Today was particularly important for me as it was a huge lesson in action and reaction. I have to say I’m not particularly proud of my action and reaction but I understand where it stems from. Yep, I slipped from trying to be more patient. Guess fatigue played a huge part in my behavior. Our neighborhood has gone through a change in the last 5 or 6 years where older homeowners have died and their homes have been sold to people who do not live in the homes. They quickly renovate them to give them street appeal and then make them a rental property. That should not be a problem except that some of the tenants who move in have no vested interest in the neighborhood.
For whatever reason they move in knowing that they will be there only for a short period of time or have a number of “room mates” to pay for the expenses. Hence what happens is that different people inhabit the home at different times. One of these is the home next door to me. This home had been built by a man who took great pride in where he was living. He built his home in 1940 when the world was a different place. He lived there with his family until he had to be placed in another type of home. His distant relatives sold the house to an “investor” who remodeled it and tried to quickly turn it over for a profit. Then the market went soft and the house didn’t sell. Hence the parade of tenants that have come and gone in a home that once had spirit. Now it appears to be a fancy apartment building.
After having worked a week of nights I looked forward to finally having a break. Not to be had. The home next door became a location for numerous bands to set up and play outside as if they were performing at the Hollywood Bowl. It would have been ok if the quality had been Hollywood Bowl material. Sadly, it wasn’t. So a nice, mostly quiet residential street became the venue for a bad rock concert.
Here is where my action and reaction comes to light. Maybe it’s just me in my old fashion, proverbial way but a note letting the neighbors know would have maybe soften the effect. However, to set up shop with no notice seems to me, well, selfish. And I guess I got annoyed not so much because I was tired or because it seemed like we were going to listen whether we liked it or not but because the world now seems to be renting to tenants that don’t seem to be aware of just good manners.
I won’t elaborate on all of the events that have been happening in the world recently as we are well versed to all of it from all sides but it seems deep down I reacted to things that would not be such a big deal if it only happened on a small scale like my neighborhood. Today’s event was just a reminder of how I need to stop before I react and put my actions into perspective. I need to realize that everyone and everything is not going to go my way. But I don’t want to lose sight that for me I still have to be aware of being sensitive to good manners and respect for my neighbors, next door to me and in the world. In reality, they played for only a couple of hours and were gone. I reacted from a number of emotions least of them from the loud, bad music. I don’t want to believe that good fences make good neighbors because we have some wonderful, kind and generous neighbors who love their homes and whom I love and cherish.
Tomorrow maybe I’ll bring the musicians over a pie.
Lila or Leela, as it is sometimes spelled, is Sanskrit for play, spontaneity or sport. I am trying to get more lila in my life. I use to be very “lilaful” when I was younger, looking to new adventures and possibilities. I felt I had a path and purpose to what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life.
I realize now the “rest of my life” can be a pretty long time. I am grateful for having my health and the opportunity to have seen many amazing places and things in my years but now I’m having a harder time trying to be playful.
You would think after raising a child, securing a career and being at a place where I can somewhat relax I would be content to just be. But my busy mind keeps me aware of the fact that I have enough time to embark on many different endeavors. I just can’t seem to nail down anything in particular so the feeling of being in limbo is just as frustrating if not more than knowing what you want but not being able to have it.
I know I’m not alone. It seems many people I speak to feel the same way. It’s not that they don’t enjoy what they are doing it’s just that they feel they are not living to their fullest potential. I still feel like I have a lot to offer and have this burning desire to teach and travel. That would be my play! I want to fire up the juices again that made me ambitious in the first place! So much to say and so little time!
I want to find the Peter Pan in me again. I don’t necessarily want to get a tattoo or dye my hair blue to show the child in me but I don’t want to lose the joy of life that makes even the simplest things sublime. To dream and look for fresh inspiration. That is play at its finest at any age.
The recent passing of Robin Williams was so sad on so many levels. He was the epitome of play and he tried every moment to live that joy. I admire that. His talent and gentleness and kindness was his way of trying to survive. Thank God I don’t suffer from the depression he endured and I am able to pull myself up and dust myself off when things don’t always go my way. I just need to remember that when the cloud passes I still have the choice and presence of mind to choose play. To choose life.
Lila hum. I am playful.
I am feeling grey. Not blue. Grey. Sort of caught in the middle. I guess you might say limbo. I just finished a very intensive project which demanded a lot of my time and energy. I am proud of the way everything looked and felt I gave it my all. I know I could have done things differently and handled things differently but every project brings it’s own challenges and this one was no exception.
But now I have the down time I was wishing for when I was in the middle of the chaos. The time to finally relax and take it easy. Who am I kidding? The voices in my head continue to go at the same speed as they did when I was furiously working. Now that I actually have the time to complete the to do list swirling in my head I can’t seem to get up the strength to do it. Or the desire. And with that comes the guilt. About the next job. About the million things I think I should be doing in order to live the full life everyone keeps telling me I should be living. It’s exhausting!
And then I backtrack. In more ways than one. I am turning grey as one does when the years pile on and so I color my hair. Recently I tried highlights as the all in one henna was starting to look a bit “wiggy”. No, let’s say Liz Taylor when she was married to Larry. I tried to go lighter but the color didn’t behave and it always turned out too dark. The highlights helped to soften the color so it actually looked closer to natural. Well time moves on and the grey started to peek through. I was going to an affair with many of my peers and wanted to look my best. Or what I think will make me feel my best. So I tried to delicately color my hair and Liz Taylor reappeared! It not only made me mad but made me grey in another way. It presented me with the realization that time is marching on. And the full life that I am trying to live is going to happen however it happens.
I found a product called Backtrack and it reversed the mishap. I’m back to pre Liz and not a moment too soon. I’m not ready to darken what I think shows that I’m getting older. It’s going to happen whether I dye my hair or not. The voices are going to come and go whether I like it or not. And backtracking will not always be the answer. Sometimes I am going to have to wade through the sludge regardless how mucky it can get. All the spiritual practices are a good start but are not the answer. The answer is my way of dealing with the grey. My personal way. The grey of my hair, the world, my future and my life. Because in all of that grey is a beautiful ray of color that reminds me of the beauty of my freedom to choose. There are so many right now who do not have that freedom. They would give anything to be able to backtrack to a world that is kinder and gentler.