A scheduled update on the health of my soul

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
- Pericles

So I took a long hike on a dusty trail Sunday, not so much to look for change or to seek answers, but to reconnect with wild places that soothe my soul.
There’s a lot going on inside me and I thank all the people who read The Tension, but have to ask how I’m doing, since they can’t seem to gauge from what I write. Not the literary stuff, anyway.
I’m doing OK, considering.
Considering that stress, uncertainty and doubt are taking a toll on my mind and my body. It takes three ibuprophin to get going most mornings and I am forever using my mantra, “That’s enough now,” when I want to dry-heave into the toilet in the darkness before normal people are awake.
And I’m locked in a cycle of insomnia that’s crushing, debilitating.
Again, all of my making.
I have a friend who leaped on faith and quit his job; he’s more than 20 days from the race of rats and I’ve never seen him happier. And while there certainly is some envy there, I could not do what he has done to fix his own path.
There are things you need to do and things you want to do; I need to stay employed to find what is next on my particular path.
A friend and I discussed a lot of things last night; we’re both 40-something men dissatisfied with aspects of our lives, our futures. We said – out loud – that we didn’t really want to be where we’re at in a year from now. And that fairies on toadstools were not going to powder us with fairy dust and make everything better. It was up to us to enact change.
Again, I really like the person I’ve become (those who know me can dispute that, but I know intimately) and like the potential within me. And there are good things in my life, good people who enter and are able to teach me things, make me smile.
And I will be OK, as long as I can keep everything in focus:
Life isn’t a race, it is a journey; and every experience builds onto the next. It’s the legacy you leave behind in the hearts of the lives you’ve managed to touch along the way.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Thom,
I just discovered your site a few weeks ago and have become a fan (you had me at "Maternal Warrior.") Continue to write, hike, talk to friends - you'll figure it out and be a better man for it.

Jon said...

Thom G: I ran across this quote the other day and find myself referring to it often now. It can mean so many things depending on one's sitchmo. It was penned by some hack named J.R.R. Tolkien and it even rhymes:

“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be the blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.”

Also remember: Life is short, but it can be wide.

Cheers,
Lou