Life, living actually, is never not now. It has been your past and it might possibly be your future, but it IS only now, now…I am in a space of deep contemplation these last many months and it has not guided me to any earth-shattering or mind blowing-revelation, not that I necessarily expected that…BUT I did think by now I would have come to a resolution of sorts, but yesterday I overheard a yoga teacher reading from a text and she said, “life is many things but it is never not now” and I thought to myself, well, maybe that is why I’ve come to no answers whatsoever…I am just to keep being, and doing, whatever “it” is…living. I can think until my thinker is sore, but I am old enough to know, and experiences of my past indicate, that the answers will come to me when I least expect it.
My very small business is becoming, year after year, smaller and while I love my job and my customers I am becoming painfully aware that I might have to DO something else sooner rather than later…I have had one customer die, one move away and leave her beach house to work as a savings account basically, and two sell their houses, and two decide to have their adult children start contributing more to the beach house upkeep, and so that has given me six fewer clients than I have had. I am grateful for all the customers I do have, and if I told them I needed more work they would find things for me to do for them, BUT they might sell next year, or die, or have their adult children contribute more. THERE is no guarantee whatsoever, of any kind, that my small business won’t just die too…AND we now live in a world where there is not as much job security because jobs are changing, needs of paying customers are changing…banks go under, stores close down, companies are downsized…the rich just seem to get richer and the working poor seem to just keep having to find other ways to keep their noses above water. It seems like it’s never not hard to not drown.
I know people my age who are getting ready to retire. People who had the good sense to choose a job where they could work for 25 or 30 years and then not work, and still get a monthly income and health insurance. I got my first job at 14. My mom even used white-out on a copy of my birth certificate and then recopied it so that I could get working papers in the beach town where I wanted to work. I have worked ever since, even at 17, once I had my driver’s license and all the credits in high school I needed to graduate, I left school before noon to go work. I was out of work for 8 weeks when I had my daughter, I was laid off one winter for 8 weeks when my daughter was in pre-school, and other than that I have never not worked.
Last year when I was turning 50 I exclaimed to the universe that “this was going to be my year of yes” and decided I would do things I had not done before; accept invitations to events or activities that I would normally have declined, participate in experiences that were new, and in general, answer “yes” more frequently. This year when I was turning 51 I exclaimed to the universe that this was “going to be my year of a better me” and I decided I would do things that benefit nobody but my own body; finally lose all the pounds of baby weight I’d been carrying (even though my baby was now an adult with children of her own) and make a great effort to improve my health, fitness, peace of mind, and finances. My plan is that next year as I turn 52 I will be able to make a decision about my work…either giving up on my own small business and finding a job working for someone else or continuing to try to make it on my own. Keep on keepin’ on, or press on, as my mom says…There are no alternatives. There’s never not decisions to be made.
Some people, it seems to me, suffer hardship after hardship, make bad choices after bad choices, and their life becomes a ‘series of unfortunate events’ and living is never not a struggle. Some people, it seems to me, manage to seamlessly navigate life; make all the right moves, make all the right decisions, take all the right paths, and take advantage of all the best opportunities, it’s never not rainbows and unicorns. I am neither of those people. I have made some horrendously terrible decisions and I have made some gloriously fabulous ones. I guess the way that I have lived thus far, although I could not ever find the words to describe it, was “just” being, and managing the ways things were, handling the ways that things turned out, experiencing what was simply never not now…