I have been on a lifelong quest, it appears, to continually add more stress to my life by hoarding insignificant things. Not just the physical hoarding of old grade school papers, comic books, meaningless documents, 400 pieces of luggage (for all of the trips I don’t take), a couple dozen Philips-head screwdrivers, or the Smashing Pumpkins concert tee from circa 1992 (Gish tour, baby!).
Let’s dig deeper shall we?
I also speak of weighty, emotional hoarding. Anxiety ridden questions swirling in the grey matter. Where is my station in life? What’s next? Have I attained the furtherst success possible? For clarification, there will be things that, quite obviously, I will not surrender and are not insignificant such as family, pets, house, money, life experiences, car, and a peppering of faith. I did not want to give the perception that I was hanging it all up for a hitched ride across the country in order to cleanse myself in a spiritual journey terminating in a desert…
riding a wave of Peyote. (hmmm).
Even though I’m not willing to sacrifice certain things, I must give kudos and admit my tinge of jealousy to @missbritt and her family. Check out her adventures of giving it all up at her blog, Miss Britt In Pursuit of Happiness.
When does life take a S.H.I.T. (S.top H.oarding I.significant T.hings)? Uh, that time apparently would be now, because I can feel it coming… my leg hairs are standin’ up…its palpable. It’s that, “I might not make it home in time” kind of palpable. So, in my life, I am all of a sudden doing 90 in a 55 so that I may execute this physical and metaphysical purge of Titanic proportions.
This discussion of S.H.I.T. originated one day as the wife and I were talking about how cumbersome life becomes as we get older. You know the, “there’s no time for anything anymore,” kind of discussion. I commented that it was akin to a nightmare bell curve “strap yourself in… your goin’ for a ride”. You may like it at times, but be assured at some point…you will scream.
Starting at the bottom of the curve, just barely out of the womb you’re sitting in a stroller filling a diaper, getting fed, watching TV, playing, getting loved on. LIFE IS GOOD!
You approach a slightly steeper curve, shortly thereafter, when you reach and surpass the cartoon watching, laying on the couch, mommy caring for your every need, zero responsibility, and playtime with friends, awesomeness.
The 4th through 12th grade whirlwind comes next, where we are shaped by our surroundings in sometimes pleasant and not so pleasant ways. It can pretty much be diluted down to two important milestones…discovering your dick and learning how to drive. OK…I’m not that shallow. There was the other stuff, like studying for good grades, sleeping through classes, laughing, sports, peer pressures, gaining friends, losing friends, dating, and learning the laws of the lunchroom jungle.
The next part, oh the next part, now, here is the real upward curve. This next part comes with more danger and discovery like…say…getting in your first bar fight, getting laid for the first time, getting drunk for the first time, getting high for the first time, growing your first sculpted facial hair, seeing your first sculpted “landing-strip to Shangri-La,” (ahem)… grasping a deep understanding for the Grateful Dead, the Pixies, and Ween. Other examples of this period include pouring the perfect beer from a keg, taking on some meaningless job and realizing what an absolute horrible prick a boss can be, learning a lot of bullshit that makes you sound smarter, and researching amazing molds that grow in your garbage littered room. You can get all of the aforementioned good times, at the amusement park, that some of us like to call…
Still not at the top yet! It is time to start the journey to the pinnacle. Just as the Incredible Hulk relieving himself of the constraints of his shirt, you, on the other hand, get older, “wiser,” and tear away the sandals, the torn-up jeans, concert going, beer in hand (100% of the time), trying to get laid, jobless phase, self like an umbilical chord after a rather painful birthing process.
A thought goes through your head. “Hey, now its time to gather more stuff and complicate things even more.” Yeah, like a preordained instruction tablet that some shaved monks have brought down on glowing steps. After listening to the readings from the ancients, you must blindly go the way that others have gone before you. Follow the message and…knock a girl up #loveofmylife, get married (notice the order in which those two events were sequenced), gather animals “two by two” so that your house is like an African safari, buy cars, travel twice across the country carrying all your S.H.I.T., incur bills, work your ass into the ground, “find” religion, serve your community, stop sleeping regularly, love deeply, lose deeply, realize that your parents have problems just like you…and the list goes on and on and on…God does it go on!
After reaching this crescendo of pure kick-your-ass, wear-you-down middle-aged “bliss”, the downhill side of the bell curve comes into view. It’s as if you have reached the top of and gotten stuck on, some behemoth roller coaster…and the view…well the view…totally sucks! One reason is…well…eventually you die! Hey, that’s a big one! Some would say, “Holy, Holy I’m going to Heaven so I feel good about dying! Praise Jeebus!”
Yes. If you are ready and it is coming then by all means that is the right place for you. It’s like this reassurance allaying of the sadness about the eventuality of death. As if it is better to pray for the end then enjoy the now. Well, OK, thank you for your eternal optimism and I am sure you will make it to heaven and we’ll see ya’ there (making that fake gun shape with your hand and that clicking sound like calling your dog inside) *wink *wink. May God bless you I am sure, but I prefer not to die thank you all the same. I will definitely stall it if I can.
I do believe in a physical or transcendental place that exists beyond this earthly dwelling. Heaven, Aaru, Nirvana, etc., or whatever you want to call it. While those places sound great and all, I want to hang out here for a while longer, a long while actually. I can and will be resigned to the fact that there is somewhere to go when I do kick the bucket. I need those places to exist; they have to exist because if not, then this place is the stupidest hamster wheel ever conceived. The other part of the downward spiral is worsening health, those around you dying, your kid knocking someone up and moving away, and eventually you are crapping in a diaper again only this time in your “favorite” lifter chair with a remote in one hand and a fly-swatter in the other. If I had my choice, then I would like to do the University thing over…please?
OK. Here’s the Ying to the Yang part. There are some good times on the downward portion of the curve I suppose, like financial peace of mind (God willing), being able to have sex with the wife wherever and whenever we want #bonus, buying a car that isn’t designed to haul a hoarders paradise, having the time to enjoy friends, drink copious amounts of wine and eat bizarre cheeses, travel, brag on the kid’s success stories, maybe grand kids. But, all in all, and I do not want to mince words, this is the time for life to take a S.H.I.T.
I realize that this has been some quick and cheap existentialism, therefore I am going to break this up in some upcoming parts. What I am trying to get at is that its time to get nimble, time to get back to basics, release some of the physical and emotional baggage, raise my hands, scream, and enjoy the rest of the ride.
Oh! But I’m not giving up the Smashing Pumpkins tee. That S.H.I.T. is just too cool.