Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Consolation Prize

2nd Place Ribbon

I have been feeling anxious tonight. I reflect on all who grieve, all who remember, and all who struggle to keep their lives moving forward.

This journey can be so painstakingly slow, and oh so laborious. I'm not sure if I am making progress, or just biding my time. I suppose anything I experience throughout the day is authentic, and where I need to be, or what I need to experience. In a way I am appreciating how life has kind of slowed down for me.

Still, I am not fully engaging with those around me, yet at the same time I don't feel like I am in hiding. Just taking it slow, and being mindful of my emotions.

I was sharing with someone this weekend that my new home, and anything else positive that seems to come my way, feels like a consolation prize. In a way, I am leading a life I had not anticipated, one that affords me new opportunities, and new relationships. My life feels full, but scattered. Yet as I write this, I begin to question my own statement. Is my life full?

It is definitely not the life I wanted, but not necessarily a bad life. I suppose it is really just an alternative life. One that I must live until I can better define what I want. I'm a realist, so I know that I need to work with what I have. I need to be willing to see positives, and move toward them. I need to seek joy, and open myself up to opportunity.

So what if it is a consolation prize of a life. Is that so bad? Can I find a way to embrace the good fortune that I am afforded as I continue on my own life journey?

I think I am setting myself up for a quieter version of my life. It works. It isn't terribly exciting, yet I'm not expecting much right now.


  1. Dan .... I SO get this.
    Over the last three years ... I've been good with no excitement. No excitement, no drama ..... is good. At least for now. Maybe for always. Who knows?
    We shall see.

  2. i can only deal with a more subdued life now anyway. it is all i feel i could handle. happiness? excitement? i have had that. i do not have the energy for it anymore. heartache? sorrow? have more than my share of that. all i want is a muted, quiet, subdued life. maybe one day that will change but for now, i agree that this is not so bad. i wish you peace.

  3. I think the hardest thing to do is be kind to ourselves. When I am having trouble, which, frankly, is most of the time (except at work, mostly), I try to consider how much slack I would cut my best friend, say, if this had happened to her, knowing what I know now about how hard and interminable and exhausting grieving is. When I think about my life in that way, from the outside looking in, it is easier to see that I am doing all I can, and that I am doing things that are important even if they do not show on the outside. I know I should be taking better care of myself than I am: small details like appropriate sleep, food, drinking and the like continue to allude me, almost 18 months out, but hey it is the New Year and I am hoping for some clarity. Being actively happy takes far more energy than I have been able to muster so far. I hardly remember what it used to feel like. I've missed reading your daily posts, but maybe we are all better off not constantly "dwelling" in grief-land as the Don'tGetIts continue to say.

  4. It does feel like a consolation prize. Or a demotion. Life seems jaded without them next to us.

    So jaded.

    I even look jaded!

    I love you Dan xzx

  5. a total demotion. How to be content with a less-than. It's a half-beauty to be sure.

  6. I suppose it is really just an alternative life. One that I must live until I can better define what I want. I'm a realist, so I know that I need to work with what I have. I need to be willing to see positives, and move toward them.

    Those lines speak to me of how things seem at this time. It is almost like I'm living in a parallel universe - one that parted ways with my old life about three years ago. I know I can go on, living this new life alone, doing many challenging and interesting things. I have already proven that to myself. What is more difficult is to go on living while maintaining such a clear vision of what would have been. I'm gradually learning not to dwell on that too much, other than a sort of ambient sadness that never goes away - but now try to make the best of this path that I never chose. In some ways, all of the traveling that I've done over the past couple of years has taught me some things about trying to pick up the trail when things go wrong. There are two ways to react. One way is by being angry, upset, confused, afraid and frustrated. The other is to push the mental reset button and decide that, yeah, things have gone weird, scary or annoying, but that you can still carry on and have an okay time. I guess that's about where I'm at right now. I feel I can still carry on and have an okay time - not exactly feeling happy, but I'm now beginning to wonder if "happy" is actually a necessity in life. Maybe "interesting" will suffice for whatever remains.

  7. different situation, and I am not at all a sports person, but I really like this analogy: http://thespohrsaremultiplying.com/newborn-identity/one-year/

    ...I mean, I guess I could have a hot dog. That would be alright.