I’ve been thinking of my writing here as a sort of work in progress about a work in progress; that is to say, my life. It’d be nice to say that everything is as zen and under control as I sometimes pretend, but it ain’t. Despite the fact that I invite the readers to see the things I write about from my point of view, I know that view is not singular or rarified in any way. I have no claims on expertise, let alone right answers. Life is a process, I’m just here to report from the road.

Life, in fact is a jigsaw puzzle with a gajillion pieces and no picture on the box. And, a whole bunch of those pieces seem to be nothing but sky blue. Let’s have at it, shall we?

There are good days and there are bad days…and there are days express mailed directly from Hell. In no particular order. It used to be that I’d find myself so deep in the hole that all I could see was dirt–and I’d ask, ‘why me?’ I’m trying, in slow baby steps, to change the question to, ‘what next?,’ or maybe ‘what else?’ But on Hell days, it’s hard to remember to be clever and positive and sunny. A mostly inexpert work in fitful progress is my life.

My tendency is to assume the worst and look for the way in which it is all my fault. A lot of times I had help finding the blame, but I never really needed it. My conscience is like a truffle sniffing pig for guilt. Thanks to that background noise, I had two choices, basket case or king of denial. I chose the latter…mostly. Over the years, I’ve focused forward and hoped. And done my best–and given myself no credit.

So now I find myself older and not particularly wiser. I look back and find that I’ve wasted time and given away things I should have kept. Having reviewed the trip, I see that I’ve taken many right roads and quite a few wrong turns…but I have survived. And have finally come to realize that you shouldn’t settle for just existing, but in fact need to actually live. That you don’t have to lower your expectations, that you might really find happiness somewhere out there. This is merely a theory so far–I haven’t proven it yet. But I believe in it–though it is new.

I am trying to believe more, hope more, and fear less. And, it’s a work in progress–with lots more work before you’ll notice any progress. I’m trying to look up, past the top edge of the hole. I’ll keep you posted.

So, it’s probably obvious that if I’m preaching to anyone, it’s to myself. You’re not finding me dispensing wisdom and clarity to the world, you’re catching me mumbling desperate encouragement to myself. Listen in, if you want. Maybe we can find the next steps forward together. I hope so.

So…on days when I find myself wondering what cosmic entity I’ve managed to piss off so blithely, I’m going to make every effort to breathe calmly and see hardship as a human condition and not my due. I’m going to try my damnedest to move toward the light and stay positive.

And I’m going to keep on trying till I believe it. Then I’ll try some more.

And we’ll see if I ever progress…

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9 Responses to Up

  1. Rick says:

    I read you blog because it is very often personally uplifting. I also am amazed at your craftsmanship on finding such perfect pictures to a accompany your blogged words. Bravo!

    Yes, I believe and accept that my life is a journey. Just imagine a bus that you’re on … heading somewhere … but having to deal with mostly unsociable types. That is why I participate in amateur press associations and Facebook. To escape the madness.

    • You gotta get on a different bus, Rick. Life shouldn’t be based on tollerating antisocial types–but maybe those fellow passengers would warm up if someone took an effort to be friendly–and you’re just the guy to do it! Anyway, thanks always for your support and kind words.

  2. tamaramanor says:

    Life is not a spectator sport (not my quote), and it can be hard to not want to bench yourself from time to time. I liked the fact that you used the word ‘we’ in your piece. Because what we cannot do alone, we can do together, and God does not make junk. By the way, Borders has a bargain book on Gandhi called ‘Peace’ for only $1.99
    Thx, Bee-ri,

    • I am probably a little late to the party, Tam, but I am learning that being a lone ranger really doesn’t help much. Loosening up enough to work with others toward a goal is not only effective, it’s rewarding on a personal level. Nothing like knowing that others care about us and want to be part of our lives to improve our sense of self worth. I know my life is far better for my being able to let people in–but it was a long work in progress to get myself there. Thanks as always for your wisdom.

  3. Mark Badger says:

    all the wasted time and errors of your past got you where you are, which is good, your not dead right?. So how can they have been wasted? Other then increasing the waist

    • Alas, my waist has increased… But I agree. If anything the piece was about learning to celebrate the good and let go of the mistakes. It’s a process and not a quick one, but yes, I am alive–and I am starting to be able to count that as a plus.

  4. Kevin Lennon says:

    Brian – good post and as usual you strike a chord. From the deep recesses of the glob of muck inside my cranium I speculate that it must be the other 90% we don’t use that runs amok and makes many of us enage in a constant war of self-doubt, worry, fear and anxiety. The 10% we do use must devote some resources to battlign back these flying monkeys and also remind us to eat, breath and sleep! No easy feat I am sure. So concentrate on the 10% and stuff the 90% back into the recesses where it belongs. No matter what you do for for sure you never know what is coming next … and it could be REALLY GOOD! Or, it could be your daughter barfing on the Disney monorail with about 8 teenage boys howling in disgust and teenage boy antics. Buckle up and keep moving.

    • A kid on a Disney ride barfing on teen-age boys would constitute a “best of the week” event for me, but I’m odd. Thanks though Kev, I agree with and appreciate your insight. The fact is, we are, everyone of us, products of actions taken and deferred, of choices both good and bad. As long as we draw the next breath, we remain in the game and a “do-over” is always possible. We are works in progress, and we aren’t finished until we’re finished. Keep moving indeed.

  5. Rob Wind says:

    try reading The Journey by Brandan Bays xo

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