September 17th, 2008

ozarque figure

Eldering; learning humility...

One of the things that has been established with stark clarity over the past half dozen months -- while I've been revising the first Gentle Art book and at the same time doing my Huge Emergency-Rush Project and keeping up with the newsletters and the correspondence and the accounts and the research-and-reading and doing what I can to participate here at LJ and managing not to forget anybody's birthday so far and (in the occasional spare second) working on the new Láadan grammar, is the following proposition:

I can either do my work (see above), or I can do the housework and yardwork; I cannot do both.

Which is bad for the house and the yard, but good for my character, because it is teaching me humility. Seriously.

All my adult life, my practice has been that when I saw something that needed to be done, I did it. Now, as an elder, I am having to learn a very different way of being. I am having to learn to look at a floor that desperately needs waxing ... a refrigerator that desperately needs cleaning ... furniture that desperately needs dusting ... and similar truck ... and just ignore it. I am having to learn to do that on a given day, and go back and look at it again the following day, and on the following day, and just go on ignoring it.

I do, for sure, realize that other people have real problems. They're losing their houses and getting sick or injured without any health insurance and finding themselves unable to pay for their gas and their food, for example. They're on duty in Iraq, maybe for the third or fourth time, for example. They're living in towns where the hurricanes have wreaked devastation and they don't have any water or bathroom facilities or electricity, for example. I read my friends list every morning and learn about many real problems.

I understand, intellectually, that what I'm dealing with isn't even a fragment of a real problem. But emotionally, it's hard. Leaving all that work undone, day after day, is good for me in the sense that it forces me to accept the fact that I'm no longer able to get everything done. That's a fact. It's a fact every elder eventually has to face, and it's high time I faced it myself, and got over it. And stopped whining about it.


Come the day that I am through with the Gentle Art book and the Huge Emergency-Rush Project, you have my word on it: I am going to do hours and hours of housework and yardwork for at least a week. Providence willing, and the creeks don't rise. Which they well might, since it's obvious that I'm not yet humble enough.

Squalor. I hate squalor.
ozarque figure

Eldering; learning humility; afternote...

Maybe part of my problem is having heard so much talk about a woman who can run a town, run a state, run a commercial fishing boat, run a home and family, kill and skin and butcher both moose and caribou, and entrance audiences of thousands. And all the while, her fingers never leave her hands.

Thank you, one and all, for putting up with my carrying on, and for your kind words.