Simple Musings

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Coloring inside the lines

I have always had a tendency to want to categorize life into small neat packages tied up securely with a bow. All things seperate and accounted for. All things organized.

I have even tried to compartmentalize feelings. Time to be happy or sad. Angry or calm. I suppose this is so I can know what to expect and plan a reaction. Be just the right amount of angry and no more. Spend a bit of time experiencing sadness and get on with it.

The flaw in this type of thinking is, of course, that we simply cannot always control our lives. Planning such things is setting myself up for a big fall. Also, this approach takes the life out of things. When operating in this manner, I don't feel the full effect of happenings and emotions, good or bad. Sometimes it can be very hard to "allow" things to just happen. What happens if I don't get that fairy tale ending? Ah, that place called Fantasy Land!

Real life is just plain messy sometimes. Maybe we don't like it, but we have to deal with it. We get sick, broke, lonely, frustrated, disallusioned. That is just the way it is. The lines get blurred no matter how hard we try to hold steady. Nor will we always get to finish the page before we have to quit.

I have been guilty of saying, "I will do this or that." "I will be so and so." These things simply may not be in my life's blueprint. Sometimes there is really no way of knowing this until I have tried and succeeded or failed. A life lesson. And I will never stop learning whether I want to or not. Life just keeps throwing the book at me!

Even when life is going along smoothly, I have to remember that everything fits together to make the whole picture. I don't just "eat". I plan a meal, shop, prepare, eat, clean up, feel well or not. I can't just clean the house. I have to figure in the fact that other live here and have their own space and that it should be treated with respect. Dirt need to be kept to a healthy level. Things need to have organization so that they will be easy to find. Furniture and other objects need to be placed with care to give us more peace of mind. Life evolves and revolves.

So, what to do? Good question. Taking one day at a time is an obvious answer since it has been said over and over. That is easier said than done. The Buddhists practice "being in the moment". This is a great exercise that actually does work when I can push aside all of my jumbled thoughts. Breathe in.....breathe out....... Really simple. Well, not exactly, but worth doing.

So, how do I satisfy my "stay inside the lines" fetish? Maybe I should just get a coloring book!


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