Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Same, and Different

Now that George W Bush is (almost) history, I've spent the past few weeks in a daze. It's so hard for me to believe that I actually backed a winner, and that we, the American people, voted for the most qualified man, regardless of skin color--a man who had actually earned the right to compete at a national level, instead of someone who (a la Bush) arrived there as a scion of privilege and family connections.

Thinking about change, and what this country is capable of, is both humbling and exciting. Though sleep deprived, I was on a dreamy high for the rest of the week.

And then I came back to reality. My mother, who is 80 years old, is overwhelmed, watching over her very sick husband back in Cleveland. At times, I make myself ill worrying over her--how she doesn't take care of herself, tries to do too much, and doesn't listen to my heartfelt advice/pleas for her to slow down.

At times I feel powerless, unable to prevent the traffic accident, the inevitable collapse of my mother's body if she continues to go beyond her limits. Ironically, by fixating on my fears--of having to go back to Cleveland to 'pick up the pieces' of being saddled with her care, and of seeing her in a weakened condition--I do the same thing myself--not eating or sleeping well.

Recently I've been having difficulty sleeping for other reasons--noisy neighbors, and stress at work. I like to think of my 3 room apartment as a safe haven, but sometimes it isn't--the outside world intervenes and again, life doesn't go according to my plans.

This lesson, letting go and trusting that things will come together, seems to be the hardest--a life-long challenge. I seem to confront this lesson over and over. (I must be a slow learner). Meanwhile, I'm still trying to hold on, to not freak out when I get into a disagreement with a neighbor, or a co-worker, to not immediately fall into my fear-based 'fight or flight' response, as I did yesterday.

I am a slow-learner, but I'm also trying to accept life's ups and downs--and the fact that ultimately, life will not go according to my plans.


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