What Do I Want?

”Do you want some more coffee?”
“Yeah…it’s going to be one of those days.”
“You mean a week day?”

Thanks, Kiddo, for reminding me that my goal to cut down on coffee is still a far-off dream. Lets be honest, as a goal, it’s in the rear-view mirror and I’m driving rapidly away from it. I had quit for a time, but started back again with “just a cup” on the weekends when out with my husband. That easily slid into “just a cup” on the weekdays with my daughter, the same daughter who is now brewing our second cups in her French press. (See…we at least make it harder on ourselves, brewing two cups at a time instead of using the old Mr. Coffee I tucked away in the closet.) The day’s just getting started, there will be more.

I made the mistake this morning of entering my height and weight into a BMI calculator. Before the holidays, I had been making a real effort to eat healthier, hoping to lose some weight. I’m doing about as well with that as I am with the coffee. I have lots of excuses I use only on myself (no one else would buy them). The fact remains, the year is zooming by and I’m not doing any of the things I had decided I really wanted to do. Except this blog. Writing something every day, just because.

I used to be better at making changes all at once, completely overhauling my life. I liked to tackle everything at once and use the exhilaration to power through any resistance. What happened? Is it aging? Is it depression? Is it fatigue? Is it wisdom?

The changes I made didn’t always stick (as my BMI can attest). When I look back through years of journals, I see that I’ve been writing about and wrestling with the same issues for years. I like to think that this isn’t a sign of zero progress, but of spiral growth. Same issues, yes, but a different vantage point each time one comes around again. Hopefully, the new perspective is a slightly higher one, wiser one, more evolved one. I imagine doing a spreadsheet of issues over time, pulling pertinent quotes from each year, comparing the quality of my questions and the depth of my emotions for each….Too much work. I’ll stick to flipping through pages now and then to check in on my former selves, to remind the current me of where we’ve been.

Sometimes I come away feeling tremendous compassion for that person trying so hard to figure out life. Not always. Sometimes I come away feeling tremendously sad for the person still expecting to find answers.

Still, I write to ask and to answer and to feel. I write to find myself, hiding somewhere in the ink, in the spaces left by whatever words I gathered that day and spilled across the page. I write to search for the light when all I see is the dark.

I WRITE THE DARKNESS OF MY MIND

I write the darkness of my mind
In metered phrase, in measured rhyme
Each tortured word, an anguished cry
I write the darkness of my mind

I paint the darkness of my heart
In colors bold, in shadows dark
Each frantic stroke, a demon’s art
I paint the darkness of my heart

I sing the darkness of my soul
In mournful tone, in endless woe
Each bitter song, a hope brought low
I sing the darkness of my soul

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