Less is more

Not only in a material way but in an emotional way.

Lately I have found myself not only happy in my reclusiveness but happy in my pulling away from personal attachments and emotional and psychological attachments.

It hasn’t been a conscious effort. It hasn’t been any effort at all to tell the truth. It was just there one day. I was thinking about family. I don’t have one. I never had one. I think I only missed having and or being a part of a family because I thought I was supposed to. This troubled me. The not caring part, not the ‘not having/being’ part.  The feeling unnatural part when I knew that for me, it was not unnatural.

Running this through my mind, trying to find some reason why what is so important to others has no meaning for me. And why is this so? And why am I made to feel like there is a part of my psyche missing because I don’t miss having a family. Or feel a need for family. What is wrong with me, I thought.

‘Family’ was just one of the normal attachments I’ve never had, and struggled with understanding why I didn’t. I never felt I was missing anything. I never wanted the attachments that are considered normal. I never felt a need for them. I loved and was loved, yes. I gave and received affection, friendship but when it was gone, it was gone. And not mourned, perhaps missed in a nostalgic way. Good times and all, you know.

But then I laughed out loud. A warm laugh. A laugh of acceptance. There is nothing wrong with me.

My non-attachment is just who I am. I am not attached to material things; I accumulate them for their use, chose what pleases my senses AND my practicality. When a material thing is no longer useful, nor does it please my senses, I get rid of it. It is just a material thing and carries no emotional weight.

And when people leave my life, or I leave theirs, there should be some sort of emotional distress. My only distress has been that there hasn’t been any distress.

I’ve spent a good portion of my life trying to fit my emotional/psychological life into what I have been told is the norm. It hasn’t ever suited me. It hasn’t ever felt natural and real to me.

It is not that I don’t love. I do. It is not that I don’t have real affection for the people in my life. And it is not that I no longer get angry at the ways humans mistreat and hurt other living creatures. I do. And I cry for others pain and joy. I am moved by a certain kind of sentimentality, or by any kindness to me.

Maybe it is a matter of getting older and becoming who I really am. Becoming the essence of myself.  The self that was burdened and smothered with trying to mold itself to the norm and the expected.  I no longer feel the need to fit that mold.

I don’t feel that I am making myself clear. If I could draw then I would draw pale warm light. I would draw gossamer wings. I would draw oneness. I would draw all encompassing arms.

I am both solid and ephemeral. I am filled with this crazy joyousness in nothing and everything.

I am wondering whether I am at the end of a journey or at the beginning of one…

Categories *Tags

Not for me thanks but you go ahead-


Happy people make me happy. I do not covet your happy-thing, whatever it may be – house, home decor, job, talent, vacation, kids, family.  I probably don’t even understand why your happy-thing makes you happy. You smile, I smile – but I’m smiling at you, not your thing.

Perhaps there is a little covetousness for your homemade jams and jellies. I suppose I could learn to make jams and jellies but it’s not my thing, I’d rather have some of yours.

In my wildest imagination I cannot see me canning fruit.  Or decorating my house with symbols of the season, or having 27 pillows on my bed, or collecting toast points. Or having children.  Or having a bunch of people at my home for dinner.

I don’t think my enjoyment of your enjoyment could be called vicarious – I’m not enjoying something through  you, I am enjoying you, being you, being happy. Unless it is those homemade jams and jellies – then my pleasure may just be vicarious especially if you describe them in such a way that I start to drool.

I can admire something without wanting it, or for that matter, even liking it. Creativity, skill, workmanship – I can look at those aspects with admiration and appreciation but not care at all for the final product.

What got me started thinking about this was a blog post about a newly refreshed kitchen. Nothing in that kitchen appealed to me but it is a very well done kitchen. The writer of that post was clearly happy as a clam at high tide and I smiled at her happy but certainly not at the kitchen itself.

Or our dear friend Lin, parent extraordinaire. She loves being a parent and she and her husband seem to have done a superb job with their children. She has written often about her family and their activities, and while I do not for one moment, wish any of that for me, I’ve have to smile at her pleasure and the happiness her family brings her.   I can honestly say I don’t even understand her happy but it always makes me smile.

This is all very commonplace, right? A smile will engender another smile, right? Happiness is infectious even if we don’t know why the other person is happy. Even if we don’t understand why that person is happy.

I do not expect anyone to like what I like. I also do not expect people to feel criticized if I don’t like what they like, and they ascertain that by my adamant DIS- liking. 

So if you like mayo and provolone on a sandwich, I say ‘None for me thanks, but you go ahead and enjoy”

Categories *Tags

Idle thoughts on Monday

As I was getting dressed I once again thought how much I prefer dresses to pants, and always have. Perhaps it was just the time I grew up in that drove my preference but when the option to wear pants everywhere and anywhere was available, I didn’t. I stuck to my dresses and skirts. Someone asked me why I wore dresses even on a casual Saturday outing and my answer was – they’re more comfortable; I have more freedom in a dress than in pants.

Jeans, anything denim except for my short jacket with the appliqued butterflies (oh 60’s where art thou?) were on my ‘Do Not Wear” list. I think I have owned 3 pairs of jeans in my whole life – hate jeans, hate denim. Too confining. And that is the crux of the matter – confinement versus free flowing freedom.

I had an epiphany some 15 years ago about why I have a near hysterical reaction to anything constricting or confining. I have wonder why my therapist and I never explored that aspect of my personality, he was well aware of it.  As in, when I described a fantasy I had of going into work with an uzi and walking into the bullpen and calling each person by name and when they popped up from their cubicles, gunning them down. (I think I envisioned a game of whack-a-mole with guns and real estate agents). My dear and darling therapist said, with great concern “But Grace then you would go to jail, and you know you can’t bear to be confined” I did explain to the dear, darling man, who often struck me as being a bit naive, that it was just a fantasy. Or maybe I was in worse emotional shape than I thought and he really believed I might do something like that. New York City in the early 80’s – how hard would it have been to get a machine gun?

Oh, did you want to know why the thought of being constricted or confined sends me into hysterics – ah, it seems when I was a toddler the mother would tie me to the radiator when no one else was home. I don’t know why because I learned early on to stay out of her way and to stay quiet. I wasn’t nick-named the mouse for no reason. But that’s something else.

I did wear pants to work on occasion but they were more costume than  clothing – men’s suits custom tailored to fit me; over-the-knee hi-heel boots with skin-tight stretch pants, turtle neck bodysuit and suspenders. Carefully coordinated costumes, worn to make a point, I think. I don’t recall what the point might have been but certainly not my usual attire.

And my usual attire? Silk suits with silk t-shirts; anything made from soft flowing material but yet very simple and tailored. And always my beloved high-heels and fancy stockings – that was how I dressed for years and years and…

So now, fat, old and disabled, I still wear my soft flowy dresses in the house and when I venture out into the world I wear soft cotton-knit yoga pants that drape down my legs paired with a silky-knit t-shirt. My shoes are clunky black non-slip monstrosities that help me stay up-right and balanced.

And every morning as I slip my soft dress over my head, I remember when I was hot-shit in silk and suede…

Categories *Tags