This isn't my life.
But it is.
But it can't be.
The fog of detachment that surrounds me is thick and sticky. For the moment, I prefer the fog to the life-that-is-not-mine-but-is. I have completed moving into the new flat that is where I will live the new-not-mine life. Moving in and arranging things have kept me much busier than I had imagined they would. Moving in and arranging things takes much longer to complete when done from the safety of a thick, sticky fog. I stand and look at an item - any item: a pair of trousers or an art book or an old notebook from university - and try to determine where it shall be placed. I pick the item up. I put the item down (right back in the same spot from where I have picked it up). I turn to another item and repeat the picking up and putting down process. It is slow going.
Then there is added time consumption resulting from the desire to streamline.
Can I get rid of this?
3 garbage bags full of clothes have been taken to the 2nd hand clothes dispensary. Old notebooks and scribblings are harder to chuck. Some notebooks are only half full. I feel guilty if they don't get fully full, yet the filled up parts were filled up during the course of many years and in a willy nilly manner. I can't return to writing in these notebooks as is; it will be far too disorganised an output. I decide I will tear out the filled up pages, use the remaining sections of the notebooks from today onward in a logical and precise way, and read the filled up parts to determine if the content should be kept in some capacity or another.
A thin, pocket-sized notebook with a blown-up detail of a ceiling in Salamanca on the inside and outside covers contains nothing but a bulleted list of inspirational quotes. I can't remember where I originally found these little bits of advice. They remind me of the graduation speech that was originally supposed to have been written by Kurt Vonnegut, but later transpired to be someone else and then it wasn't as hotly celebrated as it had been when Mr. Vonnegut had been the author. I like some of these bulleted points of advice. Even through my fog, they seem to make sense.
I decide, even at the risk of becoming a terribly cheesey blogger, I will post the bullet points up on my blog so I can throw away (recycle) the paper yet keep the sage advice - thereby creating a teensy-weensy bit more space in my new flat whilst simultaneously becoming a better person.
=== I'll give each bullet point a rating: 'meh' for 'really?', 'hmmm' for 'maybe something to keep in mind', and 'Yes.' for 'I like this.' ===
- Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon. MEH
- Remember that your character is your destiny. MEH
- Smile when picking up the phone; the caller will hear. YES.
- Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully. HMMM.
- Memorise your favourite poem*. HMMM.
- Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want. YES.
- When you say "I love you" mean it. New Rating: DUH. (ie - stupidly obvious).
- When you say "I'm sorry" look the person in the eye. Should be DUH, but I have to say YES.
- Be engaged at least 6 months before you get married. MEH.
- Believe in love at first sight. HMMM.
- Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much. HMMM.
- In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling. Should be DUH, but might not be.
- Don't judge people by their relatives. YES.
- Talk slowly, but think quickly. YES, if you can.
- When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?" YES.
- Remember that great achievements require great risk. MEH.
- Call your mom. YES.
- Say 'Bless you' when you hear someone sneeze. MEH.
- When you realise you made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. HMMM.
- Spend some time alone. YES. Then I add: but not too much.
- Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values. MEH. Some values deserve to be abandoned!
- Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. YES.
- Read more books and watch less T.V. YES.
- Read between the lines. DUH.
- Share your knowledge; it's a way to achieve immortality. HMMM. Not having had children, I am at a stage in my life where I do struggle with the idea of my mortality.
- Be gentle with the Earth. Should be a DUH.
- Never interrupt when you are being flattered. YES.
- Mind your own business. DUH.
- Once a year go someplace you've never been. MEH.
- Learn the rules; then break some. MEH - cliche.
- Judge your success on what you had to give up to get it. MEH. Doesn't always hold true.