Sometimes how we live is a choice. I have that opportunity to choose how I will live. Mostly. I cannot create money or other resources out of thin air, although the ability to do that would probably come with many more negative consequences than I would be willing to handle. Still. Would be nice.
Anyway. I survived yesterday's challenge and whilst I am not feeling all that successful, what with the martinis and all, it does have me believing that all of my little, baby and babyish steps are beginning to pay off beyond the basics, those necessary for survival, on all levels.
If I ever manage to receive my share of the resources from that other life, I will be able to live in relative comfort, which means that I will not have to hang on to my car just in case I need to park it somewhere and live out of it. That threat will always be a part of my consciousness, although I move away from it, step by step, each day another heartbeat away from that particular fear. Another heartbeat closer to facing and handling one more of those issues. A list that never ends for even normal people, which, I guess is a group that I can see myself as a member.
Some time back, a person who replied here challenged me about thinking that ordinary people, normal, whatever term I used then, do not have any problems. I thought that I had fully expressed that in my post, and I was unprepared to share that. So, I did what I usually do, and that was to not speak up. Another lesson learned, although it is my tendency to back down to even the mildest difference of opinion.
I will always take the lower, more subservient position, and, you know, I am not sure that I want to change that. It allows me to avoid jumping straight to feeling defensive and helps me see things, whatever they are, from the perspective of the other person.
Sure, my default response is embarrassment, quickly followed by shame, but it is not the worst way to respond to some things. I am working on lessening the shame part, but if I first am at least a little chagrined, that is much better than being pissed. Huh. I wonder if I could be good at being pissed. I am sure that it is only a matter of time before I find out.
Even people who have not had the kind of life experiences as I have had still have a lifestyle. My sisters do, as does my daughter and her family. Friends, co-workers, hell, everyone. Mine is better than many others, and I do not dwell on what has been lost. I tell my self that there was a fire and what I have now is all that I need. Fire is cleansing. It is fast and it is pretty much final. I like all of that, and it in no way minimizes the terrible losses that people experience when tragedy strikes.
And, now that I am here, post conflagration, and living even more frugally than I did during that other life, I wonder, can all those years be of use? Apparently they can. I am doing better than most of the people with whom I work, those folk who are just like me, struggling with extraordinary challenges. It is so much more than enough for me.
After last night's wedding, at a lovely place, full of expensively dressed and very nice people (except for maybe the father of the groom...I do not remember ever judging anyone so quickly before), eating knock-your-socks-off food and cool music and great conversation and those annoying martinis, I woke this morning at the right time to have coffee with my friends. In another city, to be driving my own car, recently filled with pricey gasoline, maybe having something to eat as well, and I just could not do it. My life seems just too schizophrenic. So, I went back to sleep. Mostly because all of the recent good stuff is making me feel ever so wealthy
I am confused, as well, by how difficult every day stuff can be, and since I am home, avoiding doing anything useful (some of that every day stuff), I decided to play a bubble game or two, which I still have not done. That daily work, it all seems invisible to me until it reaches some undefined critical mass and is staring me right in the face. I keep up with the kitchen and bathroom. The laundry is a challenge, but I have only so many big girl panties and unless I want to go commando...makes me ill just to think of it...an afternoon at the laundromat is not the worst way to spend time. It is nice there. Moist and smelling clean. I specially love the scent of the fabric softener products people use. I have no intention of buying or using any of those, but it is pleasant to be around it once a week. Sort of like dogs. If you have a friend or neighbor who will let you hang around their dog, you can have all of the fun of dog ownership with out any of the responsibility.
Anyway, I am feeling uncomfortably rich today. I have plenty of simple food, electricity, this computer and its connection to the rest of the world, the ability to regulate the temperature, enough money to afford my medications and a domicile to contain all of it. So, I came here, sat down, popped a diet soda (a personal symbol of wealth), read some of the blogs I follow and had my socks knocked off.
I read Mark Bittman's blog, at the New York Times, and one of the reasons is that his social responsibility extends to actually doing something useful and is one that I admire.
The post is about what he is reading. It is too rich to even begin to paraphrase, read it here:
What we're reading now
One of the links is to an article in The Atlantic Cities, D.C. based, but do not let that discourage you. I would link to the original research at Science, but you need a subscription to read more than the abstract.
How poverty taxes the brain
I have not experienced the level of poverty that most poor people suffer, but the research does give me hope that my muddle-headed-lack-of-energy and generally sluggish state can be helped.