January 23rd, 2003

Dancing Thru

Living life in the vestibule

I was reflecting today how many folks live their lives in the vestibule, like the victorian parlor that remains shut, for company only. I catch myself at it all the time. Don't use the "good" china. Keep that sweater "for good." I found myself reflecting on how wonderful it was to use the family silverware, last Christmas. And then realized that if I didn't enjoy it, no one else was going to, because it didn't have anyone to pass it to, so what was I saving it for?

I know folks who are waiting for retirement before they will do what they want to do. But I've known already too many people who haven't lived that long. So what were they waiting for?

Tonight, I listened to a litany of things my friend Ruth would do "But..." She's gotten to a point where she's so afraid of consequences she can't do anything. She's ruled by "what if" and consequently gets the worst of all alternatives, She asked for advice on making changes, then argued with her. I told her to try to think outside the box, and she started a litany of reasons why she can't think outside the box. She confessed later that the only thing she can think of to set her on a course to living her life more productively is for a knight in shining armor to rescue her. So she's going to be forever living in life's vestibule, waiting for someone to take her into the living room, because she certainly can't go there by herself. I love her dearly, but I also know that she's going to frustrate me forever, and I have to accept that. But it's frustrating to have such a shining example of a life that's not going anywhere right in front of you.

Note to self: keep living fully, even in small ways. Go ahead, put that saffron into the rice. Watch that sunset. Use the family silver. Wear the silk underwear, even if you're the only one that knows it.