Nothing: Part 20

It is easy enough to live in the moment during the day.  You put one foot in front of another and get through your day.  The trick is to fill each hour with the things that you need to do in that moment and to not worry about what the next thing could be.  It is best to avoid the mental construction of flow charts and what-if scenarios because life could pass you by while you are engaged in those mental gymnastics.

So it has been easy enough to get up and leave home at a set hour in the morning.  It has also been easy to train the mind to not punch the steering wheel, to not rail at the red light when the bus is about to leave without me on it, to take all slights, all misfortune in my stride and to accept it as one would a muddy puddle in one’s path.  There is always a next bus and missing one doesn’t set up a catastrophe and there are good and bad times during the course of one’s career, one’s life. 

I am learning to let go, to accept that I really don’t control a whole heckuva lot.  In fact the only thing I can control is my temper or my own reactions.  I can give myself an ulcer free existence, I probably owe myself an ulcer-free existence.

But what can we do at night? Is the diurnal placidity and acceptance just a postponement that leads to nocturnal ferment? Why is it that during the day I can convince myself that my job, my finances, my life are all secure, safe, hidebound and wrinkle-free but at night a niggling brainworm overwhelms me as it grows in size, grows wings, leaves my head and circles around the bedroom, with its menacing eyes and malicious and malevolent intent?

It asks me, “what if…?”  It doesn’t help with any of the answers it just keeps asking what if.  I toss and turn and sit up, wondering why such monsters come rushing into the vacuum of darkness.

I would love to come to a phase in life where I am not answering what-ifs all night. 

In school it used to be about figuring out the marks that would make my math and science averages high enough for me to follow a science stream.  I used to stay up all night trying to figure out what marks I needed to get and then be so drained during the day that I didn’t have anything left to give to the pursuit of the math excellence demon…or to making friends, despite the desperation of wanting more friends and more confidantes. 

Now I worry about the choices I’ve made, the consequences I’ll reap, about my ability to cope with it all, about the interests I should sacrifice in order to be more efficient at the activities that are keeping me firmly entrenched at the base of Maslow’s pyramid of needs – where the pursuit of food and shelter leaves no time for the pursuit of much else…and still seeking those friends, confidantes and, at my age, a real (not virtual) social circle.

But these are all night demons.  I am a fearless conqueror during the day. 

Perhaps I should move to Alaska, or wherever else the night is so much shorter than the day.  Of course, that would mean moving back to some other place when the seasons change, when it gets to being dark all the time in a place like Alaska.  But that would mean owning two homes and earning enough wealth to make THAT happen…oh well…let’s kill the absurdity right here!

1 Comment

  1. This felt so much like my own internal voice, doubts, anxieties. I do this during the day too, because I don't have a routine job that will allow me to just get on with things. But what can one do except hang in there? And hope that one day it will be easier to just breathe, just be.

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