Sunday, September 8, 2013

Abundant strife

In order to live an abundant life one must choose simplicity...

In a meeting I recently heard a plan for living that involves giving up material possessions in order to live an abundant life.  While I am on-board with the concept I am also clueless regarding how to accomplish simplicity.

A case to make my point, I volunteered last weekend to paint (for quite a nominal fee) my ex-husband's deck.  When I offered to Labor on the holiday namesake, I thought it would be a simple stain job and boom I am that much richer for my 8 hour effort.  My ex however; was talked into buying the product from hell which required dry weather, sunshine and immediate application after mixing.  At no time in the 20 hour process did I think to back out of the deal.  If nothing else I am a woman of my word, even it meant re-painting the same railing three times because with each weekend shower the color washed away and I was left with sand.  While I would like to think it was the devil and not God that was having a good time at my expense, I do wonder why the heavens kept opening up just as I completed the last rung on the railing.  As kids we used to say thunder was the noise made when the Angels were bowling...there must have been a tournament last weekend.

Every time I took a break and checked my messages I had a text or voicemail to be returned.  Sometimes I speculate that in a parallel universe there are aliens working a giant Ouji game board directed at complicating my schedule and screwing with my free time.  On my best days I am a reluctant friend, sister, daughter, ex-wife, ex-lover, employee and all the other roles thrust on me by my overdeveloped sense of responsibility and sometimes society.  Yes, yes I know no one makes me do the things I choose to do to complicate my life...but I hate taking responsibility for the convoluted outcomes.  So I am not sure why every friend and family member last weekend felt a compulsion to check up on me.  Perhaps there was a psychic sense that I was consumed - frankly covered - in polymer deck paint.  

Each time I think I have discovered a simple solution to a complex problem my ego is quickly deflated by an increasing resistance in my universe to lasting resolutions.

Example:  After multiple attempts and layers of deck coating the result looked amazing.  During the process I had carefully placed cardboard along the house and sealed off the back door to avoid all splashing on the house surfaces.  After cleaning up the project I returned to my own neglected home and looked with a critical eye at the masterpiece I had completed next door.  That's right, for those of you who forgot, I live next to my ex.  Alas! I never actually entered the house last weekend.  Imagine my dismay on Tuesday when I discovered that in order to open the back door one now has to lift up the storm and scrape it across the deck Steinbeck would say, so much for the well laid plans of mice and men.

P.S. I apologize for the summer hiatus.  I wish I could say I was having a fantastic vacation in an undisclosed location other than Illinois, but in fact I was laid up with an infection in my foot.  I thought it best to avoid writing about my "frustrating summer vacation".


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