Why is it, do you think, that I have such a hard time living my own reality? Heck, I’m pretty privileged and could have done a lot more with my life had I not found the present moment wanting. What I’m trying to say is, no matter what is going on, I’m only partially checked in. Put me in a novel or a movie as the heroine on the other hand, and I soar! Before you can wink, I’m Elizabeth Bennett baiting the sombre Mr. Darcy, or, I am Kathleen Kelly secretly emailing Joe Fox. I’m a sucker for a happy ending and still looking for a knight to ride up and sweep me away. An aging dreamer.
In everyday life I struggle to show up, but in my fantasies I sparkle. If I behave badly in my imaginative narrative there is only a brief time for remorse because the storyline ends in 75 minutes, or 100 pages, and forgiveness has to be bestowed and the world made right beforehand. I love living an entire lifetime in a day. Call me Clarissa Dalloway.
Lying on my comfortable bed with the built in drawers and covered headboard, I find myself staring nostalgically at colourful curtains chosen carefully for a room I decorated decades ago. There is nothing else in this room from that time. Things that would complete the picture are still in storage. At this point, I’ve no idea when I will see all the pieces of furniture and knickknacks sent over almost a year ago. No matter. Those curtains might not be seeing too much activity these days but they watched over some good times all those years ago – real-life times.
When I married I tried to come out of my head. When the kids came along, staying present was an important part of being a good mom. I was still making up a lot of stories and found it hard to differentiate fact from fantasy, but I did make an effort. I made a lot of mistakes. My choices were suspect at best. Reality was hard for me to grasp. What I knew to be real was the love I felt for my girls. It kept me grounded despite an ongoing urge to sail away.
Looking back today, I wish I had done better. Hindsight isn’t helpful unless used to monitor progress in the present, of course, and I’m not doing particularly well today. It’s a good thing there’s tomorrow to look toward.
My wish tonight is for softness. I, for one, can be hard, stubborn, and inflexible. Being soft with yourself and others is akin to kindness and brings similar benefits. Softness is sometimes viewed as a weakness, but listening with hearing ears requires a certain type of softness so space is held for the other. And that is a lovely thing. Today I need to be soft with myself.