I feel somewhat weepy today. Strange though, because I have no real reason to feel this way. No, this is not my feminine side showing, it’s my human side. At times the accumulation of life’s struggles creeps up on me without warning, and it’s when things are going well that I realise how bad it was before. It’s a strange sort of weightiness that I feel. I don’t feel weighed down, but I don’t feel lightened of my burdens either.
My endeavours to simplify my life have been somewhat fruitful, but the emptiness of space alongside me in bed still leaves me reaching out for something that isn’t there more often than I should. That’s probably the cause of my self-imposed insomnia, especially on Sunday evenings. Despite knowing that I will fall asleep the moment I lay my head down, I resist it with everything in me until I’m literally ready to pass out at my laptop before I begrudgingly drag myself over to the bed.
At times the exhaustion at that point is so bad that I find myself slithering into place trying to shrug the blanket over me, because I barely have the energy to move my arms. But it’s all not lost, I guess. Outside of these moments I still feel resolute in my naivety, and my optimism still persists. One thing I have resolved never to do is assume that it can’t get any worse. I’ve made that mistake too often before. It can always get worse.
If nothing else, the lessons of my life, thus far, have taught me that even when it seems like the darkness is going to overcome me completely, it always only ever took a single split second of light to change that. The trick now is to remember that the next split second could be the one when that light will pierce through the morbidity and pain. It reminds me of so many defining moments in my life. Moments when everything seemed consistently headed in one direction, and in a split second, it all changed. The moment I received that phone call when my first wife died. The moment I received that phone call that I got a job after being out of work for seven months and having made the last payment of my mortgage from my credit card.
There is no guarantee what the next split second brings, but because I’m often a creature of probability more than possibility, I easily forget those defining moments in my life, because innately I’m a statistician by nature. And the statistics prove that the trends of my life are mostly mediocre and blandly predictable, rather than unpredictably beautiful. But that’s because I tend to have a jaundiced memory that holds on to those experiences that caused me the most pain rather than those that caused the greatest elation. As ungrateful as that may seem, it makes perfect sense.
By design, I seek to protect myself from harm and pain, not happiness and joyful laughter. So it’s inevitable that I would be cautioned before I am encouraged. Perhaps that’s why it requires courage and effort to make a life beautiful, because it requires fighting against the very nature that I despise within me.