It's been ten years now...ten years since we thought we were entering the future. The future seemed like anything beyond the year 2000. Well here we are, at the end of a decade. Now what? Is it just me or do you not feel that futuristic? Didn't you kind of think we'd have flying cars and be taking vacations on Mars by now?
The past and the future never go the way we want. That's why they say there's only one moment, the Now. The Present. And I think the only way you can make the Present go your way is by being in it. You know when your 'in it.'
These last ten years have not gone exactly the way I intended. I've definately had some brilliant times, peppered in with times full of despair. It really was full of the good, the bad and the ugly.
Was it smooth sailing for you? My particular experiences led me on a roller coaster ride. I don't regret going to the amusement park, but I will take my Dramamine next time.
So what do I want for this decade? You know what I really want, more than kids, more than a man, more than money and fame...I want to be able to breathe. I want to be able to take deep breaths on a regular basis and be able to feel safe or something. I don't know what peace is, but I know I'm getting tired of my personal wars. My war with myself, my mother, my mania, my mistakes...mmm...
If you are about my age, which will remain a mystery, you are tumbling towards middle age. I'm not really a young adult anymore...even though I look at my senior citizen parents and think about how far away I am from them when they were middle aged. Right?
I worry like they used to and still do. I worry about my family, my future, my past, my health, my career, money...etc. etc. But am I just gonna spend the next ten years worrying?
I could you know, follow the path of my ancestors. My grandfather, at ninety-eight, I kid you not, kept writing the Indian government about his pension. (He was also known for taking two shots of vodka every morning). And he was worried about us....hmm...(He lived to be ninety-eight, you gonna argue with that?)
I mean, these are all normal worries you know...it's just that normal people are not exactly what I would call fulfilled. But, come on, who am I to judge a regular bloke (I love that British word)? I have a brother in law who is British. When he came to the States to visit (albeit he visited Kalamazoo, Michigan) he said that everyone's face was so hard. Like they had lived something hard.
It's hard to keep up with this race. In Europe they take vacations for like six weeks a year without guilt. That's the important part, they feel entitled to recreation. It does not mean that they have less of a work ethic, but we are little crazy robots here in the U.S.
So what should America want for this decade? Maybe we should start small, like teaching kids in school how to relax and still do their work. Maybe in America we should all try to make an effort to understand that it is quality not quantity that counts. It's not the number of dollars, but the richness of our lives that matters.
Maybe we should take a holiday, "Take some time to celebrate," as Madonna sang over two decades ago. Maybe we should slow down with the gadgets...they are nice...I want a Kindle myself because I love to read and it promotes reading, but come on....let's have a conversation that isn't interrupted by a cell phone call, a text message, an email on an iPad...Let's talk face to face. Let's look in each other's eyes.
Let's stop for a moment and breathe. Really breathe. We are not going anywhere, I'll still be here after you are done taking that breath. In some Eastern religions they believe that your life is not a number of years long, but a number of breaths. If you slow down the breaths allegedly you will have a longer life, but of course that's not the only reason to do it. It may sound too simple, but breathing deeply and consciously could save your life. Try it.
I intend on stopping a little more in this new decade. If you don't like flowers, or you are allergic, you don't have to stop and smell the flowers. But I'm gonna try and just stop and see if I notice my own fragrance...Like the deer who smells a beautiful musk and doesn't realize it's coming from his own body, instead he goes chasing nothing through the jungle, looking for the source of the smell.
I don't want to be a deer. I'm a woman.
I'm talkin' 'bout the Woman in the Mirror.