Sunday 9 June 2013

How do you feel about the future?

But before that, how I feel about the present.

The present is mostly OK. As noted in  the previous post, the calendar has been full of fertility-related tests and appointments. Most are done; I have a couple more blood tests to do. I took time off work for several tests and the sky did not fall (For the record: In the past 5 years I took maybe 1 day off work for a medical appointment, and 2.5 sick days. So having several appointments in the space of  a month to work into my schedule took some attitude adjustment.)

On another level, I'm a little disturbed. Do you know the  feeling in the air before a storm? It is often quiet, there's no wind or very little wind, but there's a heaviness in the  air. I grew  up on sailboats, so I experienced this many times out on the water, where the eeriness is magnified. Often, before a storm, the weather looks calm and un-threatening. It might be  cloudy or sunny, with little wind. But then you get signs that something is coming. There might be "dead waves." These are waves that appear when there is no  wind. They make it hard to move forward because they rock  the boat and make  it difficult for the sails  to catch a breeze. The air feels muggy.  Time seems to move too slowly.  Everything is quiet and yet feels ominous. When I was very young, I was sensitive to this  change in the weather and it made me sleepy. I would usually go into the cabin of our boat and sleep, and stay that way when the storm hit. It wasn't till I was older that storms started to frighten me.

That's a bit how I feel right now.  I have been pushing the feeling away because I can't find a rational reason for it. But it is still  there and comes out in ways I do not always expect. I have a heightened awareness of grief and mortality. Even though I am not grieving, I identify with people who are, and I find myself seeking them out, and reading their feelings and experiences, and feeling a bit ridiculous and voyeuristic for doing it. And grateful at the same time. I sometimes have to make a concerted  effort (or ask Mr. Turtle to make a concerted effort, which is often more  successful) to get my mind off this track. Mostly I/we are successful in cheering me up. But, I have to keep making the effort. I know death and mortality are a part of  life, and like everybody else I have to find some understanding and acceptance of the end of life. So perhaps this is appropriate and healthy. I'm not sure what the line is between understanding and acceptance and over-focus, however.

I am fearful for my health, and others. My parents have had more health issues  lately than they usually do, and this worries me. I worry about them starting to decline, no longer being able to enjoy the things they do. I worry that because of the infertility all I will experience is the death and decline side of life, not the part where new life is created and nurtured. I don't know if I could bear that.

All the medical tests are in a way contributing to my feelings. Not that they are bad in and of themselves - I am grateful for the opportunity to learn what is going on and I wouldn't have it any other way. But going for all the tests has had the effect of making me feel like a collection of parts rather than a whole. I start to lose faith in my own coherency. I feel like a shaky bag of bolts that is going to start losing screws and then wheels and then entire chunks of myself anytime.

But other than that, really, life is  good. The feelings I have described above have not taken over my mind, but they are like a background track.  The rest of the space is full of me and Mr. Turtle doing our thing, working, having fun, seeing friends and family, and yes, making plans for the future.

This weekend we were up at a cabin on a property that has  been in Mr. Turtle's family since early in the last century. It was just the two of us and his dad. We had a good, relaxing weekend. Over breakfast this morning, we started talking about whatever was in our minds. The talk  went to the economy, conspiracy theories, People Today (and yesterday..and future), being able to do math in your head, our consumer society, aliens, etc.  It was a good conversation. But it occurred to me, that when people talk about The Present, or The Future, it's so easy for the talk to turn negative. All the problems in our society, our politics, our economy, our seeming inability to do anything about them or change the course  of events. I have always believed that just by living a decent life as a decent human being, one affects the course of the future in a  positive way.  But it's very hard to present that as an argument. "I think  I have a decent life, and I know lots of other people that do, so that must mean life is pretty good!" How convincing is that??

And yet I sat there thinking, surely I don't believe the world is such a bad place, or I wouldn't be trying so hard to bring other people into it. And I don't believe it's a bad place. I think I was born in the  best possible place at the best possible time (not that it's really possible to know if anything else would be better, but whatever.). But why is it so easy to see the negative? When did I start looking for it? When I first met Mr. Turtle, and it seemed like He Was The One and This Was The Life I Wanted, everything looked beautiful and the ordinary had a shine to it. And I still love our ordinary life, and us. So why talk negatively of the future?

The point: The world is full of good people, and good things being done, and people who are making a positive difference. They need more air time!

What do you think, Occasional Readers? How do you feel about the future?

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