2010-09-09 08:17 am (UTC)
Sometimes, the universe has other plans...
I thought life was going along, pretty much as planned.
You win some, you lose some.
... and then our world got ripped out from under us...
At the moment I am so damned thankful for what I have!
The prospect of losing it all kinda makes ya think about how lucky ya really are.
So we are trying to get a grip, pick up the pieces, see what we can salvage, drop back 5 yards and PUNT.
What do we want to be when we grow up?
2010-09-09 08:45 am (UTC)
That word, you keep using that word...
I don't use the word perfect because that word suggests a state of uniformity, of no motion, of stagnation. If things are perfect they have no place to go, no way to shift. And since the one constant we know we have in the universe is change than perfection is hard to reach.
I have a framework for what I want in my life. Set theory works well to describe this such that there are sets of things, that if I have them in my life, would increase my happiness, and sets of things, if they were in my life, that would decrease my happiness. If I can fill my life with the items from set A (or close to it) and manage to have few of the items in set B, then I am content. Periodically I do an inventory of things on a momentary basis. In these 5 minutes do I have those things that make me happy? I try not to look longer than that because, as I said before, the only constant is change. If I can focus on about 5-30 minutes at a time, maybe even a couple of hours on a non-busy day, then I can find contentment repeatedly and often.
In addition, I do not need all the factors of my life to be from set A. If I have a majority of factors in my life from set A then I'm content as well. It makes it easier to keep the stuff from set B in perspective when they do show up in my life.
I hope this makes sense to someone outside my brain as much as it does for inside my brain. I also am likely going to report this in my journal.
My life is surprisingly like the life I wanted when I was in college and it turns out to be wicked cool. I have an awesome, gorgeous, kind husband; a nice home; a child whom I really like and enjoy parenting; and a theatre company that provides me with meaningful and creative work. There are details that I wouldn't mind changing--it would be cool to have a place with higher ceilings; to be paid for the work I do, rather than simply being supported in it; and I'm still waiting on my flying car--but overall it's pretty darn close to perfect, enough so to make me incredibly grateful and occasionally nervous about how much I have to lose. It will continue to develop and change over time, but at the moment I'm really pleased with where things stand.
Tonight I had a conversation with someone whose life is very much like mine, but who suffers from terrible depression. From an objective standpoint, his life doesn't suck particularly more than mine, except for that burden he bears, which makes all the difference. So that reminded me that another part of what's good for me is that I am able--for reasons that are only partly my own making--to appreciate and enjoy what I have.
I have many visions of my perfect life. Some of them are mutually exclusive to each other, which I guess is a problem. On the other hand, it means I can recognize the good in many ways of living and many purposes.
My life is, by and large, very good. I am trying to make it consistently better by improving the things I can improve - mostly my own behavior and attitudes.
I am trying to do more of the things I love. I am trying to finish projects that I start.
I don't know.
I have visions of more perfect lives, certainly, but I'm not sure they can meaningfully be described as mine, and I don't have plans for getting there. In some cases getting there is clearly not a possibility.
2010-09-09 12:22 pm (UTC)
perfect life? no. *good* life? yeah.
I think that for me the idea of a "perfect" life is unhealthy, in the same way as a belief in "happily ever after" -- in my mind, the idea of a "perfect" life seems to imply that everything is awesome and will continue to be so. which kind of avoids things like "entropy" and "filling out my taxes" and "plans and ideas change over time."
my current life is pretty good. I can think of things that would make it better. Some of them I am trying to change now. Some of them I have plans to change. Some of them, I don't know how to change.
I was, this very morning, talking to clauclauclaudia
about how I woke up in a mood where it felt like I was a giant flake who was faking her way thru, and that everyone else had their shit more together than I did. She noted that this is not an uncommon feeling among people.
I have that feeling! Sometimes. *laughs*
It's interesting because I know that my 'perfect life' is going to always change, as part of my idea/ideal of perfection sits in the crux of process and change and growth.
Always getting better, always learning, always doing the next thing even if it scares me to death.
I think perfect might be just a life without certain kinds of fear, but with other kinds that make me better. I don't *think* that fear of death by drowning on my own lungs is necessary for perfection. *laughs* Or my own betterment, but perhaps it is? I don't know...
I like that I just keep remaking my life, and it just seems to keep getting better, and that may be all I need.
I'm refining this Right Now, actually. :)
My perfect life is... a place for everything and everything in its place, enough money to not fret about finance every day and to pay musicians, a reliable vehicle to cart them around in, music every day, a touring lifestyle at least part of the time, limiting of all bad things that are under my control to limit, lots of being warm, and plenty of time near the ocean or on it.
The ideal lifestyle also includes motorcycles and boats and jetskis, but those are luxuries rather than requirements. Well, at least the last two.
I think perfection is too high a standard, and judging oneself against it is a prescription for frustration and unhappiness. The concept of "good enough" is really underrated.
At the same time, I do think what the old Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi, said once has some wisdom in it:
” Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence.”