It is Saturday night and I can't sleep. I keep thinking about my upcoming trip back to the States. Those thoughts lead me to evaluating my entire life; all the mistakes I have made, people I have lost along the way, bad financial decisions, etc. You get the picture. Maybe you too have had these kinds of night thoughts? Transitions always bring out my anxieties. Life is so much easier if every day is the same. Routines give the illusion that nothing bad will happen, that things will go on forever the same way.
I was reading about risk vs. safety. Everyone has to choose where along that continuum is most comfortable. Safety has many advantages. Security, even if it is a false security, makes it easier to feel free to explore higher needs. On Maslow's pyramid of needs, security is one of the most basic and creativity and spirituality can't be explored unless that one is met first. Unfortunately, in my life, too much security leads to boredom and from boredom comes depression, not creativity. I have been living in beautiful homes this summer, like a wealthy person. All my physical needs have been met and then some. I have never felt so secure. Yet I have not done much in the way of creativity or spirituality.
I have read a lot of books and recently started watching television. When every physical need is met then the missing parts become more glaring. I still haven't figured out what those holes are in my life. I just experience them as a sense of lack. They can't be filled if I don't know what they are. Many women and some men close to my age find fulfillment in grandchildren. I have none. I also don't have any particular talent that could keep me occupied. I am a Jack (Jackie?) of all trades, master of none kind of woman.
I am looking forward to being with my son and daughter-in-law but they have their own lives. A week or so will probably be enough visiting for all three of us. I will be visiting with friends in Portland and that is something to look forward to but I also have to do my taxes. That is never fun. Since I have been out of the States, I was able to get a six month extension.
I have many friends here who experience similar feelings I am now having about returning to the States. It is stressful up there. It is expensive. People are always in a hurry. Smiling at strangers isn't encouraged. Saying good morning to strangers is usually considered socially unacceptable. Since I am in the habit of doing both when I am in Mexico, my already fragile ego gets bruised with every hello that is not acknowledged or returned. Hope and habit keep me doing it. More people drive around in cars than walk. Everyone seems so isolated in those cars. There are too many cars and traffic jams are everywhere.Then the people isolated in cars glare at each other and aggressively honk their horns. Not a fun way for me to spend the afternoons. I would prefer to spend my afternoons walking around town in Mexico and saying hello (Buenos Dias) to strangers. They always respond with beautiful smiles and that makes me happy. I love to see people smile. It touches my heart and for a brief moment I experience the presence of God through them.
Life is easier here. Of course there are problems here too. But now they are known problems and I can handle them. (So far I have been able to handle them.) Sometimes when I am in the States and in cars zooming along the crowded freeways, I get fearful and overwhelmed by it all. Then I just want to go back to Mexico, to my simple life. I guess it is a balancing act; deciding just how much risk to take. Sometimes safety seems more important and at other times; risk and excitement. Life is interesting. There are so many challenges and choices to make. I will do my best to look forward and not dwell on my past mistakes. As long as I am alive I can always make new mistakes to dwell on in the future.
My window is open and I hear the chirping of hundreds of crickets. A loud Mexican dance band is playing a few blocks away. Tubas, trumpets, snare drums, the whole works. Raucous Ranchero music. Mexico's favorite music. The two dogs I am taking care of are sleeping beside me and I occasionally hear their slow deep sighs of contentment. The night breeze is warm and gentle on my exposed skin. I am not wearing much because it is so warm. The night is filled with pleasures of the senses. Writing out these feelings has brought me back to the present moment. Writing has worked better than any anti-anxiety pill. The present moment is pretty nice. That is good because nothing else is real. The past is gone. The future is just a dream. Maybe I will be able to sleep now.
our scarlet letter
10 hours ago