Friday, November 25, 2011

tocking

Today is the day after Thanksgiving, which means it's the day on which everyone realizes it's almost the end of the year. The end of the year makes my heart beat faster because I feel a looming deadline -- of what, I don't know. The end of the year is another year gone by and have I done anything? I feel the countdown of what I should have accomplished, even if I never named a goal. And it doesn't help that my birthday falls in the last week of the calendar year. You all get one reckoning; mine is a double.

image via theaterclouds

My grandfather died when he was 68 and I know that he was on the young side of average and he had influencing health circumstances but 34 is halfway to 68 and all this year, I've been 34. I turn 35 a month from tomorrow and mind you, I'm not a superstitious person. But I've always been overly curious, unable to leave a thought alone, compelled to pick it apart like strands of thread: what if this is the more-than-halfway of my everything?

All year I thought that. And now I'll think less: what if there is less than half left? It's a wonder you can't hear the tocking in my head.

There was this time in college that I was chastised. The words were something like "don't be so busy planning the future that you forget to enjoy the present." Now I will tell you I remember nothing about the circumstance. I do not remember the conversation nor the room in which it was held nor the person who pierced my conscience so succinctly. It was a sharp dagger, entirely fatal and also entirely wrong. I do that thing. I obsess the future and the steps to reach that future. I like plans. I like big picture. But how can you accuse me, as if to say I am at fault? I accept no blame here, for this is just something I am, like my eyes are blue and I do not like to bite into water chestnuts and I'm compelled to form all day visions of the future in my head. There is no switch to turn off, and if there were I might be the here-and-now kind of person who could enjoy sales shopping today. Instead I went to work, responsible and planning against the future needs of my leave balance that weigh heavier than anything today could argue up.

This isn't to be morbid or depressive because I think of myself as neither of those things. This is to be contemplative because today is the day that Christmas tree lots open, that 2012 shirts first appear in stores, that everyone acknowledges it's time to finish off the now so we can get to the next and for me, we're not closing only 2011, we're also closing 34

and I wonder: was this now enough?

The answer, inevitably, is no. And what does one do with that?
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