Just wondering

by Lorin Michel Saturday, May 9, 2015 7:57 PM

I was standing on my deck this morning. It was cold, just 45º and the air had just the ripple of movement. After yesterday’s wind fest, it was welcome. The desert below was bathed in sunlight that would eventually warm everything up including me. It was quiet. In the distance I heard a car but couldn’t find it. There was a single dog bark. Riley, who was next to me, quickly turned his head but didn’t get up. Nothing to be concerned about, not really.

In the house behind me, Kevin was making coffee. I wondered how I got so lucky at the same time I wondered, as I always do, if we did the right thing. And every time I wonder that I feel like I’m being ungrateful. This house, our new and forever home, is amazing. It’s a huge accomplishment. The fact that it exists is a true testament to perseverance and sheer guts. I have had many people who marvel, who think that we’re incredibly brave, courageous, for leaving our lives and our friends to start something new.

I wonder sometimes if we’re simply stupid.

I suppose it does take some guts. I also think it takes the ability to not think about it. It’s a practice I call active denial and during the entire process of packing and moving and packing and moving again I excelled in it. It can also be described as the Scarlett O’Hara way of doing things. Don’t think about it today, think about it tomorrow. And since tomorrow can’t ever really come in that scenario, you never really have to think about it.

Still, I wonder and I worry. We’re alone here. We’re not far from the people we love most in the world, never far when one has an airport nearby, but we’re far enough. We’re slowly starting to meet people; slowly starting to make some friends. I’ve never had a lot of friends. It’s not in my character to allow too many people in. I suppose I’m always a little worried that they won’t like what they see and then I’ll truly be alone. As I’ve grown older, I’ve also realized that I don’t particularly enjoy spending time with people who don’t bring me some measure of joy. I simply don’t have the bandwidth for it. Still, it’s nice to be able to have people over every once in a while, to meet someone for a glass of wine, lunch.

To have someone worry if they haven’t heard from you in a while.

It’s more important to me than to Kevin but I suppose that’s a bit of a man thing. Most of the men I know and have known don’t have a lot of friends. They have friends with their wives, couple friends. But they rarely call up a buddy and say, let’s go have a beer, let’s go shoot nine-holes. Kevin has reconnected with a good friend, finally, after years of neglect. I urged him when we were still in California to call or email. He never did. Finally, he got tired of me nagging and so he did call and now he and his friend talk every couple of weeks. They don’t get together of course, and not just because we no longer live close by. It just doesn’t occur to him, or them.

Morning sun at the house. Photo: Roy Guzman

I wonder. I worry. I convince myself that it all can’t really be this perfect and wonderful. Something has to go wrong. I will slowly start to lose all of my clients. My work and income will dry up. We will have this incredible home and we won’t be able to pay for it. Our dream will turn into a nightmare. I don’t know why I allow myself to wonder and worry about these things. I suppose it’s a remnant of something I’ve dubbed being cursed with self-awareness. I wish I was someone who could live blissfully unaware of all that is happening and could happen. But I’ve never been that person; I never will be.

As I stood on my deck this morning though, as my husband brought me a cup of coffee and I watched the steam drift up into the cool air, I wondered. And I marveled. Look at what we’ve done; look at where we are. My brother always says, sarcastically, that he’s living the dream. This is usually when he’s at the Laundromat or shoveling snow for the hundredth time. In many ways, I am living the dream. Kevin and I and now Riley are living our dream, high above the desert with the sun warming the day. I wonder why I wonder why.

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live out loud

Comments (1) -

5/10/2015 9:49:43 AM #

"I wonder why I wonder why."

I think its because you only stop questioning when you die! ???

mom United States

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