Friday, October 19, 2012
Two surgeries and lots of life changes have finally taken their toll. I'm tired and cranky all the time and my body is in a state of rebellion. Things that used to work well are not any longer and it seems the more I worked at "repairing" or "avoiding" problems, the more problems I am having. Sometimes I think I should have left "well-enough" alone.
Which brings me to my topic of the day. What actually constitutes "well-enough" in our lives? For me, a once upon a time seeker of perfection, the answer to that question has been an evolution, a long, slow process. It's so easy, when saying the words "well enough" to hear oneself saying "wealth enough" and it's really hard to not envision wads of cold, hard cash drifting around in a the black abyss that is seen when we close our eyes. Money, falling from the sky....that's' wealth! Let's move away from that picture, right now. Step away from the wads......there's something better here.
Yesterday, I enjoyed a great treat. I met a friend of long-standing for lunch. We had not seen each other in a very long time, something not novel in our friendship history. Our lives had taken different paths years ago and a bunch of years ago, we reconnected. Again, we allowed communication to lapse and yesterday was the first time that we had to catch up, the first time to embrace again. I've been retired for the past two years and naturally assume that everyone I know should also be so of course I asked my friend Lynette when she was going to do the same. I know she works hard. She has to keep up a pace that many others of our same age could not. She's aggressive, productive,successful and counted on for getting it done and getting it right. I knew her "when" and always knew that she would one day become the CEO of a company and that she has. Her answer to my question was that she wasn't sure if and when she would retire, that she is spending too much money now and then she asked how Joe and I do "it", on "no" income. Well, we do have an income thanks to my hard working husband who re-invented himself and has become the guru of senior fitness in our community, but it certainly is much less of that waddy stuff that drifts by in our my mind's eye when we think of wealth. My answer was simple..."we just make it work" and we do.
Making it work is work. Making it work means living in a different desire zone. It means saying no to things we don't actually need and yes to things that we do. Living in an apartment instead of a house. Curtailing our spending by making conscious decisions about what we "need" rather than what we "want". Taking time to read the directions so that what we need and use gets used properly and not replaced at the first sign of disrepair Making soup once in a while. Taking ourselves to the beach on a sunny afternoon. Getting together with friends for sunsets rather than dinners-out in crowded restaurants during tourist season. Hanging laundry rather than pushing quarters into a dryer. Owning a diesel fueled car and maintaining it beyond the user's manual recommendations. These are some of the things that we do to make it work.
Of all the things, however, that make my life work best, I can think of nothing better than the presence of good friends in my life. Without them, things simply don't work well. With them, even the simplest of times become moments of grandeur. True signs of wealth and prosperity. I measure my success in life now by the relationships I enjoy with friends, real ones. The ones I don't have to see every day but still can pick right up and enjoy conversations with as if we had been together every day for all those years. The ones with whom I can be totally honest and comfortable when I answer the question of "how do you do it?"
I know how I do the proverbial " it " and I thank all of my dear friends for helping me do it and for making me want to do it better each and every day. I'm well enough, thank you.