Deliver us from materialism.

So, we take stock of our little lives and find new jobs for both of us, a new TV on the way, a new car, a new house, new wife better appreciation for same wife (didn’t say old, and never will, because WE ARE NOT OLD AND WE DON”T HAVE TO DYE OUR HAIR TO PROVE IT, YEAAAAARRRGHHHH).  I am also back in school now, and I’m a freshly minted MCSA – this is a big deal to me, because I wondered if I could make it happen, and lo, I did.

Things are clearly looking up, yes.

But not so fast, sister, for now I begin to see the trap before us.  We never did have a lot of things to count and name as ours before now: I had my obsession with computers and (less so) with guitars.  My dearest has her curiosities with crafts, dancing gear, and of course cat-killing.  We won’t observe that here.  Nevertheless, even though we have been able through sheer will to keep up with our hobbies in the midst of what was probably pretty serious poverty, now that we are paddling out of the mire, the temptation is strong to just go crazy and try to suddenly catch up to where I may perceive we should be, when all my life I’ve said to myself that life is not a competition, and in the end, all you have is your free time with the people you love, and anything more than that is just a distraction.

Yes.  But the distraction never goes away, and in this culture we have of acquisition and market-tested obsolescence, well, it’s hard not to be tempted by the collecting of things, especially when all the people we work for are comfortably ahead of the game, and specifically the folks I work for (a close-knit multigenerational family business) are simply not even the slightest bit aware of what it might be like to have a life such as we have had these past several years.  Not to say they have never been hard-up, because I’m still relatively unaware of their various histories, but at least for a pretty long time now, they have had their five TVs and their 50 thousand dollar SUVs, their great magazine-spread-worthy manses and all the styling and trappings of success as we proclaim it; on the other hand, we have had just our modest little slowly improving lives.  And it isn’t hard for me to grasp that the tiny strides we have thus far made REALLY OUGHT TO BE good enough for anyone because they were so hard-won, so surprising in their sudden onset, and so utterly perfectly timed that it’s hard not to feel charmed, at least that is until we begin to compare where we are now to where we COULD HAVE BEEN, IF ONLY X HAD HAPPENED.

If only I were more of a man, right?  If only I hadn’t gotten sick when I was a young man.  If only I had just grown up a little quicker before then.  If only I had finished college, when I had all the time in the world.  Well, when I had all the time in the world, I had no time for college, apparently, and there’s not much I can do about the dregs of my mistaken actions;  I have been beating myself up for my small sins and my great bad luck for many years and it’s time to let it go now, but it might not be the worst idea I ever had to remember how we got to where we are now, and how we can use it to keep us here in this more comfortable place, because even though I’m still stressing over the minutiae, and even though I have a lot of work to do before I can really say that I’ve put it all behind us, I can see a place somewhere not too far off from here where I can finally feel like I’ve got nothing to regret and everything for which to be grateful and there is where I want to be before I do get too old to make it happen.

And that, my sweethearts, is why I fear my age; it’s taken me too long to sleepwalk my way to realizing that I won’t be around forever.

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May 2010
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Currently Reading:

Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame - Charles Bukowski

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Mr. Bungle - California

Why, yes, I am cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce.

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