This morning, on my walk back from retrieving RJ's Sunday NYTimes (we live in a top floor condo so getting the paper is a bit more involved than stepping out the front door on to the driveway), I had a tinge of my usual weekly uneasiness: a part of me craving to be out and about (oooh! Sun on my skin!), and a part of me looking forward to the "nothingless" of staying in (it is not exactly nothingless — deeply soulfully satisfactory activities await the introvert).
Just then, the light breeze carried upon me the aroma of some neighbor's cooking, a delightful blend of spices, not acrid but remarkably sweet, fragrant and inviting. I envisioned a happy family sitting down at breakfast. I felt the happiness, and took it in. I thought, how lucky it is, to be alive and to have the olfactory sense fully functioning. How lucky it is, to be living in a community where one is often greeted with such warm, delectable scents. I felt utterly content. I felt happy.
And it dawned on me that I hadn't had one of these moments in a while. Not since I took on this job where responsibilities have grown alongside the number on my paycheck. It is a good thing, growing up for the first time, in my 40's, as I coin it. For the first time, I have money to put away toward retirement (better late than never!) But, as I'd always known, the very reason I had refused to grow up for as long as I could put it off in the first place, growing up has a price. As far as I could tell, grown-ups are seldom happy. With responsibilities come pressure, angst and worries. Those can wear you out and bring you down.
Not today. Even the thought of Monday being right around the corner did not dampen my spirit. I don't completely understand how my mind works. It was so much easier when I could chalk it up to being bipolar. Now it's become this "the more I know, the more I don't know" phenomenon. I've given up on labeling things and people, including myself. That just gets nowhere and is exhausting.
Now I just am. And see where life takes us. Maybe being grown-up is not so bad after all. But then again, it could be the distillery trip of gin-agave-whiskey tasting yesterday that is still spinning me giddy. Who knows. Having money left over for fun takes the bitterness out of work. Can't dispute that. Having had a taste of financial independence doesn't hurt, either. Don't burst my bubble.
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