November 23, 2013

Getting There, Wherever “There” is. ~ Heather Haskins

I’ve been feeling better about life lately.

Or trying to. Wanting to. And I was wondering, today, what has caused this shift from “I enjoy negativity and all its trimmings” to “I just want to lighten up and enjoy myself.” It isn’t a transition that I assume will happen quickly, or even completely, in my lifetime, but lately I notice moments—longer and longer at a stretch—where I actually feel content. Almost at peace.

And as I think about how this is happening, here’s what I keep coming up with:

1. No. More. Politics. Period.

This is particularly challenging, seeing as how my life (at least my M-F, 8:30-6:30 life) is dictated by politics and political agendas and vote-getting decisions.

Still, I don’t have to absorb any of it. My to-do list at work is basically, unchangingly, the same, day after day, even though the content of it may change from year to year. I need not invest my energy in nonsense. I know how I feel and what I believe, and I’m not interested in putting forth the effort to recruit people to my way of thinking any more. And chances are, at least when it comes to the big issues, no one will ever successfully recruit me over to the opposite side either. So why dwell and stew and wrinkle my skin over things I can’t control?

2. My “me” time is becoming more and more sacred and more and more about me.

I refuse to be yolked to my cell phone anymore. Not when I’m home. Or out walking with Beckett. Or just simply being. No more disappointment over calls that never arrive. No more obsessive checking for messages that never appear. I’m my own company, and I’m content with that. I’ve even decreased my Facebook frequency significantly, though that remains an addictive work-in-progress. Still, I think the important thing is to seek out people who would kill to spend time with you rather than allow yourself to be sought out by people who are looking to kill time.

3. I’m trying the honesty thing.

And lo and behold, it’s working.

That’s not to suggest that I was previously an untrustworthy liar or anything. But typically, when given the choice between respectfully but honestly stating my opinion or my needs or my desires and potentially putting someone else out or going against public opinion, I cave. I sell myself out. I pretend to like things I don’t like, I pretend to want to do things I simply don’t want to do. Funny how a whole new world opens up when you actually make the time for things you really do enjoy, really do want to do, because you aren’t spending all your time living someone else’s version of your life.

4. I’m focused on health.

I’m trying to see my body as a collection of functioning, amazing parts that somehow manage to work together despite how badly I’ve abused them.

I often wonder if my very soul suffers from Stockholm Syndrome, because it has yet to abandon me even when given the chance. I think this means that I actually have a little bit of unconditional self love going on or something. I’m working on cultivating that. I think it’s an important step toward happiness.

I guess that’s all I’ve got for now. Maybe there’s more, but these seem to be the biggies. And maybe it’s a good thing that some stuff is coming more naturally, so that I actually have to stop and ask myself what it is I’m doing, instead of knowing, planned moment by planned moment, what I’m thinking and feeling.

I think happiness is something we all deserve, but I also think it’s something we have to find for ourselves.

And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with pulling a chair up to that table, holding out one’s plate, and asking for a huge helping of the stuff. I don’t even think there’s anything wrong with asking for seconds. And doggie bags. And leftovers.

There’s plenty to go around, enough to feed us all, and more than we could ever possibly consume in our lifetimes.

So belly up, friends—and bon appetit.


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Assistant Editor: Gabriela Magana/Editor: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: Megan Sachs}

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Heather Haskins