Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is that all there is?

“If that’s all there is, my friend, then we’ll keep dancing. “   I wish.  I am sitting here and my big repeating echo is “and so, that’s it?”. 


I’ve been starting to do some research about places to explore in the US.  I’d like to see lots many of the National Parks, especially in the western part of the US.  The Grand Canyon.  Crater Lake.  Yosemite.  Yellowstone.  All of them have appeal and are something I’d like to see.  I’ve been to Yellowstone, but I was maybe a year or so old so that doesn’t really count.  OK, so let’s say I do this.  Let’s say I plan and we start checking them off the list of places I’ve visited.  Let’s say I really set a high goal and see every National Park  in the Western US.  Cool.  What’s the purpose?  What problem is it solving?  And so, that’s it?


My job is fine, not fulfilling, but sustainable.    It pays well (my husband and I can live on just the one salary just fine).  But I’ve hit the age where moving up isn’t likely, mostly because I don’t want to do it.  I don’t want to spend the energy and the time going “up”.  Going up to where?  And for what purpose?  Because I don’t have enough stress?  It’s not going to earn me a whopping salary increase, but it would probably increase my hours at work.  Doesn’t call, so why do it?  So I’m needing to work a few more years, but it will probably be more of a “tread water” than a “swim upstream”.  OK, I have a job that I need to keep.    It’s not a job that changes the world or even makes much of an impact at the corporation I work at.  And so, that’s it?


I don’t know if I’ve hit “mid-life crisis” or what’s going on, but I am sitting here without purpose or direction.  If it was mid-life crisis, where’s all the cliché’s?  The red sports car, the world travel, the plastic surgery, whatever.  I don’t even have the trivial and shallow purpose or goals.  I’ve lost weight, which is a good thing.  My health is better, my joints hurt less, and I’ve reduced my risks of stroke and diabetes, at least the portions I have some control over (whatever genes I’ve inherited, I’m kind of stuck with, you know?).  OK.  Now what?  I’m going to plan for a 5K walk.  It’s only 3 miles and I do that on the treadmill often.  It’s a Weight Watchers goal.  OK.  So let’s say I do that.  And so, that’s it?  Now what?


I see people with huge goals and significant impacts on the world.  I just don’t have the desire or burning passion to do something that turns the world on its ear.  Now and then, I go pack food at the food bank.  Or work in a local park.  Or donate money to some good cause.  I check out Tom’s Shoes ( and see the impact he has.  Or Gates Foundation (  Red Cross (  ONE (   National Wildlife Federation (    Nature.  Wildlife.  Clean water.  Poverty.  Not lacking in world needs.  Just lacking in passion and focus.  And so, now what?


I have lots of creative vibes and avenues.  Glass art.  Drawing.  Painting.  Paper crafts.  Sewing.  Writing.  Beading.  Lots of things call.  Lots of things sound like fun.  Most things, I have the supplies to create something.  OK, so what?  At the end of my days, is the goal to look back and say “see, I made that ornament” or “painted that painting”?   Or filled this journal with writing?  Maybe spending time on creativity is a good thing.  Maybe it’s the journey, not the end result.   Part of my brain believes that, but is that all there is?   I keep reading and not doing, which is another issue.  But is that it?


School?  See previous paragraph on work.  I don’t need school to move up the corporate ladder.  After 30+ years, I finally completed my BA.  Art History seems interesting.  But do I just want to spend my time and energy taking classes?  Is that enough?


Home.  Yard work.  I actually enjoy puttering around the yard.  I have a huge collection of containers on the patio, filled with vegetable and flower seeds and small tomato and pepper plants.  We have a nice pond with goldfish, and flowing water.  The backyard is filled with green and life, including butterflies and frogs.  I always wanted to study “one square foot”.  That’s my way of saying “focusing on the here and now”, rather than flying all over the world and do something huge and complex.  Is that enough?  Is that it?  Is that OK?  Who’s to say “it’s OK”?  Is that the question to be answered?


Is that all there is?  Maybe so.  Yep, maybe that’s all there is”:   A job that pays the bills, a bit of volunteering, and some creative art moments.  But I’m finding it hard to get jazzed about that answer.  Where’s the roller coaster?  Where’s the thrill and heart rush?  Where’s the lasting impact on the world around me?  This is it?   “If that’s all there is, my friend, then we’ll keep dancing”.  I’m not even motivated to do that.  What a whiner.  I have health.  I have enough money.  I have a home. I have a wonderful husband.  Is that enough?  Now what?  Is that it? 




P.S.  For those who now have this song stuck in their heads (like I do), you can pay 99 cents and listen to it to your heart’s content.  ( ). 

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