Thursday, January 27, 2011

Four Years and Counting

Today, I'm not channeling Helen. I'm more Charles Bukowski than Helen Dorsee, dwelling and ruminating, regretting and welling. Gramma was not one to live in regret. I'm afraid I am.

Four years until I’m at the age Daddy was when he died, he was 52 and, in another month, I’ll be 48. This weighs heavily on me, more than it should. My inner self-loathing gets the better of me and I think of all the success he had, all the success I have not.

Last week, my neighbor Michelle suggested that I need Ritalin. Ritalin, like I have ADD and can’t focus on anything. But that’s wrong. I can focus on a myriad of subjects, hobbies and creative interests, reading, knitting, farming, painting, sewing, glasswork, writing, computer programming for Chrissakes. I just can’t stay interested in them for long periods of time and I don’t know why. I tell people I bore easily and I do but it’s more than that. I’m interested in learning to do something, I figure out how, and then I am no longer interested. My intellectual curiosity has been met. I know a moderate amount about many, many things, Jack of All Trades, Master of None.

This flaw of mine has gotten worse in recent years. I’m afraid my time is drawing nigh and, if I can’t discover that one thing, all this life will be for naught.

Yes, I have beautiful brilliant children who, without me, would not grace this world with their presence. Yes, I’ve made a lot of things that I have sold or given as gifts, objets d’art and craft that I’m reasonably confident are admired.

But honestly? I’m almost 48. Instead of a career, I pick up bartender and server jobs for needed household-running funds. I’m terrible with money management; I fail as a homemaker. Laundry piles flow like lava out the laundry room door, dog hair rests in clumps in the corners, windows are dirty, floors are worse. I’m a good but inconsistent cook. I have a good but inconsistent life.

When Daddy reached 50, and before he was diagnosed with the melanoma that would kill him, he commented that he had made it farther than his own dad, a binge-driven alcoholic who went to “dry out” and failed, no “rehab” in those days, at least not in its current incarnation. Part of my father doubted he would make it to 50. Perhaps, that is why he worked as hard as he did, became such an enormous success at a relatively young age. I haven’t done that.

Years move faster as one ages. Tempus fugit and all that. And I’m not afraid to die. I’m afraid to not live.

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