I've been whining a lot lately, both loudly and, for the most part, indiscriminately.
Frankly, I think I have even started to annoy my dog who now spends most of his time visiting various neighbors around the cul-de-sac, leveraging his fuzzy puppy-eyed evil for table scraps and a relentless game of fetch. He comes home from time to time, but his expanding social options seem to have made him even more cocky when he now begrudgingly drops by to sleep.
The whining snuck up on me. Things, all in, aren't bad. But they surely aren't simple. I work for a company in a pretzel of a financial mess, while many of the people and things I value right now fold up on each other in some absurd origami. Not...bad. But not...simple.
So I whine. But I'll get over it.
I am, however, getting a whiff of something different in the nose of this whine. In the past, when the tannins grew tart, I would revel in the inevitable transcendent moment when enough things reached near-crisis level that I could blow off any one of them because some other one had reached an even sharper peak of crapitude.
Realizing this moment had always been amazingly liberating. I would find this clarity to look at one pseudo-crisis and, instead of overreacting, conjure some what-if, some scenario in which some other frenetic demand was even more urgent. What-if...(aha!)...that?!?! And what-if I didn't, couldn't deal with this fire drill right now?
Just that pause would bring perspective, and I could often just walk away from it all, letting things I had spun up to into the silly to resolve themselves on their own.
[Insert your own details here.]
But this whine around, I am finding the usual transcendence a bit troubling. My normal course is to trade one worry off against another, put one panic off for another that is just an inch more red...lather, rinse and repeat...until ya have done a cycle or two through all that ails ya. the Irish Spring moment is a slap upside the head with the reality that if each could be trumped by another, perhaps none was as serious and urgent as I had originally overthought. Peace and calm slipped in where self-righteous needs to solve and fix had once flipped all my light switches on.
But this time, I'm not feeling so sanguine. My day job has long, long been more than somehow...external to me, the people and commitments and rippling implications on others are now settled in as core. At 4, 4, and 6, my kids are now...like...people. Real, live personalities, at least two stronger than mine. And I seem to have gotten over enough of my own personal shit to find some ports open for family and friends that have been over-secured for far, far too long.
So here's the deal. This time around I am not liking the idea of letting the emotion and importance and urgency of things fade, one trumped by another. I want to linger and learn, pause and ponder, stay and immerse myself, finally, in some select few. I guess the lesson is that up until now I have been spreading myself way too thin peanut butter. I guess before I thought that I had my ways of dealing with all that, sticking and moving, never being too deep in any one thing that I couldn't get deeper in another until in some MC Escher fashion in looped back on it all to restart at zero.
But you know, I think I am done with that.
If I have so many godammed important things going on that any one could trump another at almost any time, I think I can do the math to prove that, in fact, not a single one of those things is, actually, godammed important. At least important...enough.
But, and here is the kicker. I can point to three beautiful things currently splashing in baths upstairs right now that...each in themselves...prove that selfish argument wrong. Dead wrong.
Back in the dot-com days -- and it may still be there -- there was this groovy-ass deli at a poorly engineered Market Street intersection in SF where all the tattooed with pipe-sections-as-earrings bike messengers would hang, as hip in their heads as Kerouac used to be up-the-street and back-in-the-day. More importantly, this deli made this sandwich...This Sandwich...this amazing sandwich that took two sweet slabs of some sort of wheat and put them top-and-bottom around a full inch of peanut butter, buttressed by uncut slabs of banana. Dessert, lunch, decadence...health food? Whatever. Just perfect. That...that...my friends...
...that is peanut butter.
[Insert metaphor here.]
17 hours ago