Friday, March 12, 2010

Breathing Life

Beautiful spring image courtesy of

Today I can finally breathe again, after a bout with pneumonia. I am on day three of antibiotics and day eight of being cooped up in the apartment. No more fever, and I can finally feel little stirrings of energy and determination and hope.

I have not enjoyed good health this winter, and the reason is stress.

is such a 21st century word, so businesslike and modern. Sibilant as a sigh -- which is very misleading. It should be a long, garbled string of hard consonants, in my opinion, something better befitting its monstrous and deadly nature.

It makes us ill, but that can be a blessing in disguise. I had eight days of forced solitude and inactivity -- a little time out. There was nothing to do but feel terrible, rally the energy to take showers, make glasses of juice and take medicine --- and notice what my life has become.

I don't like what my life has become.

At this point, you probably want me to explain myself. Let me just summarize by saying that it become filled to overflowing with things that are not life-affirming.

One of them, unfortunately, is graduate school. A mistake, a miscalculation, a black hole for everything that matters in my life, it eats all my time and energy and gives absolutely nothing in return. It leaves me with no time to earn a living, no energy for my family, and no inclination for seeking happiness and love.

Yet, I'm only two months away from graduating, so I have to see it through. I have to look at what remains of it and try to get it done. In May when I graduate, will I celebrate it as an accomplishment? I just don't know.

Another thing that has taken more than its fair share of my life force lately is the love I have been completely wasting. All the humiliating events of the last few months haven't shaken me out of it, but spending several days alone sick finally did.

I realize that our real friends and loved ones are the people who check on us when we are ill. The rest are just people we know.

So now that the antibiotics have begun to kick in and I am looking at resuming my life, I want to live it in a way that will keep me healthy. I won't be pouring my precious life energy into anything that doesn't enrich me or my family or the world.

I started this post thinking it was going to be an extended metaphor about pruning the dead or life-draining parts away, something I have posted about before here at the Bitten Apple. I searched the archives for that post and, to my surprise, I discovered it was written almost exactly a year ago, March 18, 2009.

So maybe this is something that just happens to me in the March, like spring cleaning.


Ronald Rabenold said...

It's no coincidence that our lives spin in predictable cycles.

Sometimes we unwittingly hold the keys to our own happiness.

Hang in there and keep writing...Good Luck, you'll be glad when you look back on it all...Thought my Masters would never end!!...

Indie said...

Thank you for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Does Ronald Rabenold mean to imply that if we hold a mirror up to others, we should occasionally peer into that selfsame mirror ourselves?

Anonymous said...

Hi Indie
I appreciate your honesty.

Take care honey

Indie said...

Thanks, Paul. I'm barely hanging by a thread. Can't seem to shake the pneumonia or catch up on life.

steviewren said...

We probably all need to clean the dead parts out of our lives on a regular basis.

I realized that I needed to do that a couple of years ago. There was one particular relationship that I could do nothing to change and I needed to step back. After having minimal contact for these past two years we are beginning to rebuild our friendship on new terms. I don't know if my friend ever realized what I was doing but I need to do it for myself.

Indie said...

It took up quite a huge chunk of my personal energy, strength and identity, so I'm not quite sure what to do with the void just yet.

I realize I need dreams in order to function. Maybe some new ones will appear soon.

Stevie, I wish you lived closer!