Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Spivey’

What Is The Meaning of Life?

May 14, 2009

Oh, yeah, I know. Every writer wants to find the meaning of life.  But I really want to to find the meaning of life.  Really.  I want to know what is the point of all this foolishness.  We get up in the morning, go to work, blah, blah, blah, go home, make dinner, veg a little, then to bed.  Before you know it, we’re up again with the chance to do it all over! And over, and over, and over…

And the worst of it is, we’re tired all the time.

Is this pointless, or what?

Yes, there are weekends.  We count down all week to them. Then they flip by in a minute, and we’re back at the grind waiting for another one.  I just don’t get it.



On Being Tired. On Lack of Sleep.

February 2, 2009

I am having a lot of trouble sleeping. I often fall asleep fairly quickly, but then the slightest thing wakes me. They I lie awake, staring at the ceiling, or toss and turn trying to get comfortable. I tend to have a lot of pain in my neck, and headaches, which may or may not be related. Getting comfortable is not easy.

Generally, after 10 or 15 minutes of this, I get up. I go into the living room to read or go online. Sometimes I stand at the slider and stare out at the stars. If it’s not too freezing, I like to go out on the deck and look at the sky. I can usually see Orion, and the Little Dipper.

Often I am awake until midnight or later. I can sometimes play a game on the computer until my eyes want to close. Then I go back to bed, and either fall asleep, or not. It’s the “not” that is most frustrating. I sometimes have to get up a second time, and that is tough, because I have to be at work at 8 a.m..

Many days I struggle to keep my eyes open. Today is one of those days. I am so tired I want to cry. I realize this is a common issue for women in “the middle years”, but it is very hard to deal with. It does not seem to matter what I eat/drink in the evening. It doesn’t matter if I spray my sheets with lavender, or meditate before going to bed. It is what it is what it is, and I am sick, sick, sick of it.

It’s A (Wonderful?) Life

January 21, 2009

I’m feeling a bit like George Bailey these days, wondering what the world would be like if I’d never been born.  Last night, I lied awake thinking about what would be different.

There is the obvious, of course, that my three children would not have been born, but aside from that I can’t think of anything.  I’ve not saved anyone’s life, or cured any diseases. I haven’t been the deciding vote in any contest of importance. My only creations include some not terribly meaningful blog posts and some unfinished manuscripts.  Lots of poetry that no one reads but me.

Perhaps someday, one of my kids will do something phenomenal, and in their biography I will be listed as the mother. But that is them, not me, and it would be retrospection.

So what does this mean? Am I not real? Am I only alive in my own consciousness?  If I were to suddenly disappear, would their be a void in the world, or simply open space?


Madonna’s Millions v. My Lack Thereof

December 15, 2008

Okay, here’s the thing.  Madonna and Guy Ritchie have reached a settlement in their divorce. He is getting 75 million dollars, and she gets her freedom.  Now, I understand that it is not cheap maintaining a luxurious lifestyle in this day and age, but I have a question: Can I have just a little teeny tiny piece of it?  Seriously, a simple 1 million would solve a lot of problems, and possibly nullify the disheartening effects of the damage to my 401k.

One million dollars is only 1.33% of that settlement. I can’t believe he’d miss such a tiny morsel, and yet, for me, it would be huge.  I could pay off my mortgage and my car, and my kids’ student loans, and have enough money to live comfortably for the rest of my life. I’d also take a lovely trip to Disney World.

I promise, it would not change me. I would still donate to the food banks, and the homeless shelters, and support my little girl in India.  I would still clean my own bathrooms, and do my own grocery shopping and cooking.  Yet the burden that has been weighing on me for the past 14 months would be lifted.

So, Guy, whattaya think?  1.33%.  No biggie, hmm?

In Defense of Being a Loner

December 11, 2008

I recently read the book Party of One: The Loner’s Manifesto, by Anneli Rufus, and I must say, it struck a chord with me.  I am a loner, and not only am I okay with it, I prefer it this way.

Cell phones are a marvelous thing, and I am so grateful to have one with me when I travel, or pick someone up at the airport, or drive home alone at night.  But don’t call me, please, unless you have something to say.  And even then, say it, then let me go.  I won’t be offended. Really.

Ancillary to my love of my aloneness is my love of silence.  I don’t need a radio or other device playing when I am home alone, or when I am in the car. I enjoy music, especially this time of the year, but often I find myself in need of quiet to calm my mind after a busy day at work.

Ms. Rufus makes the case that being a loner is  not the equivalent of being weird, or a freak, as is so commonly believed.  Nor is it abnormal.    Numerous artists and great thinkers have been loners: Emily Dickinson, Descartes, Greta Garbo, J.D. Salinger, Einstein, Michelangelo, Isaac Newton……

Yet much of our society insists upon telling us to get out more, socialize more, make friends, get a hobby.

I have hobbies, lots of them. I read, I play on the computer, I do scrapbooking and crafts.  I cook. I write.  And I never ever feel the need to have someone join me in those activities.  I am comfortable with this.  I do not need to join clubs or do volunteer work or have a busy career to feel fulfilled.  I enjoy my own company.

Going home at the end of the day is my greatest joy, and when a co-worker asks what I have planned for a weekend, I gleefully say, “nothing”.

If you think about it, this is an ideal way to live.  I have friends, both real and virtual. I love my family.  I enjoy being with all of them, but when I am alone, I am happy, too.

So please don’t feel sorry for me. Don’t feel you need to invite me to dinner if my husband is out of town.  I’m good.

Well, It’s Over, and It’s Just Begun…

November 10, 2008

The election is now behind us, and we can move on to what I’ve been missing for a long, long time: HOPE.

Yes, there is hope. Hope that our country can get back on track.

That we can restore the constitutional rights that have been decimated by the current administration.

That we can begin, carefully, to regain the respect of the rest of the world.

That we can, in spite of the terrible shape the economy is in, restore some semblance of fairness in the economy – where big business will not reap the rewards of tax cuts at the expense of “the little guy”; where huge corporations will be forced to pay their share, and the “bottom line” will not be all that matters.

That we can begin to undo some of the damage done to the environment, without pretending that global warming is a myth.

That we can stop depleting forests and rivers and the ocean and the glaciers all in the name of progress, with the actual goal being the pursuit of $$$.

That we can once again be assured that ignorance is not preferable to science.  Stem cell research can save lives, and sound ecological research may help to save the earth.  Evolution is real, and hiding our heads in the sand is not a good choice.  Birth control is necessary, especially in developing countries. We cannot “un-know”.

Hope.  Something I have not felt for a very long time.

Cautiously, yes, but I do have hope.

A Very Strange Dream

August 17, 2008

Last night, or early this morning, to be more precise, I had a very odd dream. I am currently trying to sell my house, and full of thoughts on what I’d buy if I could, etc., so this dream is not surprising in concept, but the details are way out there.

The dream:

We bought a house, fully furnished, in an unfamiliar area. The house was a huge old New England mansion of sorts… white clapboard on the outside, and countless rooms inside. The house was somewhat rundown, but beautiful in a way.  I can still see the interior in my mind. We entered through the back door, and there was, immediately, a bedroom. That was strange. I figured we could change it to a family room. We passed through numerous rooms, all interconnected in a bizarre way. There must have been 8 or 10 bedrooms of varying sizes, some with king-sized beds, some single, and some bunk beds. A few of my friends were there, and they went about claiming rooms. The whole set up was odd, as you had to go through rooms to get to other rooms. I do not recall a single hallway.

The rooms were all fully decorated. Some of the beds had frilly bedspreads, and others were rather stark. There was a kitchen, somewhat old fashioned.

We decided to explore the neighborhood. Our house was on Keith Street (no clue where that came fromI don’t even know a Keith), and had a big stone wall in the front. We walked to a little downtown area, with tennis courts and a community pool. We entered a clubhouse, and found ourselves in a maze of shops and bars and restaurants, and it was dark. Everyone was Hispanic (I am not). We found a place (arena?) where men were playing what appeared to be lacrosse , but when I asked a player, he said “We are trying to kill each other”. After peeking through the windows, I realized he meant that literally. They were bashing one another with the sticks, and many were bruised and bleeding. I turned away, not wanting to watch.

We wandered on, and realized we were in a very dangerous part of town, and we were being stalked by gangs of men. We tried hiding behind partitions, and sneaking through dark doorways. This seemed to go on for the longest time. Finally, we came to a store (the interior was like Macy’s!) and a woman offered to help us. She showed us a way out, and asked a young Hispanic couple to help us.

We managed to get back to the house, but some of the Hispanic men were there.  One seemed to be the leader, and he had a young son with him. I figured I should make friends with him, so I offered him a back bedroom with a full kitchen attached. I told him it would be a nice place for his son, and they would have their own space. He seemed pleased.

A problem arose when I could not find a bathroom. I searched and searched, all the while, getting more and more upset. Finally, the woman from the store told me there was one, and she took me there. She warned me to be quiet, because I was not supposed to be there. I went in and sat on a really odd shaped toilet, and peed. When I was done, I still felt like I had to pee, so I sat there.  Someone else came in and made me leave.

I woke up and had to pee so bad I thought I’d die!


(Yeah, I know what that final bit is about, but what about the rest of it????)

The Death of The American Dream

August 1, 2008

This economy is so frightening!  Nearly all of us are affected in some way by the situation in this country, and it is rarely in a good way.

Last night I had an eye-opening conversation with a young mother.  She works in day care, and is currently job hunting.  I naively thought that this was one field that would not bear the brunt of a sluggish economy, but I was wrong.  When a two-parent household has one party laid off, the children no longer need day care.  When both are still working, but money gets tighter, one of them will switch to nights, thus negating the need for day care.  This woman must find a job where she is allowed to take her kids to work with her when school is out, because on her salary, she cannot afford day care for them.

This appears to be a true barometer of the situation, and as mentioned, one I had never considered.

I am aghast at the job market, or lack thereof. The Bush administration can spout figures about new jobs created, etc., but as always, statistics are made to be manipulated.  Every wage earner who loses a one hundred thousand a year job may have to take two jobs to pay his bills. A job created!  People who once earned a decent wage and had great benefits may now need a second job to afford insurance. Another new job!

More and more companies are reducing their staff to part-time positions, especially in retail.  Fewer full-timers means fewer benefits.  To cover a 40 hour shift, there may be 2 or even 3 employees where there was once only one. More jobs! When WalMart comes to town, they hire 300 people, and brag of jobs created. No mention that they are menial, low-paying, un-benefitted jobs.

I think this country is in deep shit, bluntly put.  The divide between the wealthy and everyone else is huge, and getting larger all the time.  In No. America in 2006, there were 3 million millionaires, and there were 38,400 people with a value over 30 million dollars.

Yet the median income is somewhere around $46,000.  So it takes a whole lot of poor people to counteract those super-rich ones.  In 2005, there were 36.5 MILLION people in the US alone below the poverty level. It is also important to note that the poverty thresholds are ridiculously low.  At present, a single person must earn less than $10,400 to be considered “poor”.  So the folks making $11,000 a year are not in the ranks of the poor. They don’t count.  Try telling them that.  Try renting an apartment in New England on double that, and you’re in trouble.  If we were to calculate those living below a “decent living wage” scale, the numbers would be monumentally higher.

All of these statistics may bore you, but this is the most important issue we are facing in our society. If you remember world history, most revolutions take place because the poor uprise against the rich.  In the French Revolution, the nobles were beheaded.  Can you see that kind of anger brewing in this country? I can.

I am a very fortunate, middle class woman, and yet I am now very close to living on the edge.  I have a decent-paying job, and own a home, but my husband lost his job last fall, and is now working part-time at not much above minimum wage.  We now need all of our money to pay for the basics.  That is not a great feeling while we are so close to our “golden years”.

I am afraid.  Not only for myself, but for all of us baby boomers who are watching our investments dwindle, while the prices at the supermarket rise, and the cost of heating our home becomes prohibitive.  And, yes, I am afraid for myself as well. I am not comfortable facing the unknown.  I worry about the potential for violence in our cities and the loss of the comfortable life we have enjoyed.

For many Americans, the American Dream has died.

I Vant To Be Alone

April 7, 2008

Yes, I want to be alone.  Whenever things get me down, I want to hunker down, go into a cave, and be by myself. No one calling me, visiting me, or asking for anything from me.

I guess you could call this depression.  But as a lifelong borderline basket case, I know this is not the case.  I am not so much depressed as sick. Sick of the world as it is. Sick of life and all the inequities it presents.

I want to visit Oz, minus the Wicked Witch.  Actually, minus Glenda the Good Witch, too. She’s rather annoying.

Or perhaps move to Celebration, Florida, the town established as a part of Walt Disney World, where I can live a Disney life…

I want to be alone.

I want to have a little cottage by the sea.  I want to wake each morning, sit out on the porch and sip on my coffee.  Then, if I feel like it, I will walk along the beach, stopping to pick up pretty stones or shells, and occasionally a piece of seaglass.  Mostly brown (beer bottles, don’tcha know), some white, some green.  Very, very rarely, a piece of blue.  Blue seaglass is a prize.

My days would be filled with reading and writing and walking, cooking wonderful meals, and sitting in a rocking chair on the porch. Bored? Never.

But this, unfortunately, is the real world. I have a job, five days a week at 8 a.m..  I have a mortgage, and a fuel bill.  I want to move south, but, clearly, my timing sucks. The real estate market is pretty close to dead. A great time to buy, but to sell? Not so much.

I’m studying Ayurvedic healing, and attempting to meditate.  I’m reading, and learning, about eating whole foods and breaking away from the modern addiction to plastic food.  I am trying to be healthy.

Yet each day is a struggle.  I want things to turn around, but let’s face it, ain’t gonna happen no time soon.

I can be a better me, but I can’t see a better culture.  We as a species are destroying the gift that is the earth.  We are by nature selfish and competitive and greedy.  We do not ‘love one another’.  For me, the only salvation may be to leave it all behind, to go and find that cave.

Because, truly, I want to be alone.

Plymouth, Massachusetts

March 10, 2008

There are pros and cons of living anywhere. Cost of living, weather, jobs, the economy – these things are very much on my mind now, as my husband and I are seriously thinking of leaving New England for someplace warmer, and cheaper.

Massachusetts has never been cheap, but our expenses keep climbing, while our income does not. Yet the idea of leaving behind the beauty of this area is hard for me, though I know other places are lovely as well.


I am an ocean girl. I love living near, and spending time, at the ocean. I can sit for hours just breathing in the salty air, feeling mellow and complete. Even when it’s cold, the beauty is there.


I think I shall have to find another place near the ocean. It is where I belong.