Saturday, December 19, 2009

What I Wish For

I wish I were out taking a walk on a bright, cool day. I took this from the Pfluger Pedestrian bridge last Sunday. I was walking back from Zach Scott theater and I was going to meet FFP at the condo and we were going to a party that promised to be wonderful (and was). The "kids" (my 39-year-old niece and her husband and their three-year-old daughter) were still with my dad so I wasn't worried about him as much. Life felt right.

As I type this I'm sitting at my dad's. Just goofing off on the Internet at the moment. We've been sitting here discussing what help he is going to ultimately need when he finishes recovering from this illness and when/if home health is stopped. There were no big duties when I got here today. I got his paper in and that pleased him. "You get addicted to things," he said. He told the OT evaluator yesterday he didn't read much anymore. He doesn't in the way that I don't read much anymore: he reads papers and magazines but hasn't gotten around to any books lately.

My life hasn't been the way I've wanted it lately. Too much hospital and sick room. Too much worry and unknown stuff with Dad. Heck, with myself as well. Not enough exercise, not enough walks (like the one from the picture), not enough tennis. Not even enough cleaning my own apartment and doing other chores there and computer stuff. (I always long to do that stuff when I don't have the time for it.)

I've gotten away to holiday parties and some adventures with FFP in the evenings and it's been good some nights, great even. Other times I was down a little, feeling sorry for dad, angry at dad, angry at myself, feeling like a failure. Mostly, though, it's been delicious getting away, going to parties and out to eat.

I used to have a little writing exercise I did when I felt my life wasn't going my way. I would write down a perfectly imagined future, what I'd do day in/day out and week in/week out. There would be descriptions of exercise, dining, travel, shopping, creating. Then I would ask myself what parts of the life described I could have in spite of my current situation. In other words, I'd try to find time inside the real life limitations of my existence (work, chores, taking care of others, limited resources like money and time) to do things that I'd do if there were no limitations. This made me really realize how much I enjoyed, say, exercise or playing tennis or even some chores. It made me realize that if limitations were cast aside, I'd still love a fine meal and a glass or two of wine or reading the newspaper with a good cup of coffee.

Digging deeper in your desires will make you realize how much you really have already of your 'perfect' life. And it will make you make a few changes, too, because many times what you want is right there. You just have to do the things you love.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

I first learned of the exercise to imagine a perfect future when I was studying Buddhism. When you imagine your perfect future and incorporate as many aspects as you can into your current life, you can make the most of the present, which is all we have. It's an important lesson. Thanks for reminding me.