Count Your Blessings

I have decided there is no such thing as always.  Always always changes. Never takes so long it never happens. Perhaps that’s why J.M. Barrie called it Never-Never land. It never did or could exist.

I still have horrible wake-ups, even if my day is filled. When I have a lonely evening, wake-ups are worse. Whine, whine, whine. I am an other directed person, someone who Stew used to call a talking woman, I process and feel happy when I have someone close to talk to. But that’s gone now. I have no other except myself. Let me be clear: I am privileged to have many friends but friends are not around (nor should they be) when I’m in bed watching TV at night or to say to me, as David did when I’d ask him for reassurance:  “Everything is going to be all right.” If no-one says that magic phrase to me, how can I be sure?

The book I just finished reading for my book group, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, written at the turn of the last century, tells the story of a privileged woman in New Orleans who is so bored and stifled by her life and husband she – partially deliberately, partially through just following her existential path – manages to break free. But when she finally achieves that ideal state of relaxing self-fulfillement,  she is abandoned by her lover. Her solution – not thought out, just acted upon – is to walk deep into the ocean and surrender.

I can feel a piece of that woman inside me too: sad, bored, weighed down, fatigued, energy-less.  Oppressed by lack of intimacy. My right to pursue happiness promised to me in the Declaration of Independence is distant, not inalienable.  At the same time, I am privileged. My blessings are huge. My daughter, Simon, my home and friends, just to start.  I’m supposed to be in the Pink Section of the Chronicle this coming Sunday for the Barb stuff, for chrisssake!

I have forgotten a basic tenet of both Judaism & Buddhism – count your blessings: Judaism in morning prayers, Buddhism by reminding yourself, before you go to sleep and when you wake up, of at least three things or people you are grateful for. Count your blessings Gumbo – by which I mean the positive in my life.  I must do this at night & in the morning.  For as long as always lasts.

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