Some days are more difficult. There doesn’t seem to be a specific cause. They just happen. I figure it’s part of my mind’s effort to fill in the void left by not having a job. Working becomes a habit after fifty years of doing something gainful. At least the process, the ritual becomes a habit, since the actual work changes. Getting ready for work is one of those defining activities. When it goes away the void needs a replacement or alternative.
I did not anticipate being jobless when I chose to be absent from work for two months. My return was expected, the continuing need for me expressed emphatically. Circumstances and needs change and it simply reaffirms what Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say to Jane Curtain on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Updates, "Well, Jane, it just goes to show you, it's always something--if it ain't one thing, it's another."
There are things with which I can fill the hours formerly devoted to paid employment —laundry, baking cookies, vacuuming, dusting, making the bed, and other life stuff — but that only eliminates them from the usual weekend or evening list of “to dos.” So, what do I do?
A lot of time is spent wrestling with depression created by the thought that I’ve passed the point where I am able to contribute anything to anyone. It grows to include feelings that there is no hope . . . ever. Pragmatically, both of these ideas have more than a grain of truth. Age becomes a handicap whether we legislate against it or not.
It’s ironic that at a tine when you need it less you want it more, food that is. With a limited income I choose more carefully what I can and will purchase, then I lament that I can’t have things around just to satisfy my sweet-, sour-, salty-, or bitter-tooth. Well, I guess I could, but then I’d not be able to afford the things that actually keep me alive. I reflect on one of the relevant and sage lines from Firesign Theater:
“How does an old man like you stay alive?”
“I don't eat anything. But, it doesn't affect my appetite!”
Ultimately, my present and future are fully my responsibility. We are after all, the sum of the decisions we make. I could lament my current circumstances, but doing this would only diminish the immense value of my work hiatus. The truth of the assertions that we get what we give, that doing the right thing is always the right thing to do and that negative begets negative were proven to me everyday of that adventure.
As convenient and inviting as it is to take the mock-Latin aphorism “Illegitimi non carborundum” as the way to confront life’s injustice and unfairness, I hold true to the belief that if it’s going to be a good day it’s up to me to make it so.