I got a call from a friend of mine this weekend that touched a chord with me. She recently turned 60, her mother just died, her daughter may have found someone with whom to share a life, and she has permanently resigned a volunteer position she has held, with distinction, for many, many years.
Last weekend she held a huge yard sale, offering up not only items from her mother's life but long-held items from her own. And she was feeling iffy about it. This year, for her, seems to be a year of letting go of things. But she isn't yet certain if there will be something to take their place.
I told her that she is obviously making room for something else, something new. She just doesn't know what it is yet. I don't have any proof of that. In some ways I felt as if I was just making small, comforting noises. It sounds so new agey. And yet, I meant it. I don't know what it will be, but I do know that every day she will find a good reason to get out of bed and do something. And something will come to fill the spaces.
I have these moments, of late, when I wake up wondering why I should get out of bed. My children are grown and on their own. I have no desire for another personal relationship. I've traveled to most of the places I wanted to see and read most of the books I wanted to read. Most importantly, I finished the novel I wanted to write and it is one with which I am well pleased. To quote other gods.
And on those mornings, I sometimes think that it wouldn't be so bad if I didn't wake up. That it's all right. I have enough. I don't need more. And I'm not sure what more I want.
But then I think that, well, there is the new novel. I would like to finish that one. And I have a title for a third one. And I haven't yet been to the Olduvai Gorge. Frank Delaney says it will take 22 years to finish his weekly exposition of another few lines of James Joyce's Ulysses, and I just started a new video game.
I am not in the least suicidal. That is not the point. I don't hate my life. I rather like it. I have lovely friends. I guess I sometimes think, I have enough. I'm in a good place. Uncertain in some ways, but good.
I told another friend about these early morning ruminations on the okayness of not waking up, and she wasn't alarmed. She just asked if life had lost its spark. And I'm wondering if spark is even necessary any more.
I don't want to die yet. I want to listen to more Ulysses. Fret over the new novel. Figure out a route to the Olduvai Gorge. I'm not depressed. I'm not bored. I'm not excited.
Is contentment enough?