Old Moon

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Looking for Justification

It's the same old problem of trying to put one's life into the right proportions and perspective. If we hope to accomplish something, we find ourselves forced to consider and act upon the need to focus and be willing to exert ourselves, even to sacrifice. Then comes the question of whether we have any right to that effort for ourselves, given the needs of everyone else near and/or far.

History is rife with the biographies of great artists and the sacrifices they forced others to make so they could (albeit while most of the time suffering themselves) do what they had to do. So as I add this small blogging task to others in an attempt to learn to be a sort of artist, I am beset with guilt. There are at least three other volunteer jobs I could do that I don't want to undertake because I want the time to work on what I want to do for myself. Does my age give me a right I couldn't feel I could claim when I was thirty or forty? Does the fact that I worked for a wage from the age of fourteen until I was over sixty give me a right? Does the fact that I can still walk and drive and make sense and use a computer mean that I should be doing those things for others?

Thank heaven my children are not only grown, but make me proud, that their children are doing the same, that I can afford to live comfortably. Should I be "paying back," as the current saying is? Or can I claim to have "paid my dues?"

As Yul Brynner sang so poignantly in The King and I: "Is a puzzlement!"

So now I have to write a press release.

1 comment:

Glenda Council Beall said...

Joan, I have this same "puzzlement" and I am still trying to decide how much of myself to give and how much of myself to keep.
Looking back, I gave too much to others when I should have given more to my relationship with my husband. But I thought he'd always be here with me.
Now, realizing how fragile life is and how short our time here, I plan to do more of the things I love to do and less doing what others want me to do.
Sometimes it seems life has passed so quickly and it was only recently I began to understand how many things I want to do - so much to do - so little time.
Make yourself happy, Joan. When you are happy, those around you will also be happy.
As a friend recently told me, she needed to find joy in her life. Joy for her is doing for others, so she is finding joy and she is a happier person now.
Joy for me right now is being home alone with no deadlines, no appointments, no "have to" for the day. I didn't realize how long it has been since I had that in my life.
Balance - I'm a Libra - I should know about balance, but I'm still tipping the scales, I'm afraid.