Category Archives: life

It Is What It Is

What would it be like to freeze one moment in time? Like Keats’ Grecian Urn, fixed for eternity. But a moment is so short. Nothing more than a photograph. What would it be like to freeze an entire segment of time?

It sounds ideal, to go back to a point in your life when everything was going well, and replay it. Except, how many times can you replay the same thing? Like watching Groundhog Day on a loop. Don’t you want to move forward? Wouldn’t you want to experience something else?

I guess that is the point. The ideal is unrealistic, and once plucked out of fantasy, becomes quite undesirable.

But reality can be beautiful in its own ways, if taken as is. Sometimes it is good, other times bad, and when bad, it won’t be so for long. At least not if you can still find glimpses of happiness. And enjoy them in the moment for what they are, accepting that they may soon fade. That might be all that happiness is – enjoying something in the moment without worrying about the future of it. I don’t mean the practical future, which you should always worry about, but rather the whimsy future. How can you enjoy anything if you are always poking and prodding at it? That is how the happy moments get overlooked.

It could have been. It might still be. But right now, it is what it is.

Happy Now?

Money doesn’t buy happiness. It fleetingly produces amnesia, and acts as an anesthetic. When everything seems to be going wrong, if you are lucky enough to have some, you can use it to overcompensate. It is the morphine of distraction.

Nice place, fancy clothes, pretty baubles, and decadent dinners every other night. How many bottles of champagne did you have last month? Happy yet?

Money doesn’t fix things. When you have made a mess of everything money is the band aid on a machete wound. Maybe those people who have exorbitant amounts know how to use it properly. Maybe there is a trick. Maybe you are just tricking yourself.

So you have your kids in the best schools, and have the best baby sitters. They are well fed and nicely dressed. Except they are too young to care, and just like the kittens you brought home, all these things are more for you than them.

But money makes it all seem sorted out. You can’t buy happiness or fix your messes, but you can purchase the proper shams to cover it all up. Window tintings that reflect back what you want people to see along with a massive hand crafted Persian rug to sweep all the leftovers under.

And ta-da! The perfect home, happy children, great career, beauty, elegance, ultimate success. All yours for the low, low price of the inner workings of your soul.

Happy yet? If not, then just go on another vacation. It is within budget, and you have had only, what, five in the last two months? Isn’t that what money is for? To get (run) away for a few days? Then you will have happy vacation pictures to post online. Keep up those appearances.

Besides, that is why you work eighty hour weeks. It keeps you busy and buys all the happiness you could ever want in whatever spare time you may have left.

But there is a catch. While you are running around like a crazed lunatic you are actually accomplishing things. Money couldn’t buy any of it, but they are yours, and no one can take them away. Those are the little rewards you cherish in private. Too special to put on display, but rather quiet, happy victories that no one except you cares about. The little things that keep you going so you can continue performing a maddening never ending play with endless costume changes and elaborate props, fully funded with your own blood. But still, those tiny joys exist even in all the chaos. Happy now? Maybe.

Becoming Blanche

When I was younger I used to watch The Golden Girls with my mom. I am not sure if any of you remember the show, or have ever watched it, but it was one of our favorite shows to watch together.

Even at that age I knew one day I would grow older, and I was hoping I would turn into Blanche Devereaux. In fact, I was certain I would for many years. The funny thing is, I don’t know why. Nothing about Blanche’s lifestyle, as glamorous as it was on TV, resounded with what I wanted out of life.

I was one of those girls who had my wedding planned out, down to the centerpieces, before my tenth birthday. By the time I was fifteen I thought I was going to have four children. I thought I would be a successful professional of some kind (I left wiggle room here, and eschewed the specifics).

I had it all figured out.

Yes, I had my perfect wedding. I love the fact that I took time to do that. I think every woman should. Even if you don’t get married, you should just throw yourself a wedding. Marry yourself, marry your cat, just do it. That was the only day in my life where everything, and I mean everything, was about me, and I didn’t feel guilty or selfish making it that way. During my first wedding I was so consumed with taking care of everyone else I practically made myself sick. Actually, I did make myself sick, and spent the following week in bed with a fever. I always feel like I should be focusing on others. But my wedding day the second time around was all about me. And I was beautiful, and it was perfect. Maybe just in my head, but that is all that matters, because thirty years from now I am the only one who is going to remember it.

Four children? I got half way there before I decided I am done. And I love the ones I have, so it all worked out in the end.

As for the last thing, according to everyone else I am indeed a successful professional of some kind, so I guess that came true.

Now, will I be Blanche Devereaux twenty or thirty years from now? I don’t know. Maybe I will be Dorothy, or Rose, or a bit of all of them, or maybe I will be someone else entirely.

But for now I think I need to set up a new list of goals.