For so many years, decades even, I did what I felt others wanted me to do. I tried to be a “good boy” as a child. I tried to be an “impressive” young adult. I tried to be a “successful” adult. I did what I thought the people around me considered “proper.” I answered the telephone (remember those?) with “LaFond household, Charles speaking.” I asked permission to leave a table at mealtime. I went to church at Christmas and Easter. I dressed for meals and church.
Having reached the middle of this century of life I may be granted (and indeed, may not) doing what other people expect of me has become much less important. Whatever labels people place on me are theirs, not mine. The problem is not that I don’t suffer fools lightly. The problem is that I don’t suffer fools quietly.
Daily I do my sit. Daily I list what I am grateful for. Daily I use Youtube to see potters make beautiful pots. Daily I mine the world for gems of wisdom, collecting them like flowers in a basket from a field. Daily I walk for an hour in the noon-day sun with my dog on a beach for an hour (because I schedule it into my workday.) Daily I set goals and try hard to achieve them – measurable goals, with numbers. Nightly I give myself a pass when I do not reach a goal but also I give myself a high-five fr those I do reach. Daily I make my bed and turn it back so as to remind myself of the importance of rest.
This daily practice is my new spirituality. These practices are healing my life. I’m ok with people who go to church. I just find that it does not work for me and am glad it works for them. The $7,000 I used to pledge to my church, I now use for vacations, a weekly rose on my desk, good bedsheets, and pottery tools that I could previously never afford. We change, or we die.