What is the plot of your life’s story? This is important because if you have not uncovered the general plot you will not know the vehicle that is driving you. You really need to know if you are riding in a Ferrari or a Winnebago because that calibrates the speed, direction, and milage, let alone the destination.
Yeah, I so got the Winnebago, with lounge chairs bungeed to the back. Let me just say Tom Selleck and I would not be crossing paths if it were not for reruns. In many way it’s an oddly accurate reflection of me. I have always been a home body. When I was young, my parents sent me off to Girl Scout Camp for a week, and I cried myself to sleep every night. I enjoy the comforts of home (if I was being honest, which I’m not, I would say the safety of home), there is something soothing about the familiar, which the outside world does not contain.
The idea that home is what drives me is accurate, it gives me the illusion of safety, a sturdy launch pad, and one I can return to after a good day’s labor. I love the Jewish tradition of the mezuzah, which is a holder affixed to the doorpost of the home, it holds the guiding principles subscribed to by the occupants, a reminder of that which you hold in faith. Love of God and family, not a bad thing to encounter as you pass through the front door. What would your mezuzah include? I definitely want God as my companion, along with a comfy place to write, cappuccino machine, and my Uggs’. It has been rumored that some of you are traveling with only a skateboard, seems rebellious, who am I to judge?
What’s the plot? Mine is a classic adventure story, girl meets boy, bada bing, bada bang, a bunch of apostles are born, I do the whole June Cleaver thing (in sweats, minus the pearls), willingly crucified by love. Eventually a ruthless regime (adolescence) disperses my children, I resurface in mid life with a mild head ache, tragically enamored with words, challenging the whole pinnacle theory. It can’t be all down hill from here?
Well, just to be safe, I replaced the worn out break pads, bought a swanky new pair of designer sunglasses, programed seeker of life into my after market GPS, and I’m ready for part two, just as the new gas tax takes effect. Story of my life, it will cost twice as much, because I’m a boomer from the coast. I tossed all the old maps because I want something new. Lao Tzu says, “a good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” I have gathered my old self in my arms and together we are ready to tackle the future.
“Let me fall if I must. The one I will become will catch me.” Baal Shem Tov
Now, even though Larry has been the main character in my life’s story for quite some time, he gets to drive a classic mustang convertible? What the hell? He’s clearly working from a different plot line. His story starts out with an overzealous jock, but as luck would have it, this boy meets an extraordinary girl, she’s a handful, but he rings her anyway, finds parenting a delightful diversion. Shoulders the burdens of householder for decades, marches into daily battle with the world, which only serves to strengthen his ethos. He finds himself on the top of the mountain, great views, sleek ride, and he is holding off part two with one hand, maybe he’s waiting for the winnebago to finish gassing up. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Mustangs are so easy to tow and I like the idea of taking the lead.
‘The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” C.G. Jung
I really don’t know where those paragraphs came from? I opened up my computer this morning and there they were. Edge of sleep writing from the night before. I was clearly in a mood. Larry’s been out of town for a few days and I’m restless. But there is something lodged in those paragraphs that makes a lot of sense to me. Although Larry and I have been shacking up for thirty some years, we lead very different lives, and are driven by different demons. I was in charge of the household, he carried us on his back, we were comfortable in our own rides. I’m just wondering if we’ll be riding together in this next phase, like we did in high school, holding hands across the bench seat of a restored blue Nova.
There were so many things that bound us in our early years, mortgages, jobs, schedules, bedtimes, academics, sports, homework, tuitions, to name a few. Most of these are gone. The possibilities have opened up like Mt. Hood on May 18th (which happens to be the day before my birthday). We’re actually excited about part two, as if the sequel to a beloved novel, but the characters have a shift in mindset, and you don’t know what to expect.
“Emotion cognition and well-being inextricably link to how we feel and implement our thoughts, our thoughts influence our feelings, and our physical health,” says Marc Brackett. It seems crazy but emotional well-being is imperative to a healthy life. “Words are never ‘only words’; they matter because they define the contours of what we can do,” claims Slavoj Zizek.
Check under the hood once in a while, maybe you blew a fuse, or you need some coolant. Find a good mechanic for goodness sakes. Keep things running smoothly! I can not seem to steer away for the car metaphor so I’m not even going to try.
“A century ago, petroleum – what we call oil – was just an obscure commodity; today it is almost as vital to human existence as water.” James Buchan
What drives you? Where are you going? What extraordinary things have you seen along the way? What is the meaning of your existence? Deepak Chopra says, “all renewing occurs in the now.” Fasten your seatbelt and let’s go for a spin.
“you are not too old
and it is not too late
to dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out
it’s own secrets”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
This post was previously published on CherylOreglia and is republished here with permission from the author.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: istockphoto