It sound a bit cute, but it’s true: I’ve got Restless Life Syndrome.
As a youth, I was not particularly wiggly. I seem to remember sitting quietly and being good. I was definitely not bad. My mom says I was a happy baby, an easy one. I don’t know when it happened, but at some point I stopped being satisfied. I have been on the move ever since. Dammit!
From time to time, I read articles in magazines about some sad, harried woman’s magical transformation into a content, happy woman who stops working 24/7 and starts appreciating the beauty of the hummingbirds in her garden — the garden she now tends lovingly instead of stabbing at spreadsheets all day. One wonders if her perfect azaleas are stand-ins for her then-perfect quarterly reports, but to hear her talk she’s truly mellowed, is truly at peace because she stopped worrying about absolutely everything she used to worry about. She just “woke up.”
These articles do not inspire me. They make me nervous. Because I am not looking at hummingbirds. I am on a plane. I am trying to do something, here.
I don’t know what it feels like to check out. I can’t do it. I’ve tried. The people who do the hummingbird thing are mysterious to me. I do try hard to notice the world, but there can be no doubt I’m missing tracts of it right and left because I’m getting into another taxi in another city or making wheat-free bread that will supposedly save my health and so far is absolutely not doing that. My days are spent working; many nights too, because I feel workiness is next to worthiness (also because I’m lame in social situations involving more than two people.) To be fair, “working” to me means “making money to live on” but also “quilting” and “writing,” so no need to feel sorry for me. Besides, I make money doing (mostly) what I love to do. I’m grateful every day for that and will work hard to keep it that way.
Which brings me to the hummingbirds. I don’t think I’m “set.” I don’t take all this for granted. You want something big, you gotta do big things. You gotta hustle. There may not be as many diaphanous gowns in your life — or as many gardens — but there is beauty in the airplane. Beauty in the leather jacket you’ve got on.
Beauty in the sky.
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