Monday, January 10, 2011

Fay is really bored.  She's walking around the apartment looking for things to knock over and scratch at.  She wants me to get my attention so I'll give her food.

I think I might have to start bringing bribes on our walks again.  The last two times I've taken her out she just wants to come right back in again. At least she has to walk from the back door to the front door of the apartment building.  We go out the back door and it doesn't have a keyhole so we can't get back in that way.

I'm feeling slightly better today.  I'm beginning to be able to think a tiny bit.  I can't do math yet though.

This is the time of year when people tend to look back at the past and try to take a survey of what's happened.  I just turned 45 so I took a glance back over the last five years.

It seems like something happens to people in their forties and they can no longer evade the issues they were able to sidestep or ignore in their younger days.  All the shit hits the fan in your forties.

For example the alcoholics go hardcore and really wreak havoc in their lives and the lives of people who love them.  Long term couples split up, people start getting serious illnesses.  If you have demons you haven't done something about yet they will come and sit on your shoulders and bite you in the face.

Say you're twenty-something and you know you have some kind of problem.  You don't know what to do about it and there's a lot going on in your life so you think, "well I'll just look away and maybe it will get better on its own."  That's reasonable enough I guess.  What else can you do when you don't know what to do?

As you get older the problem persists and through life experience you begin to find out about ways you could address it.  You don't want to address it though.  It would be a big pain in the ass to address it.  You've gone on this long not having to acknowledge the problem.  Your life's manageable and you're having a good enough time.  Why shake things up?

Well here's why: now you're forty and you realize the damned problem hasn't gone away and it's not going to just go away and it's starting to creep into your daily life and kick the legs right out from under you.  It's starting to influence your closest relationships and it's interfering with even your most casual interactions with people.  It's standing in front of you and it won't get out of the way.  It's in the middle of your kitchen, screaming it's head off and threatening to set fire to your house.  If you don't do something it will set fire to your house and you'll be left with nothing.

It's so hard to make changes in life.  Hardly anybody can change without absolutely being forced to.  I can't.  Old habits die really hard.  Chances are that whatever you're dealing with you can still get some enjoyment out of your life, there is some comfort.  It's scary to even think about making a simple change that seems like it could blow everything up and make everything unfamiliar.  Then you'd have no bearings (at first) and where would you be?

Well maybe your kitchen wouldn't be on fire.  Or maybe you will have grabbed the matches and burned the place down yourself since you found out it was condemned.  At least you wouldn't have some lunatic screaming at you and threatening you anymore.

If you have some kind of issues - and of course everybody does - and you find out something you can do about them try to do it.  Read a book on the subject, see a professional, get regular exercise, take up yoga, talk to your friends.  Just accepting that you have difficulty with some things is a start.

If there's an alcoholic in your life it really helps to go to Al Anon.  Going to an Al Anon meeting isn't really that revolutionary.  You can just go and listen.  You don't have to change your life at all.  Afterwards you will not be required to go home and make demands of your alcoholic significant other.  If anyone sees you there well then, you see them too.  It's kind of nice to know that you have something in common with that lady you see at the market all the time.  Best of all, you find out all the stuff that you don't have to do and you find out that you're not alone.  It's really quite a load off.

If you possibly can, it's better to deal with things when you're young and flexible and when it doesn't involve your kids.  I you wait till you're forty everything is much harder and more complicated.

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