Reading: 2006-12-13

The Opportunity: 0 The Seeker

You have the opportunity to start a new journey, with a beginner’s mind. Is it time to hit the road, either metaphorically or literally? Every time you set out on a journey, even if it’s only a one-day hike, you embark on a spiritual journey as well. Be open to all the twists and curves in the road ahead. Be ready for wonderful surprises. Be open-hearted, innocent, trusting and spontaneous. Take a risk! Before you is a brand new adventure — the chance for a fresh start and endless possibilities

The Challenge: 13 Death

You are being challenged to accept the fact that something in your life is dying and something else is nearing its time to be born. Take the time that you need to grieve for that which is dying, whether it is a cherished dream, a relationship or a belief system. Don’t rush the process or deny all your turbulent feelings. Death isn’t pretty; it hurts. It’s painful. Whatever dies, is dead, and it will never return again in the same form. But just as the Dark Moon gives way to the New, and Winter gives way to Spring, Rebirth will surely follow Death. When you are ready to let go of grief, you will find yourself emptied out and clean, and ready for the next stage of your journey.

The Resolution: 4 The Builder

Resolution comes with making decisions through intellectual reasoning, rather than your emotions or intuition. You may ask yourself: “What am I building? Are the foundations of my life based on strong structures? Are my boundaries clear and well tended?” You are ready to take responsibility for a project where you have authority over others, and where your leadership skills can shine. What kind of a leader are you? Do you lead by example or by dominating? Are you secure enough in your own abilities that you can share power with others? Do you take into account the longterm consequences of the decisions that you make? You may also exemplify the Good Father who loves, guides and protects his children — and gives them the security of clear boundaries by disciplining them when necessary.

Well, that says it all, doesn’t it.


Dude, where’s my car?

What are women supposed to do when they have a mid-life crisis? The stereotypical male mid-life crisis usually involves a toupée, a Corvette, and dumping your wife for your 20-year-old secretary. What is the stereotypical female mid-life crisis? Or are we only allowed to have the Change, with its hot flashes and mood swings? Don’t need a hairpiece, can’t afford the car, but wouldn’t mind a 20-year-old toyboy so where do I sign up? I’ve been a very staid grup-like creature* (with the sneaker and t-shirt wardrobe but not the dough), and I think I will cut loose for my mid-life crisis. Time to break out the snowboard and get a piercing somewhere embarrassing.

Feeling a bit too old and creaky to do it right at this minute so perhaps the first order of business should be to put the body-as-temple to rights. Let’s see…how much time to erase decades of neglect? “Two weeks” doesn’t seem to be the right answer (too bad — I could make a fortune with that secret). “Two years” seems way too long — would be a shame for my crisis to be over before I ever got started. So let’s work on it until the big 4-2 in four months and see how we get on.

Yeah, let’s start on that. Tomorrow. Today we ate Tootsie Rolls for lunch and that would be bad foot to start off on.

(*if I have to explain the origin of grup to you, you’re not nearly geeky enough, my friend)

A dearth of creativity

When I was in high school, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be “when I grew up”. Too many things interested me but none of them interested me enough to want to get a loan and spend four plus years in university to do over all of the others. Artist, geologist, archaeologist, writer, police officer, veterinarian, singer, recording engineer, astronomer, interpreter, and more cycled through my thoughts throughout high school.

In, oh, about 1980, when I was in grade 12, my school became one of the first schools to make use of a career exploration software called Choices, delivered via a line printer over a phone connection to the software company’s offices. It offered (and I suppose still does since, technically, it is still being produced) personality tests and interest inventories to help you determine what occupations suited your interests. Mine always came out heavily in favour of creative occupations: writing, choreography, dancing, singing, music, etc. Unfortunately, my entire high school course plan was heavily laden with science classes (even though I was a slacker, I didn’t want to completely rule out a future decision to go on to uni). One creative course and one theatre course over my entire high school career. No art courses. No physical courses (other than the acting one). No real creativity expected in any of them beyond the two mentioned, which I took in grade 10. How does one then segue into an artistic career? The answer is you don’t. Not without a lot more drive than I possessed at the time. My father and I took a tour of the local arts college but I was so intimidated by the application process, which required a portfolio, that I backed down.

So, after graduation, instead of going on to uni or college, I worked — as a waitress, a job I was absolutely horrible at, and as a sales clerk. After a year of “finding myself”, I decided I needed some skills and a hope of a better job. I completed a one-year secretarial course only to discover that I suck at being a secretary almost as much as I do as a waitress…and a secretary’s salary truly sucked in those days. Probably still does. So I enrolled in a two-year programming course offered by the same college. I figured that it made sense to pick something moderately interesting, something with a good future outlook. I loved programming — not maintenance programming, which is just factory work, but actually creating from scratch.

No one told us that COBOL programming jobs were hard to come by for someone with no experience and, after graduation, I ended up in computer operations. For over a decade. It’s a time period that also included The Relationship and its aftermath so, in my head, they coexist in the same memories. While the relationship lived and while the pathos that accompanied its breakup lived, I still painted, I still wrote, I still played music. I still felt. When I stopped feeling, somewhere around 1990, I began the process of stopping almost all creative pursuits and almost all broad-spectrum social interaction — I can sustain short bursts but nothing longer. Today I realized that I miss that part of me, the part of my spirit that was suffused with creativity and life, more than I’d realized. The part of me that danced with my friends down the street, blocking traffic, after watching “Footloose”. (Well, no, probably not that, unless I find new friends — they’re all married, with and without kids, and probably far too proper and upstanding to do that now.) And I think I’d like to try to find it again. The creativity and the life, both.

I’m just not sure where to start.