Monday, March 12, 2007

Spring Has Sprung (My Groundhog Tells Me So!)

There is still snow on the ground, and it was still below freezing when we got up this morning, but I know spring is here because my own personal Punxatawny Phil ("Harmony Hal"?) scampered across our lawn yesterday. He will be seeking new accommodation later in the week. Don't worry; we may not be trained professionals, but we have a humane trap, lots of yummy stuff for him to eat, and an entire massive county (outside a 5-mile radius from here) for him to live in.

Starman and I are still knocking down to-dominos (you know -- those things on your to-do list?), one by one, in an effect to get clear of the clutter of our lives and get on to the fun stuff. Or, get to the point where we can identify fun stuff to do and then do it. So, we've hosted people, visited people, had dinner after the opera with one of the French horn players (my brother, the millionaire musician -- not to be confused with my other brother, the millionaire occasional world traveler). We think we've checked off the social items on the list. Next up: immigration matters, house-organizing, and budgeting. And in April, some concerts, some travel, and a quicky marriage.

I know it's crazy to be stressed here. We don't have kids and we don't have jobs. Hell, we don't even have a mortgage! But I've been here before, and the things you long for when you have a job and a mortgage (don't know about the having kids thing, except what I observe -- and what I observe is that I don't know anything about the having kids thing!), namely that you didn't have to have a job and a mortgage, are oddly hollow when you get there. To be truly stress-free, you need to be leading a very light life. I have achieved that precisely once: when the only thing I had to do was work on my mental health (my true vocation) and I had the work week free in which to do that. I won't lie to you; it was nice. Nice and healing. Then the natural and predictable consequence of healing kicked in, and I wanted more things in my life, and rearranged life to accomplish more, and got more stress in the process.

I have this theory -- well, okay, so I have more than one theory! -- that what most people need to do is be willing and able to crawl out of the limitations they built for themselves. Trouble is, those limitations are frequently really comfortable, like the post-college apartment that has all your favorite bits and pieces and no expectation of matching furniture, let alone perfection. Fine for our twentysomething years, but then we hit our thirties (or older) and it chafes a bit that everything is shabby without the chic. And that's just housing! Transfer that to all the other areas of life: job, relationship, personal appearance (ooh, a palable hit, albeit self-inflicted: I'm in food jail and have committed to my 2.6 mile, hourlong walk today), and the like. Imagine self-limitations everywhere you look, and you can see what you'll be doing for a while! Which leads to more to-dominos, which leads to less "fun" time, which leads to my realizing I really do need to go get dressed.

Ah, spring! Rebirth, muddy feet, work to be done in the garden. A season rife with symbolism! My inner groundhog tells me so...

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