The other morning as I lay in bed staring at the dust that has accumulated on my ceiling fan while avoiding my morning exercises. Once again I tried to count all of the apartments and houses and condos that I have lived in, in my 68 years. I believe that I counted 23. I included 3 single rooms, two different rooms at my dorm at my University in Iowa in my 20’s and a bedsitter in London. This means that I average about 3 years in each place. I would say that I am not the forever type of person but I guess that wouldn’t be absolutely true. I have friends that I have known for 65 years and I have been married (happily and “Un”) to my “was-band” this coming October (If we make it to October) for 38 years. So I guess a part of me longs for permanence? These thoughts entered my mind because once again I am faced with the decision to sign a new lease or not?
As we handle the lockdown, a virus that can kill you, killer bees (Whatever happened to the Killer Bees?) and looting and burning and history and literature and films being confiscated or destroyed, I starting contemplating all the places that we all have to live in, day-in-day-out, year-in, and year-out.
Let me delve into a few of these habitats.
Denial, Oh yes, I have lived in Denial. It is somewhere between Untrue and Failure to Acknowledge. Lots and lots of people have lived there. Occasionally it is a good spot to set up a house. You see when Facing Truth is the next stop or maybe even Facing Harsh Reality is just around the bend, sometimes denial gives you time to rest and catch your breath before the really difficult road that takes you to Facing the Truth. Living in Denial may really save you from Facing Harsh Reality. These places are difficult to live in but eventually, we all have to take that route. Some people have been known to delay the move with drugs, and alcohol. This can be a slippery slope.
Where does this take you if you stay in Denial too long?
You can fall or slip into Depression. This is not a great place to live, although there have been a large group of artists, poets, and authors living there. Some of these people have been known to “wallow in Depression” Some citizens also live in Sadness and Despair. They are usually in the same neighborhood because they have so much in common. However, it isn’t a very good idea to invite these neighbors over for a barbecue or to a New Year’s Eve extravaganza. None of these people are very good party-goers. You won’t hear a lot of laughter or Salsa music in the background. There might be a lot of drinking going on and maybe drugs but not many happy campers. When you live in Depression it is said that you have to climb out of it to move on to another place. I haven’t seen too many people that have leaped out of living in Depression but maybe some people have and I just missed it?
I know people who have enjoyed living in “The Past” I have heard that it can be comforting. I understand that living in The Past is usually where people have been happiest, therefore, they don’t want to leave. I have visited “The Past” now and then. Sometimes it has been a nice short visit and I have enjoyed the vacation. There is one problem with living in The Past and even taking a short vacation in The Past. I am giving you a warning before you go there too often. Visiting The Past may lead to living in REGRET.
I have lived with roommates, friends, family, children, a husband (now, “was-band”), and lots of pets but let me tell you one of the hardest things to live with is living with Regret. It can also be a place that people live in. You can live with it or you can live in it. Not a great place to live in because you can’t really do anything about it. Some people try to apologize for their way out of it. Sometimes that might work. My personal feeling about living in or with Regret is to see that it exists and keep moving on. This is a good place to move out of as fast as your little legs will take you.
Some places that are very good to visit are Happiness, Ecstasy, and Bliss. Happiness is a place that seems to come and go. Some people stay there longer than others. I have been there and it is really a lovely spot however, there is even a problem with living in Happiness. If Happiness is taken away it can lead you to Unhappiness that can also lead to Sadness and Depression. Yes, there are slippery slopes all over the place. Ecstasy and Bliss usually can only last for very short visits. Sometimes the visits are for a few minutes or even a few seconds. A lot of people who fall in LOVE like to think that they live in Bliss. They take vacations to Ecstasy. This is nice but usually, this doesn’t last. Then you either make the move to Reality or possibly to Contentment.
See I told you that I have lived in a lot of places. I guess you know by now that you have lived in a lot of places too, even if you have lived in the same house for the last 60 years or so. Life makes you move from Love to Reality to Denial to Depression to Happiness and to Contentment. I have lived in them and some I have visited for a short stay. I think they are all pretty much the roads you have to take if you want to live a full life. None of them are bad places to live but some of them should only be called home for a short period of time until you can make your next move. No person is allowed to live in Perfect Happiness forever. How do you learn? How do you grow?
I’m going to live in Confusion for a few weeks or months. I will meet you in Hope. I like living in Hope.
Until the Next Time…