Outside Woman Blues

If you lose your money – great God, don’t you lose your mind …

Today I hear Eric Clapton’s voice echoing through my mind in a brand-new way. Since I have decided to be happy – all joking aside – the pall of the ‘08 crisis begins lifting from my innermost being where it has been knotted up in places I didn’t even realize. Our house is on the market, and I’m more than okay with relocating to a smaller dwelling. It’s just that I’ve allowed the pressure of monthly obligations to wring me out like a pair of sweat-soaked socks, ignoring just how fetid and dry I’ve become. At the same time, I remain thirsty for the juice of human goodness and decency – and for once, I feel as though I’m receiving more than I’m giving out. A wellspring of gratitude percolates beneath the surface like a bright clutch of shimmering fish waiting for the tide to sweep them into deeper, bluer waters.

Like manna on desert sands, happiness beckons. And it’s no mirage. Joy is at least as palpable as fear, and given the choice, I am determined to discover how imbuing that feeling will play out. For years I have been highly suspicious of perennially sunny folk, especially while detecting strain around their eyes and in the purse of their mouths; knowing that what they say and how they act (and often react) doesn’t really seem to match. Thus I surmise that somehow they are trying to fool the world. (When and how is it my business to disabuse them of their theories? Haven’t I advised clients in the past to fake it ‘til they make it?

Now I am saying to hell with it – might as well give ‘er a try, myself – a sort of experiment in lightheartedness. Because the alternative is not attractive and I’m tired of feeling low and flat like a mechanic’s dolly wheeled beneath every damn thing, examining its underbelly for flaws. To what purpose and end I have executed this little exercise for some years now, I cannot immediately render, nor is there apparent or plausible justification. I only know that it’s time for a change, and I am ready to embrace it.

14 comments on “Outside Woman Blues”

  1. You’re not alone! The feelings you feel I have faced and wondered how will all this turn out. Change can be good…no it can be great! It’s just learning how to adapt to it that seems so hard. There’s a part of us that wants life to stay the same but growth is the natural state of life. Smile, even when it’s all you can do not to cry…this is temporary. Good Luck!!! Shari The Big Idea Blog

    • Thanks for your comments, encouragement and well wishes, SM – much appreciated. Of course at almost sixty, I know change is inevitable and most of the time it is something to be quite grateful for in the end. It’s the process of learning to let go that I’m always astounded at – the longer I live, the more surprising it is to me that I still discover little pockets of resistance inside. Life is like that! 😉

  2. Ah…I’m with you, Bela. I love it when I finally turn a corner. And I have to be in motion to make the turn! 😀 Have fun and many blessings.

    • Hey-ho, Amy – yes, corner turned! And yes, in motion! Also something I’ve not mastered forcing in this life. It comes when it does. Strengthens my belief in fate, destiny, whatever. And that I can never know how it’s going to play out – so stop trying to grok it and simply go with the flow. Easy now, harder there for awhile, despite my best actions and intentions. It comes when it does, darnit!
      Thanks so much for your kind words. Blessings to you, sister writer!

  3. I feel your words are truly heart felt, your unfettered approach helps me, thank you.

  4. Bela, you sound sentimental. We did the same thing a couple of years ago: downsized to a smaller house. My husband still drives by the old house and comments on the changes he perceives. It is almost a personal affront, the new owners tearing apart what he planned for so many years. But it is not his house anymore. It served us when we lived there, and now someone else will have the experience. And we move on……and so will you.

    Ronnie

    • Ronnie, thanks for your thoughts and your affirmations – much appreciated. I don’t think I’m so much sentimental (I can leave the house, despite the beauty of what we’ve created. I can visualize someone else owning it, no problem – and gladly!) It’s more that I think myself irresponsible for not seeing the financial trends sooner, and losing so very much money. That being said, we have each other, our family is well, our health is good. It’s only money. Wish in some ways we had enjoyed it by traveling, etc. – but that opportunity is gone. Perhaps it will return one day. Plus the house transformation is satisfying to reflect upon. It’s on sacred ground here, so whatever work we did will be appreciated by someone. Guests have certainly loved staying here, so the idea that a buyer will appreciate it for the same qualities is the vision we hold.

      And so it is!

  5. I had no idea the economic downturn had reached paradise. I hope change brings about something better for you. But I can relate to the difficulty of change and the angst of not knowing if you’re going in the wrong direction. Your analogy of feeling low and flat like a mechanic’s dolly reminds me of how I feel like a hammer sometimes, heavy and dull and tired of the monotonous drudgery of pounding away in an old routine. This year marks my 15th year with my current employer. I try to find joy and meaning in it as I’m sure I’ve helped many people but sometimes I feel like I’m wasting my life. I have been listening to some new CD’s of Hawaiian slack key guitar and it sounds like sunshine to me. Recently I read a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh: “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” I’ll imagine you smiling in my mind and that will be my prayer for your success and joy.

    • Dear woman, thanks so much for your blessings. It means a lot. I’m happy you’re listening to some slack key guitar music! We love that about Hawaii, our community especially. So many gifted musicians here – and we can almost always see live performances.

      My hope for YOU is that you either discover a renewed passion in your work life or that you decide to explore something that is more gratifying to you. It’s definitely what is in the air these days, especially for women I know over fifty.

      And thanks much for the TNH quote. It made me SMILE 😀 Blessings to you.

  6. Bela…I can so tell through your writing (and from seeing you) that you’ve had a “change of heart.” Go for it! I think you’ll like the simpler life. I’ve been a frugal maven for decades and i don’t regret a minute of it. Your wit and compassion will get you places money can’t. Hugs – Carol

    • Thanks Carol – yes! Downsizing and simplifying were our goals years ago, until we found this place – or it enchanted us enough to get itself restored – whatever. Never have been attached to the house, though many have enjoyed what we’ve created, including you and K. We always lived a very spartan lifestyle – this is the first time we’ve rambled about in such luxurious surroundings – and though appreciated, we can go back to our simple life just fine.
      Hoping to see you sooner than later. I miss YOUR wit! Hugs back.

  7. Bravo, Bela. What reflections! I feel so connected and secure reading your post. Why is this , I wonder?

    “Like manna on desert sands, happiness beckons. And it’s no mirage…” I read these lines again and I realise that it is somewhere here I feel the vibrations. Is it the text or the picture? Is it because I live in a desert land and thus remain open to the rain and the blessing it brings? I wish I knew…

    Cheers, Thank you for this.

    Shakti

    • Shakti, you are so welcome! I was raised near a low desert, and my post to be published tomorrow once again reflects upon the beauty found in these sparsely populated places.

      I’m happy the post brought you pleasure. And as always, thanks for taking the time to register your feelings about it. Peace.


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