Well if you’ve been reading this blog it’s certainly no secret that I’m currently in an everyday struggle with what I see as a reality I don’t really want to be a part of any more.
Sounds awfully doom and gloom doesn’t it? Well it’s not really.
I mean yeah, every where I look seems to be a materialistic, pointless, mind numbing reminder of a world ‘full to the brim with shallow’ and encased in a layer of falseness. Zombies climb over each other chasing the dollar and doing their best to increase their lot in life. I’m one of them. A human stuck in a zombies body, foaming at the thought of how I might stretch the next pay check.
The lower prices of petrol has encouraged more cattle to pack in bumper to bumper lately. I join them in the desperate struggle to get to work to make that dollar before packing back in at the end of the day and (at the end of my tether), crawling home to the children who make my world complete. When I get there, my paper thin patience strips the tolerance I have left to give them what they really need. My quality time.
I worked out that this week, between work, travel and general duties, my children managed to get approximately 2 hours per day of my time. About 1 of those hours was quality. The rest was a forced smile through gritted teeth.
My kids deserve better than 2 hours a day with a tired frustrated dad. For all the happiness they give me, I repay them with absence.
To often when I’m there, I don’t ask them, I command them. I order them with stances and authoritative gestures. They get punished if they don’t comply, after all, I’m trying to get them fed and bathed, they should do as their told. And I’ve had a long day.
Once you become aware of the the cage you live in, it’s all you can see. It saddens me to see the one I’m building for my children. And they’re the lucky ones, aren’t they?
I know the reasons for my frustration. It’s been nagging at me for a long time, but now I know. The worst thing is that I know it’s not necessary.
The best thing is that I don’t have to be a part of it, I make my own reality.
On Australia day I almost lost my daughter. While I wasn’t watching her closely enough, she managed to get herself up onto a ledge of the horizon pool she was playing in with a good 10 metre drop on the other side and no barrier to stop her from falling. She walked right along it. By the time I looked up, she was at the other end, stepping down. I had never realised what was on the other side of that ledge. As I looked over, I realised that with one false step she would most probably have fallen to her death. I would have looked over the edge, seen her at the bottom and known it was my fault.
I had failed to protect her.
I didn’t sleep that night. The horror of it played over and over in my mind. The next morning I was in tears. How could I possibly have been so stupid? It was only through luck and possibly some hidden force that I was not directly responsible for my own daughters death. It shocked me to the core just how badly I had let everyone in my family down and it took everything I had to get up and get past that. It shocked into me the lack of quality time I had been able to give her.
The other day, one of my own personal clients was shopping my quotes around. I had spent alot of time with them and done all the hard work. They asked me if I could ‘sharpen my pencil’. It’s a very common thing, people in business everywhere spending time on cutting costs. It made me angry at how they had the gall to think that they could engage me in their ‘race to the bottom’. It angered me to think that the choices I had made to put myself in debt so my family and I could have ‘nicer things’, meant it was necessary for me to consider this absurd request.
I sat up and stewed on it all night. Then the next day I contacted them and told them my offer would expire in a week.
They said they were sorry I was offended, but they had a budget to meet (which wasn’t sufficient to buy the time they were after to get the quality they needed).
That made me angry too.
It was at this point that I knew I was completely over it.
I was over being angry.
I was over the system that fuelled it. I was over the people that so willingly submit to it.
Most importantly I was over my children being the victims of it.
My children don’t need nice things, they need me.
They need me to show them a life that doesn’t suck them into a constant rat race, an ever present feeling of tiredness and one bereft of obvious inspiration.
They need the sun, the stars, the sand and dirt, the singing of birds, the chirping of crickets.
They need the joy of love, the wonder of science, the colour of art, the genius of sculpture and the diversity of culture.
They need to ponder their existence and be connected to their universe knowing that they are a part of something magnificent.
That they are magnificent.
That their tiny lives, and each and every other’s, are a masterpiece.
That each and every masterpiece manifests itself in no small way to that greater magnificence.
Because we are all connected.
For them to know that, I needed to show them the way.
That morning I went for my run. At the end I was walking home. I added a new part to my prayers.
I asked the universe to hold on to my hate, to give me courage through my fears, to take away my resentment, to tighten the reign on my anger and curb the intensity of my passion, adding greater effectiveness to my words. I asked it to remove the things from me that darken the light of my soul which so easily channels down to the ones I love and cherish.
I know the universe is so much greater than me, it can handle it. It can allow my greater values to blossom. It can open my eyes and free my mind.
If only I will allow it.
So I closed my eyes, and just listened.
I drowned out the engines and tuned into the wind. It rustled through trees and tussled my hair.
I drowned out the hammers and tuned into the birds, they whistled and sung in swishes and swoops.
I drowned out the world and tuned into existence.
And there was no cage.
I smiled, opened my eyes, looked to the sky. There was only blue. And I was floating on air.
So I hurried on home.
There was something I needed to show my children.
I’ll dedicate my life, to finding a way.