Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Living vs Existing

This has been the struggle of my past few days.

I go into work and count the hours until I leave. Then I go home and try to get some life in before going to bed. Then it is up the next day and back to work. Then it is the count until the weekend and the all too quick weekend and then back to work.

Is that all there is?

It seems to me that there has got to be something more. I feel like I am existing but I am not living. I want to look forward to the day, not dread the coming day. Joseph Campbell talks about "following your bliss" and that is what I want to do. I just don't know how to go about doing it.

I actually think selling the house may be a good thing. A smaller place with smaller payments opens the door to other jobs. If I don't need to make a ton of bucks to afford to live, maybe I can do more living.

Part of my problem, also, is that I am "flighty." Things capture my attention and then I am on to something else. I get bored with things quickly. I want to try to use this, cause that is the way God made me, instead of cursing it. Society tells me I should curse it, but what does society know? (Society told me I should be with a woman too!)


Time to go to work.


Ur-spo said...

Happily, following your Bliss and having to 'exist' is not impossible
Many great folks did just that.
Perhaps right now you have to focus on 'existing'; and the bliss pursuit is for later
It waits, and is patient. so don't fret.

Anonymous said...

No, that's not all there is, but sometimes it seems so. Aim for the "bliss" and follow your heart. Try not to get too distracted by the day.

Doug Taron said...

I hate those Peggy Lee moments. If it's any comfort, my most intense experience of the sort of feelings that you are describing came in the last 6 months before I made my career change. In my new career, I really started loving what I do. The malaise was the catalyst for the change. Perhaps it will be for you as well.

Steve F. said...

I have been where you are, brother, for about a year, and it has reached a fever pitch - such that I actually ended up in the hospital.

I've already written about the challenges of living just for today:
The second dangerous phrase in recovery is one day at a time. The classic Al-Anon passage Just For Today says,

Just for today, I will try to live through this day only and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

The danger of that, especially as I've seen it this last two months, is that I often end up putting-up-with appalling circumstances for a whole lotta 12-hours, and found myself in states of mental, spiritual and emotional deprivation that I would never have put up with if I'd know about it going-in. That's definitely been my story since Veterans' Day...


Do yourself a favor - go back over your blog and look for the number of times you've talked about making a change, selling the house, etc. And then think about this truism: If one man tells you you're an ass, pay him no mind. But if three men tell you you're an ass, get yourself a saddle.

It's what got me out of the city. It's what will get me out of my work at the Evil Empire. It's the still small voice that says, "A God who wants me to be happy, joyous and free would not choose this for me."

It's just what I'm dealing with, so it's very close to home, brother. As Doug says, I hate those Peggy Lee moments too. But they are usually signs that things ain't right.

Anonymous said...

I struggle with the 'existing' life too: strained and hurried relationships with loved ones, feeling time slip away while I scramble endlessly to pay the mortgage and the bills, an unfulfilling job, worry, dread.

Lately I've been trying to make 'living' choices to daily situations I am presented with(i.e. not staying late at work to give the impression that I'm a go-getter when I really just want to leave). I've been trusting more that my pull toward 'living' is correct and that it will lead me to my right place. Also, abandoning the effort to consciously move toward the 'living' life has helped. Letting go of trying to define what the living-life should consist of, or where it should occur, has been liberating. I've always thought that my 'living' life would consist of playing music and writing - two things that are fulfilling for me. Letting go of the hope that these things will lead me to my 'living' life has been very free-ing and has improved my self-esteem.

Lately I have more 'living' days than I previously did, but still not nearly enough. The struggle with not feeling that I am moving toward the 'living' life quickly enough continues. I go on.

I commend everyone here. Acknowledging that there has to be a better way is no small step, and it is comforting to me to know that all of you are out there.

Anonymous said...

I came across this - if you want to read the rest of it, I've posted the link to the webpage.

"Living is not simply taking chances, or being popular, or doing things, or experiencing things; living is being able to do anything because you want to, without the aid of anyone else. We dare not take credit for a life well spent if it has been spent at the expense of some other. To truly live we must be the one to live. We must depend upon our selves alone. Dependence upon any of our fellow men diminishes life; it does not enhance it.

We all first exist; it is not of our control. We do not choose our birth nor do we choose our death. The only thing we choose is our interpretation of life itself. Can we live? Can we move ourselves beyond existence into the realm of life? Can we?"