that's what life has become these days.
I've determined what the root cause of all stress is: having an inordinate majority of your life dominated of the things you have to do as opposed to things you want to do.
when there is really no opportunity to focus on anything that truly nourishes you - then life just becomes a relentless race to nowhere. I feel like I'm on the third leg of that marathon.
I'm tired of planning, dreaming, wanting, envisioning, deciding - never realizing. the only "receiving moments" I am occasionally able to scrape out of my daily routine is disappearing into a movie now and them - and that's more an opportunity to shut of life than enjoy it - and buying things I don't need from amazon or some other readily available online outlet during a deliberate, but brief break in the race now and then. I now have an unnecessarily large collection of watches - sure, I think they're nice, but they're also nothing more than an eating disorder. I buy more things in an attempt to fill the giant fulfillment chasm inside me - and those things, as expected do nothing for me in the end.
I'm not sure where the solution lives - or what incremental changes I should put into place to make my life better and more meaningful (for me). that constant reaching and yearning (in itself) has become yet another thing I have to do in order to maintain my sanity these days.
sure, I get joy from seeing my children happy and watching them learn and realize new things that bring them closer to success in their own lives. and I get joy from the scattered days or hours that my wife can call good - when we manage to connect a bit.
but these moments of empathetic, outward joy have little to do with my own personal upkeep and bliss - which I've never truly experienced, and thus been able to explore.
I know this might sound selfish to some - hell, it sounds selfish to me, but I'm not sure how long I can go on being for the good of everyone around me - and ignoring the part of me that just wants to be me for me for a moment.
my family sees the time I'm engrossed in my work and my career as my escape - and seems to believe that I get fulfillment from those hours. not true. work is nothing more than one of the necessities, a large and monopolizing one, that I have to keep at in order to keep everything afloat. certainly, I get rewards in the form of praise and money from my work - but those earnings go into a different psychological bank. the exist only for the purpose of securing more of the same - not to provide any type of personal fulfillment. I wish they could understand this - I'm not away "doing my thing" when I'm at work - I'm away so that my family can continue doing its thing. comfort, food, roof over our heads, and a little extra so that they're able to get and do some of the things they want.
I'm not sure if there are a lot of others out there who live this same kind of existence, so I don't feel like I can stand on any mountains and shout that it's unfair to ME.
I have a voice inside that speaks for ME - and my philosophy and mantra to others for years has been "listen." we all have a voice inside us - call it God, conscience, the id, whatever you call it, it's the voice that tells us what we need and what we should do in our lives to make our surroundings better and more fulfilling. we ignore that voice to our own detriment.
I haven't been able to listen to that voice in quite a while. sure, I hear it. it's always there - and I've even acted on it occasionally (a desperate and whimsied purchase of art supplies that have since gone untouched in my garage studio for weeks). I know it's there and I know I need to listen more closely. It's pleading with me lately - and that scares me a little.
I know I have music in me - art and song and words - that I need to get out. the longer it stays pent up inside me, the more distorted and decayed it gets. the frustration and anger and resentment infecting the good and beautiful - rotting it, leaving only a ferocious and dying shell of the song it was. these days I almost don't want to externalize those parts of me - but the longer I push it away, the more dead those pieces become - and the more the infection shows on the surface. I'm afraid that soon, nothing I expel from my heart or my head will retain any of the beauty of the music I hear.
life has become a relentless pursuit of stability and structure, and well being - but never peace. I guess rather than giving up and giving in, I just have to locate the strength to go on until I can act.
but where do I go now? tomorrow? next week? it seems that no matter how hard I look, I can no longer see a path materializing before me and that has become the most stressful part of all.
I can still hear the music.
that's a good thing, right?