Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's Time

It's time to make some serious changes in my life. I've been torn for the last few weeks, knowing what I need to do, unable to actually do it.

I came across something I wrote last year in Maine:

All I can hear is the rain lightly dropping on the leaves and the gulls on the water caw caw cawing at each other over some issue important to gulls.

I don’t understand their argument so it’s simply a sweet sound bouncing across the water, telling me I’m in Maine. Downeast Maine.

I love my family. I love my kids beyond anything in this world. And I love Walter and Allan, the kids’ dads, and the world we have created. Not easy, never simple but always beautiful.

I love my wife. I can’t believe, after all the trouble we’ve had in the last few years, I can say that now. I love her. Deeply. It’s not about how beautiful her eyes are- although she is still stunningly beautiful to me and was even when I didn’t like her very much- it’s about the connection we have.

The last few years, we did a total remodel of our relationship. Gutted the house, ripped out the foundation, and started over. Some have accused me of being restless, always restless, never happy with what I have. That may be true. I am easily bored and often move on.

I’m a control freak. I spent so much of my life not trusting anyone; I pack everything on my back and assume the captain’s chair.

Just like my mother, some might say. Not exactly like her, but similar. I don’t think my mother ever consciously thought, well, now, I am in control of this situation and I’m going to work it for all it’s worth. She simply wasn’t that aware of her surroundings and her emotional state.

You do what you have to do, she said all the time. As if life was a miserable trek to the dump to spend a day shoveling other people’s crap. And you were expected to smile about it, and say thank you.

I’m not very good at that. I’m not sure I ever want to be good at that.

And yet it is what I've continued to do. Why am I so clear when I'm next to the water, listening to the gulls? What gets lost when I come home, and sit at my desk?

I go pick up the shovel again.

Why does the rain feel like a treat there, an opportunity to build a fire, drink hot coffee and listen to all the thoughts running through my head?

Instead I'm pulled in so many directions, I can't see the forest for the trees. I don't make enough effort with friends who love me, spending time on connections that are hopeless.

Why? Why do I need love from people who do not love me? Is it because being pushed away is more familiar? Safer?

There are many people who only want my time. Why can't I make it all work?

The answer, I believe, lies in making the changes I know I need to make. Ending commitments that only drain me. Letting go of relationships that cannot and will not work.

I need to drop the shovel. It's my mother's shovel and she hated it, too. I cannot expect my kids to move through life without it if I continue to do it.

It's not going to be easy. But it's time.

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Blogger Rose said...

I could relate to some of the things you wrote about today. Especially about investing in those hopoeless connections. I think I do it because they are challenging, unknown, thus potentially more exciting than the known.
Well written post, both thought provoking and introspective.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have rid myself of a few hopeless connections, but it did take a long time to do so.

I think I felt too nostalgic about the good times we had. After I moved, get togethers were less frequent an always required me being the caller or planner.

I felt guilty and selfish when I started thinking about times that she actually would call me to hang out. The number of times this friend was actually "there" for me was even less.

While I still miss some of the fun times, I have filled that space with friends who do call back and who are there. And those are the folks you don't want to miss out on.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Sue J said...

At this time of year, I know a lot of people who are ready to "drop the shovel."

I do believe you've coined a new term!

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Jeffrey said...

When it becomes an obligation it's not fun anymore. One way to look at it.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous donald said...

well it seems pretty clear to me, you need to spend more time in maine!! of course, i have a vested interest in that happening, as i love having you around.

you do need to give up the idea that you need to be everything for everyone.

was great seeing you and ben yesterday, was sorry i missed jeanine, zack and jake.

and now i know, you can't be bitching about the snow anymore, since you hardly have any left! lol

8:54 AM  

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