say to me, "Wow, you read while still working full-time and riding on the ambulance full-time? How can you do that? I can never make the time!"
Well, with that attitude, I wonder how you find your shoes every morning? No love, no enthusiasm. I can't think of anything worse than not doing a job you love. but at least love to be good at your job. It is something for which you are bartering: your product or work in exchange for all those things one needs: money, benefits, etc.. Not doing your best is criminal; being lazy won't give you more. I know Luis gets frustrated when I don't make the effort to get up and do things around the house or out-of doors. He just doesn't want me staying all bed all day.
The best part here truly is the reading. I saw a film with Luis called "About Time" with some guy who finds out he has talent to go back in time by going into a closet or a loo and thinking of a period of time, and squeezing his eyes and hands, makes the journey there. It is interesting because the father found a way to make enough money to retire at ago fifty so he can read all of his books. In effect, this is how I am viewing this. I have all the time in the world to read and so, unsurprisingly, I do. I would never be able to pass up reading.
My next favourite activity? Writing, naturally. And so, dear friend, take my hand and let us take that plunge into the wonderful world of writing!