Life & How To Live It


tightrope

You know what I find interesting? Life. Life is interesting. And the reason it’s so interesting is because it can change on a dime. I don’t know about you, but MY life seems to change every single second. My mood swings change, my attitude changes, my outlook changes. Everything hinges on each & every little thing that happens. And it’s complicated and at any given second, it can all come crashing down around me.

I don’t know about you, but one day I find I’m happy & chipper, moody & irritable the next. I’ll be singing songs to my daughter at 8am and then pissed off by 10. It’s a round robin of emotions and my family is caught in the crossfire. It’s made my life somewhat unpredictable and, by all accounts, I don’t think I’m the only one with this kind of problem.

Au contraire…just about everyone I know is. Of all of my friends, we are all going through life changes. Whether its a job that was lost, or a relationship that is faltering, or how our lives have changed with the addition & responsibility of children. I am dealing with with all of these things AND a damaged economy AND lousy healthcare AND trying to pay the bills AND trying to maintain some dignity within myself as I let all of my wants & needs sit in the balance as I try to be all things to everyone. Whether it’s being a father or a husband or a friend. There are pressures swirling all around me and it can be very cumbersome. Not that all of these responsibilities are burdens. On the contrary, these things are what define me. I AM all these things. But sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be an hour in the day where I get any peace. And that is where some of the biggest issues lie.

Life is frail. Relationships are frail. Friendships are frail. Children are frail. And sometimes I’m the bull in the chinastore, plowing my way from one side to the next without any regard to what or who gets hurt. It’s aggravating to have to worry so much about what everyone else needs or thinks. At some point, I think I just don’t care. When life requires THIS much thought, then what’s the point. Then I am simply reacting to things. Reacting to what others’ opinions of me are. Reacting to what others expect of me. Reacting to what society tells me I should expect of my life.

It’s a tightrope. And I walk it everyday. I see everyone reacting to what is happening around us. Every day brings a new complication or a new burden. It’s hard, this life we live, and I’m trying to make it all good. Sometimes it comes in a song on the radio. Sometimes it comes from a good book. Sometimes it comes from my daughter’s laugh. And then there are times when the burden is lifted by a good memory or the possibility of one. All I am looking for is inner peace. And aren’t we all?

I want to be everything to everybody, but that is just not possible. I want to be the best father. Sometimes I’m not. I want to be the best husband, but often times I’m not. I would love to be your best friend, but I realize that I won’t be. But I get up every morning, ready to tackle the day and I get to it. And I live it. And usually it’s all good. But there are times when I feel like there should be more. More than just getting up and rolling through the motions. More than walking on that stupid rope and hoping it all works out in the end.

Life is frail, my friends. Fragile and ready to be broken. But it is one we all share together. And if we live it together, knowing we are all not perfect, it makes life a lot easier to deal with. Being there for one another makes all the difference, as family or friends or neighbors. None of us are perfect…even when we want to be. But we ALL are doing the best we can. And sometimes that is good enough.

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3 Responses to Life & How To Live It

  1. mom says:

    Your last line summed it all up. Live life to its fullest. Do the best you can. Have no guilt—no regrets. If all your days were good days, you wouldn’t appreciate the great days. You’re doing fine, son. You are to be envied. Love…mom

  2. What a great post, it’s like you are speaking directly towards me. I am definately guilty of all these feelings…and like you say, I guess we just have to do our best….. 🙂

  3. Nice thoughts there, Alan. In the end, what we know about ourselves is more important than what most people think of us. Most of the world is judging us, with very little knowledge of us. But think about this: even if a lot of them casually had a high impression of us, how much would that matter? What makes or breaks it is how high of an impression we have for our own self.

    Thoreau said, “Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.”

    He also commented on another part of your post, saying, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” I think those of us willing to admit it will say that life is at once puzzling, intriguing, challenging and unnerving. The rest are just in denial. They’re too afraid to let on that they’re experiencing anything less than perfect, thinking it would reflect bad on them.

    I think it’s good many times to not care, to let your cares be free. You don’t have to completely give yourself over to apathy, but I think much of our worries are things we’re unwilling to let go of, even while they’re pricking our skin. We try to hold on to way more than we can carry. Baggage is nice for traveling, but not for lugging around with you your whole life.

    A lot of good messages in what you wrote. It was kind of a hodgepodge, which is an apt metaphor for life. That’s precisely how life is presented to us. It doesn’t come wrapped neatly in shiny boxes. I appreciate your down-to-earth approach. Keep up the insights…

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