Quiet Desperation

Thoreau's cabin

I have been trying to live the life I want to this past week, but the only thing that I did any different was to take my girls fishing without my husband. We rode our bikes a half-mile down to the boat ramp near our house, put some dead shrimp on our hooks, and cast our lines into the high tide.

We didn’t catch anything, didn’t even get a nibble; but just spending time with my girls, enjoying the setting sun, the calls of the marsh birds, and the warm salty breeze encouraged me.

Now I sit here writing this all down with a heavy heart. A dear friend of mine who had been diagnosed with colon cancer a little over a year ago has taken a turn for the worse. After having surgery on Friday to remove some of the cancerous lesions, the doctors told her husband that it has spread throughout her body, and hospice has been called in.

I wept when I read that Facebook post last night. This is a woman who has inspired so many people with her positive outlook and her love for life. Her stories of white water rafting in West Virginia with girl friends, skiing in the Colorado Mountains and lobster diving off the coast of Florida with her family were awe-inspiring. It’s hard to imagine someone so active needing hospice!

I want to say that her situation has motivated me to live my life to the fullest, but honestly, I’m afraid to face the scary uncertainty of the life I want to live. I’m comfortable where I’m at right now, but not truly happy. There’re so many things I want to do, but I’m afraid to talk to my husband about them because he will tell me to be practical, to continue to support my family, to be responsible.

I feel my life of quiet desperation strangling the song that is harbored in my soul and I want to SCREAM and flail against my forced conformity before it’s too late! Do I wait until I retire to live, knowing full well that retirement may never come? Or do I sing my song now, even though I may not have a receptive audience in my spouse?

Either way, it’s my choice and I’m the one who’ll live with the consequences.

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