In my perhaps imaginary 40th birthday toast, I say: "I wish I'd broken more things." Of all the things that I spend money on, repair isn't even a category worth defining--except for my repair to my head. My socioeconomic and familial background dictate that money is sacred. I've been thinking a fair amount about money lately; it's a strange beast. Most importantly, my background is founded in the belief that money should stay in one's pocket, and the best way to keep it there is to exercise care and prevention. I agree with that principle, but have witnessed it becoming an obsession in my life. A good deal of my life is spent checking. Checking my credit, checking my messages (like everyone else), checking my checking account. Checking the umpteenth time to make sure I didn't leave the coffee pot on.
There are issues in my life as there are in everybody's, but there's precious little damage--for the simple reason that I haven't lived enough. For fear of...well, how much time do you have? For fear of getting a divorce that, I fear, would make my life become a train wreck. For fear that the world couldn't do without one more responsible person. For fear of a financial crisis that will be related in family lore umpteen years from now as vividly as if it happened yesterday. For fear of God's anger and the million things that various parties believe incurs it.
Sometimes I feel like there is only one range of emotions in my life, and that is the continuum between feeling blah and feeling mortified about what other people may or may not be thinking or feeling about me. It's hard for me to move along any other axis, if you will. It's hard for me to feel like achievement and financial reward are the results of my good work, because it's difficult to make those things real to myself.
Tomorrow, let there be less checking and more living!