One of the last things I do at night is take melatonin. I’ve been doing this for years. Did you know it is a good antioxidant? But that’s not why I take it. Coupled with watching TV in bed, it helps me turn off my brain. I think too much.
Sometime between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. I usually have to go to the bathroom. It’s a by-product of age I suppose. I walk to the bathroom with my eyes closed. I never turn on the light. It would wake me up too much and I want to go back to sleep. Unfortunately, my brain has other plans. I start thinking again.
Last night I was thinking about blogging. I was thinking I should write a happy cheerful blog. I should write something so inspiring it even makes me feel better. Of late, I seem to be in a place of sorrowful self-reflection. The echoes of no follow my every movement.
A friend of mine posted on Facebook some sappy words about keeping positive – it wasn’t directed to me. It just was her new goals. It was all full of roses and platitudes… I have other friends who seem to have this ability. I don’t. I often wonder how they can turn off their humanity, or is that they are just better at life than I am.
I wrote several blogs in my head last night. Some I remember. Most are forgotten. One stands out. I was thinking about how I like to cook and bake. Someone recently mentioned that I should probably forget my doctorate, go to culinary arts school, and become a chef. Sometimes I use a recipe, especially for baking. I know that baking is basically a form of chemistry and measurements and temperature is exact. If I follow the recipe, unless there is a malfunction, the cake, or bread, will turn out good. It won’t flop.
But life isn’t like that. I wish it was. I wish there was a prescription that someone could give me so that what I am doing will be a success. Oh, it doesn’t have to be a success that the whole world sees. It just needs to give me that same feeling I get when I pull a loaf of perfectly baked bread out of the oven. Or the feeling I got as I put the last strawberry on my husband’s bløttkake last week. It’s that inner feeling of satisfaction, of accomplishment that is the measure of success.
Steve Jobs would agree – he told us to find what we love and go do it. Others have echoed the same formula for success and satisfaction. I love school. I love teaching. I love preaching. I love ministering to people where they live and where they hurt. But no matter what I try, there’s no place for me.
I watched a video today about social media. I try to stay on top of social media and technology. It is another passion of mine. I was pondering how I remembered using AOL 2.0. Now this old woman still has an insatiable oxymoronic hunger for technology. It was interesting to listen to the next phase in social media, Mightybell. I might try it. I’ve tried everything else as it came on the scene.
But something in the video pierced my soul this morning. The founder of Mightybell said, “you are what you do.” Is that true? Then I am nothing if it is … However, she also said that everything we do is a series of steps, one building on another. I thought yes, what is the prescription? What do I need to do next?
I don’t know. I don’t even know if I should keep writing. Or if I should stay in school? Or if I should just be an old woman and turn life over to the next generation. I have bills to pay for all the education I got; the education that was supposed to qualify me, at least on paper, to what I already do well without the “paper.” I believed for a while that it was more important to be than to do, but right now I'm not even sure I know how to "be."
Perhaps it is that I have a milestone birthday coming up in a few weeks. Even uttering the number makes me choke and cringe. I usually don’t utter it. But the truth is, I am old. My birthdate makes it official. And yet, it is so hard to give up the dream. I don’t want a rocking chair. I want a life of contribution and fulfillment. But is it too late?!