The daily prompt for WordPress today is “survival,” so I felt I had to jump in and participate.
Yesterday was a very tough day for me at work. Everyone has challenging days, but as I grow older I find it increasingly harder to deal with some of the rough stuff. It feels…unjustified somehow. We’re all at our jobs, all of us full-time worker bees, showing up every day and trying, and most of the time, at most of the jobs, the harsh reality is that it doesn’t matter. You’re only as good as your last job, and no future is guaranteed. Everyone is expendable and, as I march closer to 50, there are lots and lots of younger, less jaded, more energetic workers who won’t cost the company as much in health care or time off, who don’t have a kid they have to bolt to pick up because of pink eye, or an aging parent who may have an emergency to tend to. And they don’t ask for as much salary. Your value slowly declines and your self-worth can go right along with it.
Part of why I increasingly focus so urgently on my personal life, on my son, my friends and family, on friendships and relationships and trying to squeeze every bit out of those moments is because it becomes the only thing that matters, that’s quality, that can give you a sense of inner peace, fulfillment, joy or excitement.
Last night, my son and I ate dinner and talked about geography. Then I helped him make a list – he’s into list-making these days, and last night it was basketball teams. About which I know almost nothing, so I had to call a friend who is more into sports than I am, and she helped me fill in the list. We watched Looney Tunes cartoons and I read him some of a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book and put him to bed. Then I paid bills, drank wine and tried to just relax and BE in the moment.
After my son was in bed, I stood outside on my patio looking at the woods. Any day could be the last day I look at those woods. You never know what life has in store for you, including ending it earlier than you’d like. I went inside and slipped quietly into my son’s room and kissed him while he slept.
All I know is each moment I am alive. There is no guarantee, and survival is finite no matter what you do. So this is where I live, in the present.