Archive for October 22nd, 2008

Deep Thoughts

“Live the life you have imagined.” -Thoreau

I’m not unfamiliar with that quotation. I’ve probably read it a hundred times.  And I’ve thought about it. If I were to live the life I have imagined, what would that be like?

Well, the first thing you have to know is that I have a very vivid imagination. In none of my imaginings did I have bipolar depression, because that definitely can mess things up. In most of my imaginings up until a few years ago, I had children.  I can’t make the bipolar go away, and I can’t make the children come. So I have to revise my imagined life.

So I’m imagining. I live in a larger house–not a McMansion or anything, but a house large enough for us to feel uncramped like we do now. I have my M.A. in History, and I’m working as an archivist or a researcher. I’m also writing the histories I’ve been dreaming of. I’m not fat. I’m out of debt. I’m healthy and happy. I volunteer at Cook Children’s Hospital. I am researching mine and Joe’s family history. I travel with my husband to the places I’ve always wanted to visit–Europe, Egypt, Australia, New England, the Pacific Northwest.

That’s a nice image, huh? But Thoreau didn’t say “imagine the life you want to live.” He said to “live the life you have imagined.”  So how do I get from here to there?

  • The larger house–well, that really goes along with getting out of debt. We’re working on the getting out of debt part. And we’re also working on clearing the clutter out of our small house.
  • The M.A. in History–first I have to get the money to pay for school. I have to take 3 upper level classes in History as a degreed undergraduate before I can get admitted to grad school. Getting out of debt will help me find the money to go to school.
  • Working as an archivist or a researcher–once I’ve got the credentials I can begin looking for that type of a job.
  • Writing the histories I want to write–I’ve already begun research. I can write those books whether I get my history degree or not. If I don’t start going to school as soon as I’d hoped, I can still pay for a library card to the university library so I’d have access to some of the sources I need. And perhaps I can get access to other sources through doing the traveling I’ve imagined.
  • Traveling – Getting out of debt will help. Getting and staying healthy will help, as I’ve mainly had to use my PTO for being sick, which doesn’t leave vacation time available.
  • I imagine I’m not fat anymore. I don’t have the answers on this. I know a lot of things that don’t work. I’d seriously considered getting the lab band surgery, but have decided against it. I think if I just pay attention to other things in my life, like getting healthy mentally and emotionally, the food will begin to take a back stage position–something that’s necessary but not on the forefront of my mind.
  • I volunteer at Cook Children’s Hospital. Getting into a position where I have flexible hours, and am doing work that brings me joy, will give me the opportunity to volunteer. I chose Cook Children’s because of my dearest friend Chase. I know the many long hours he’s spent there, and the good work they do.
  • I’m researching mine and Joe’s family history. I’ve got a lot of assorted papers and notes I’ve taken over the years. I can get those organized and entered into my computer and print out an orderly set of info that I then get into binders. That will help with the clutter problems at home. And when I’m traveling, I can poke around in the different places we visit to get more information.

So it’s doable, and it’s all doable in bite-sized steps. I can’t instantly live the life I’ve imagined, but I can begin working in that direction. Today I can take my meds. Today I can call and make an appointment with the new therapist (check). Today I can enter 5 pages of the genealogy into my computer. 

I won’t promise how long it’ll take, but I will promise that I’ll keep imagining this and living it until it does become a reality.

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Today’s Twitters

  • 12:32 I voted. #
  • 13:21 Well, the ears are still bugging me, so I finally made a doctor appointment. #

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Last night Sarah dragged me to go play bingo. I haven’t played bingo since I was a teenager and my Dad called at his Elks Lodge. Still, it was a really pleasant break in my routine. Things are different now. They still have the cards that you daub, if you like, but they have little computer thingies that hold 66 cards and all you have to do is press the ball on the screen when a number is called to mark that number on all your cards. And no, I didn’t win anything, didn’t expect to. That’s not why I went. I went to hang out for a while with some friends, change up my routine, get out of the house.

They have some funny little game thingies that they do between the other games. You buy the cards for $1 per card, and it’s a whole complicated little thing that I don’t want to go into here, but you have a chance to win more money. And they all have different name, like Jockey, and Cart & Pony or something like that. Before I tell you the name of one game, you have to remember that I’m a 12-year-old boy at heart, okay? So every time they said the name of this game I giggled. And Sarah being Sarah, she said it frequently to make me giggle. It was Blue B@lls.  heh heh heh.  It’s not just because of the name itself, although I find it hysterical, but because I once overheard a roommate asking her boyfriend about blue b@lls. I pretended to be asleep because I know she didn’t know she was talking so loudly I could hear in the other room, and I didn’t want to embarrass her.  But yeah. That phrase makes me giggle.

Being a 12-year-old boy in a grown woman’s body is a little embarrassing at times, but always entertaining.

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