16 August 2011

Gearing Up for What's Next

Since I don’t know where to start this blog, I might as well jump into the middle. That’s where I am in my life anyway-- midlife. At least as long as I live to be 102, which is unlikely. Truth be known, I’ve been having midlife crises for quite a while now, for at least a decade, I guess. This is partly because I’m perimenopausal and partly because of the strange times we’re living in these days, though they’re not really as hard as some make out. It's not like it was in the Great Depression when there were people who had to go to work on empty stomachs because there was nothing to eat, no money, not enough work, and no unemployment checks coming in weekly.  People really should read a little more history to keep things in perspective.  Even given these “troubled times,” a phrased overused a lot in the past couple of years, most of us still live like royalty in America in comparison to Third World countries and even mere decades ago. Most American households have multiple televisions and computers, among other things. I don’t watch much television when I live by myself, and I even have a nice one now. Of course that is because my best friend was visiting me while I lived in the Puget Sound area and she wanted to be able to watch sports during her visit. I owned a cheap 19-inch color television, but since her vision is less than stellar she bought me a 32-inch HD television with an LCD display. I've enjoyed watching DVDs on it and the Weather Channel of course. I even break down and watch a show now and then.

I’m a writer by trade, so my royal wealth is revealed mainly in the number of laptop computers I own. Yes, multiples, because of their tendency to develop weirdnesses after a few years.  Since I have to be connected to the internet a lot to keep my various businesses operating, I buy a new laptop if my main one starts behaving badly. I usually keep at least one backup just in case something untoward happens to my main one. I recently acquired an extra, older laptop that had been retired by my friend who doesn’t wear them out the way I do. I think she replaced this one because it didn’t have a keypad, which is okay with me, since I’m used to not having one anyway. I use numbers a lot less than I use letters. She, on the other hand, is a high school math teacher. Thus the need for the keypad.  Getting her old one brought my total collection to four. I just passed one on to my nephew, otherwise I’d have five, which is a bit excessive even for my tastes. But I digress.

I want to keep a journal on what I am about to do and how I am proceeding on my life’s path as it unfolds before me. I know that I’m on the right path, but I really need some guidance at the moment and a forum for untangling the threads of thought that are currently winding their way along my synapses. I need to process, I guess, and the best way for me to process things has always been to journal my thoughts. So let me bring you up to speed. If you’ve been following my blogs you’ll know basically how I got to this place in time. If not, you might want to back up a bit, but you really should read my first collection of autobiographal essays, Slices of My Life: So Far.  That will make my life seem a little more sensible to some of you. Maybe.

I’m 51, and I’m living in my best friend’s house in Florida. This is not where I thought I’d be at this age and stage of life, but it is, however, where I am at the moment. While I’m glad to be able to spend more time with my buddy after twenty-five years away from this part of the world, I miss my chosen home, which is the Puget Sound region. It’s located in the Pacific Northwest part of the United States. I also miss having my own life. For various reasons, I needed to come back here for a time. The reasons for this return to my childhood home are nearing completion, and I’m itching now to move onto whatever is next or to go back home to the Seattle area. Only I don’t want to go home the way I got here. I had a harrowing trip getting here that was hard on me and my three cats. In fact, the oldest of my cats died about three days after we arrived. That was no fun, but fortunately my cats reincarnate and come back to me, so he’s back now, and we are even closer than we were before, possibly because of all we went through getting here. I’d really like to go back in a small RV, so they and I can roam about the country in greater comfort and at a gentler pace. Apparently the size and kind of RV I’m interested in is called a Class C motor home. Whatever. It’s not too big and it’s not too small for one person and three cats. As in the children’s fairy tale, it’s “just right” for this Goldilocks (NOT) and her three teddy bears (cats).

While the trip here was difficult, it did have moments of beauty. However, I’d like the journey back to be simply beautiful and a great time of connecting with lots of friends and family along the way, and I’d like it to prepare me for the next stage of my life. I’ve had over a year’s worth of trying to recover from all that happened to me during the packing and moving last year. I need things to be easier now. I’m not in as good a shape as I was before I started packing last year, but I do have considerably less stuff. I’d already been paring down over the years because of all the moving I’ve done in my life.  I have continued to pare down since I got here. Now I find myself paring down even more. Again.

I’d like to be able to fit most of my belongings in and on the motor home, my bicycle being the one thing for sure that would have to ride on the outside. I sold my sixteen-year-old car a few months ago after owning it for fifteen years. I love that car, but it was time to let it go so I found her a good home. Now I need to find a good home for myself and my cats. We’re just fine where we are, except that it isn’t our home, and this isn’t the part of the world where I fit. I grew up in Central Florida, but for my entire life, I didn’t feel as though I belonged here. I still don’t.  I knew I had to be here for a time, but that time is running out now, and I need to know what I need to do in order to be ready for the next step. I also need to manifest whatever I’m going to need to move me to the next place.

So I continue paring down and now I’m looking for an RV so I can join the millions of other Americans in the world who ride off into the sunset to enjoy the retired life. Only I’m not retired. Indeed, I’m in one of the few professions where retirement is not only unnecessary, but it’s also unlikely. Most writers pretty much die writing. While I have a number of years to go and lots of things to see and say yet, I will no doubt stop writing only because my heart has stopped beating. I’d be very happy just to drift off to sleep some day and never wake up. I know pretty much when that will happen. If you've been reading my blogs, you might already know that I am of a spiritual bent. If truth be known, I am psychic and work closely with angels, so I know that death is nothing to fear.

When a spiritual teacher told me several years ago that I could just ask when my time would be up, I did. It wasn’t as long as I thought, but I’m happy with all that is left of it. It’s enough time to do what I need to do before I close my eyes for the last time, as long as I stay on my path. That’s what I’m doing here now. Staying on my path. It’s not necessarily what other people think I should be doing or want me to be doing, but I stopped worrying about what other people think I long time ago. That's what makes me a good lesbian. In order to come out to myself and the world, I had to quit caring about what other people think about me and my life choices.

In the immortal words of one of the greatest childen’s writers of all time:

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”  --Theodor Seuss Geisel (a.k.a., “Dr Seuss“)

So here I go, preparing for the next step into the seeming void that will become more solid the closer my foot comes to making it.

I’m reminded once again of the Taoist teaching.  “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. “ -- Lao-Tzu

Beth Mitchum is the author of six novels, one collection of poetry, one collection of biographical essays, and one music CD. Her works are available at Amazon.com through the following link: http://tinyurl.com/bethmitchumbooks

No comments:

Post a Comment