She was worried that she is turning 40 and hasn't "accomplished" much. I think in this world of FOMO (fear of missing out) encouraged on Facebook plus just the plain old fear of death, it's easy to go down this road of "what have I done of note?". Coincidentally, I had been dealing with some existential problems myself this week, but I had a realization....so, I'm just going to share what I wrote to her verbatim. Please forgive my swearing (although studies show swearing is a sign of intelligence :))....I don't usually share like this, but here goes...if it helps you with your own existential questions, then I'm glad.
I've been having this conversation with myself this week too....funny how that happens. Cliff is gone to camp in NH, so I thought I would get all this work done and instead I've been battling the blues all week! I finally had a breakthrough yesterday (after sequestering myself so as not to spread my bad mood) and today I realized that our whole lives are just made up of little stuff - not the big stuff. It's this song, that tile, a blogpost, a video, a beautifully prepared meal (or not), paint on the wall, the clothes we choose - it's all creative. It's all about "HOW DO I WANT TO SPEND MY TIME?". Time being the only thing that's finite here. Money - phhhhtttt - I've had it, I don't have it, I'll never have it - whatever.
When I look back, I want to see that I was creative - that I "put-out" more than I consumed. I can't control the market. I can't be sure to influence one damn person, but I can create and I can savor my life. I can sit on a Sunday morning, sipping coffee and reading the NYT. I can get together with my family, laugh, drink and eat a great meal. I can write a song and sing it wherever I can. I may not make a dime, but I will continue to try to be good at this. Not because I'm going to change the world, but because I actually really enjoy the crossword-like puzzle process of writing a song! If I don't invest in the small moments, the big ones can never happen anyway. Duh! Why does it take me so long to figure this shit out? Meanwhile, I can unburden myself of extraneous BS - including stuff, narcissistic friends, politics, bitching about politics, wringing my hands over the latest horrible thing that has happened in the world, etc. etc...Instead - I could spend more time trying to be helpful by volunteering or bringing attention to worthy causes. I know by this point, you're sorry you got this started (LOL), but mainly, I think trying to make big leaps in order to feel satisfied in life is a waste. That means if I never win a Grammy, I have failed somehow. That seems nuts. I'll never be too old to be a creative - to be an artist in some way. Frida Kahlo painted in her hospital bed as she was dying. I think I can get up today and work on a song. Maybe I'll just post this on my blog. love you, Ouiz