Running Free

Running Free

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Odyssey and Me

It is a new year. A new day. A new moment. And yet, time appears to tick on oblivious to the changes of the sun, the wind and a motley collection of other things. And sometimes I think I do too. Like a ferris wheel I let time pass, not really taking in the moment. Not really grasping the meaning of the moment – as simple and small as it may seem.

How did it get to be January 8, 2009? What happened to the days and weeks in between November 25th and now? Where did they go?

As I reflect back on the past year albeit a bit after the moment of reflection is supposed to have occurred, I think that there have been many things to occupy my time. We had friends from Paris, France visit us at the start of the holiday season which meant that time for family and friends was condensed a bit this year. It meant a trip to San Francisco with J&E, our young friends to whom I will always refer as ‘the children,’ since we (my Dear Husband (DH and I) are like their American family. And we- I think I can speak for my better half – DH -enjoyed our wonderful time as a United Nations family – even if it was just for a few weeks.

And what have I learned from this past year? Much – but not enough. The financial community is a place to be treated with carefully - much like a cemetery. One should walk carefully - mindful of stepping on graves. The dignity and respect once afforded the banking capital of the world is now a mere shadow of joy itself. Hopefully with a reassessment and a good hard look inward the ‘souls of the new machine’ in the making will rejuvenate and bring back a glow worth reflecting and holding. One can hope.

There is still much to be grateful for- the fact that I have fingers as achy and disjointed as they may that enable me to peck at a keyboard. That I have a brain that mostly fires on command – mostly. That I have a family – a small and close knit husband and child who are the blanket of the everyday with whom I can snuggle and keep out the chill of the dark skies that sometimes threaten to unleash a bucket of rain.

And good friends and health and humor. And the simplicity of everyday simple tasks that despite the monotony, somehow give satisfaction in knowing that there is fresh milk in the refrigerator and clean underwear for all. Doesn’t get much simpler than that.
So, as we begin the trudge of learning to live in a recession prone world, a world with unrest in Africa, the Middle East and here at home, what is there to be grateful for? What is there to be happy about?

Over the coming months in addition to my trite and light attempts at levity, I will drop in a morsel now and again that is along the lines of food for thought – little bits to be savored, like a delectable piece of forbidden candy – sweet and buttery and full of flavor. So, what is there to be grateful for? And why should we (I) try and make a concerted effort to be in the moment?
Well, for one thing, being alive sure beats being ten feet under or a box of ashes stuck in a dark and breathless place. Secondly, the sheer delight of watching a new generation explore the world and all of its prisms and angles of light. Having the love of a good man. Having a roof over my head. Food on the table- even if it just a bowl of soup and a piece of fruit.
The ability to make the bed and do the laundry – cumbersome tasks as they are – I can do them and I am not dependent upon someone else to so my laundry, to get me out of bed, to make my food, to drive me to the market and the post office. I can get around and do these things on my own.

Waxing philosophical happens to me now and then. My Dear Son (DS) just finished reading the Odyssey- albeit the gentler kid-friendly version (difficult for Greek tragedies in general I think) which is a really great reality check.

I mean Odysseus was one determined guy- I hope Penelope appreciates all that he went through to get back to her and Telemachus. Compared to one-eyed giants, cannibals, roaring winds (okay we do have the Santa Ana to contend with) I have it pretty darn good.

So, the next time I see or hear that the economy is rapidly disintegrating and that we are at a standstill and Hades is having a comeuppance, well, I think I will just take a good look around. I will take a look around at where I live, the work options afforded me and the family that is the tapestry of my life and think that just maybe, it could be a whole lot worse.

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