There was a time many years ago in a land far, far away when I was a child, some argue I still am, but only on occasions. For me that was 45 years ago. But it doesn’t seem a long time. Then I had priorities, like learning to swim , or swim a length so I could get a ‘Dinky’ toy as my reward, or swim faster than Peter C. or as far as I could to get the next badge. It was not a conscious thing just a clear goal to aim for.
A little while later I noticed that some girls, who up until that point had been an upside-down, purple-knicker-displaying, hand-standing, mystery, were becoming even more so and were getting funny bumps on their chest. They continue to remain a mystery on the whole, even now, when most my age no longer do hand stands against the wall, but I understand the science well enough.
I still notice the bumps, I noticed some the other day, I was driving along and they were on display in some girls bedroom with the curtains back and the light on in the dark and everything was on display. I couldn’t help but notice them and neither could my 15 yr old son. In unison we said to each other ‘did you see that’. I never have before and nor am I likely to again, unless passing that way again….
All that is natural, and when growing up it seems like getting one of the mysterious creatures, and being able to call it ‘my’ girlfriend occupied a disproportionate amount of energy and time. I never really did, because I was too shy and awkward. I think I was a ‘good catch’ in many ways (but i am delusional at times), I was and am a mixed up cookie, so not to the taste of the mainstream perhaps, at least I am loyal and faithful and I have ‘my’ wife, who is perhaps the only one who could have put up with me for these last 30+ years.
As a couple we had each other and spent a lot of time with each other , going out together, decorating and ‘nesting’ , it wasn’t a conscious thing, we just did it. We then discovered the rabbit instinct and produced 3 offspring. Each time they were the focus, they were the drive , they were what it was all about. We had a nice home, 30 years later we are still here, we have had another 2 have come to join our family. We adopted them and they were the focus for some time helping them overcome their abuse.
I have clinical depression. I look at the events of life and try to come to terms with my aging, work, stress, loss, health, changing moral landscape, injustice, world peace and my inevitable death etc like others with the same state of being. I hope it is just a phase that like others in my life passes and leaves an impression.
Someone I knew through church and have known for over 20 years died recently. I liked her. Being depressed though, I am numbed by the medication and, she was oldish, so I struggle to feel the loss. But I think she will be missed. Janet was a lively, happy, devout, magistrate, Samaritan, mother, wife, general synod member. I admired her. Going to her funeral is one of those many things that in my current depressed state I am finding a burden, a barrier and a hurdle. I don’t want to go, I probably wouldn’t be missed, it is not going to be a happy thing. I find religion and all its trappings now to be one of those phases I went through, it feels now like it occupied a disproportionate amount of energy and time, but not so at the time. So I have no thoughts of going for religious reasons.
I stumbled upon an article “Always Go to the Funeral” It made me think I will. It is ‘right’ a ‘good’ thing to do and yes it is inconvenient for me, but so is everything at the moment. I agree with the author, she is right. To only do things because they make us look good or make us happy or because they gratify ‘ourselves’ is not the only reason to do something, putting ourselves out a bit is inconvenient, but so what, so is having to put stuff in the loft when I want to just sit.
So as a child I had things like toys to aim for, as a teenager it was a girl, then moving on it was a wife then kids, then houses and cars and jobs and promotion. All much as others do. The Christmas letters of our friends always seem to be about the same sort of things we were doing at the time too, others seemed to be doing it so much better that we were, but I doubt it was really so. Aiming for and achieving these things is what drives and rewards and makes life. I need something now to aim for, not self-seeking and self-satisfying like hobbies I have considered.
Perhaps it should be something that is not convenient and certainly something better than being dead.