Friday, May 9, 2014

Hard enough; easy enough

Days are darker and lighter than I had expected they might get.

I've acquired a new pointless pain in my right arm. Yeah, the one Finn the Human keeps losing on Adventure Time. Life imitates art, I don't need. At least his newest version of an "arm" involves a flower. Mine, however, reminds me more of this one... although my pain is in the upper arm, my expression looking at how my right hand is failing me is very much Finn's.
I think I'm coming to a new peace with describing my current state-in-life as "retired." One of the associate deans of Yale who was there when I was a student there, is finally retiring, and he has been lauded beautifully by the Yale official news system.

For years, he has carried the "mythical yale beast" staff in the annual commencement processional. (I think the only one he missed over 30+ years was for the birth of his son).

I was not publicationally, or sadly, in any way, lauded at my departure from my former employer; the most I got was the phrase "the end of a forty-year tradition" the year I finally couldn't play the organ for the school's commencement service any more. But, as I said as we opened, days are lighter than I expected they might get. Ram Dass says things like "if they don't appreciate you, that's on them, but if you are stuck expecting them to appreciate you, that's on you;" and there, at least, I don't need to be stuck any more. As Finn in Adventure Time has said at similar crucial-choice moments, "I'm done... I'm done."

But, also darker... I haven't managed to get outside simply to enjoy light and air, for too too many days. I'm not in the "I have to sleep now now now" state that I used to be in, but I do spend a lot of time in bed... I think, primarily because I have surrendered control to my elimination system. I don't wear pants around the house and/or in bed, which I'd love to do for warmth, but I don't want to delay my arrival in the bathroom by having garments in the way taking too long to deal with and get out of the way. Sometimes Alan the Bladder screams urgently for attention, and as for the mis-functioning of my large-intestinal-elimination system, the Drainer of the Dregs as the Chinese medical system calls it, I have no @$@#$ing idea what it's up to or what it wants or whether it's going to behave in any way according to my wishes. I don't want to be out of bathroom range if a Hindenburg-esque moment should arise, and trust me, I've had warnings and zero-warning moments. I do have "adult garments" which I never go without, which have in fact saved me on an occasion or two, but to spare you the details all I'll say is even saving me "enough" means "no fun." Even though it does keep me from "disaster."

But back to "retired"... if I look back over what I've done over the course of years, I see the Yalie Overachiever Pattern of doing two or three completely unrelated jobs at once. In the independent school world, they basically suck you dry. They want you to teach that, and maybe that, and coach that, and could you coach that too, and we also need this... and each one of those might as well be someone's 3/4 or full-time job.

So if I were to simply stack all the stuff I've done, and see how high that compares to just one job over the same course of time... it's very, very high.

So yeah, it's ok to retire. MS or not. I've done ... a lot. It's OK to retire. And do other things. Like, who might have expected it, to enjoy being alive?

Which I'm not doing a lot of right now.

But if I can do nothing else... that needs to change. I have no idea how to do that. But I need to do that.

So I guess this is adventure time, eh? And the adventure is... to be here now.

Hard enough. Easy enough, if one doesn't choose to make it "hard enough."

So then... here we go, right? Right?

We'll find out.

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