This is the first in a series of semi-regular streams of consciousness and are called meditiations as an homage to Marcus Aurelius and his ‘Meditations’, which I’ll admit I have yet to read.
So I started my fourth decade yesterday, and I can only hope that 2017, my fortieth year, is easier and less eventful than 2017.
This last year has been a bitch, seriously. From all the well loved and renowned artists and celebrities popping it throughout, to the unexpected results of the EU referendum and US presidential election, the world seems to be descending into an abyss. These are sideshows however, and while monumental on a macro scale, have little in the way of impact on my daily life. Events closer to home have tested me more this last year, but I have developed a mental and emotional resilience to allow me to withstand it, and a certain protective detachment that has prevented me from falling apart. It has not been easy or pleasant though, no matter how unflapped I appear on the outside.
I have discovered over the last year that I am more resilient than I thought. I can take whatever is thrown my way dispassionately and with equanimity. I have felt deeply for those around me however, and their trials and troubles have required that I keep it together, for their sake if not for mine.
The love of my life has been, and still is being, put through the wringer this last year. With the universe seeming to pile trouble upon trouble like some sort of vindictive torturer and all I seem to have been able to do is watch. I’ve been told that being there is enough. Simply remaining a fixed point, a constant and unperturbable presence is sufficient, but it doesn’t feel like it. I’m constantly thinking that there must be more I can be doing but I don’t know what it might be…
So I’ve plodded along, carrying normality on so that it’s there for her to come back to. Demonstrating that, no matter what reality throws your way, life goes on for better or for worse, and we can’t let circumstances defeat us, make victims of us, or force us to change, unless we choose to.
There have been a few times in the last year when my strength has been close to faltering and I’ve snuck off somewhere quiet for a sob. I have come to the realisation that giving in, running away and hiding, doesn’t solve anything and has the added disadvantage of not getting anything else done either. If I am to be defeated, then it will not be by the mindless and unfeeling vicissitudes of reality.
It’s an effort, keeping it together, but it is one I’m more than willing to make. Not for my sake, as I’ve already said, but for the sake of those I’ve chosen as my family, and whose wellbeing I value. I do sometimes wonder when I’ll get a break though…
I don’t expect one, naturally. I cannot plead with reality to go easy, it has no concept of mercy and no capacity for compassion to appeal to. I will seize any opportunity for respite when it comes my way though, and will share it with my beleaguered companions. I can only hope they do the same.