Most of the time, I can talk myself out of starting my own little pity-party. I remind myself of how lucky I am for dozens of reasons. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the country. Our home is comfortable, filled with color and quirky things everywhere you look (like the wood flying pig we bought years ago in Carmel Valley, or the little wood birdcage where we've put a ceramic fish instead of a bird). For the moment (who knows what will happen next month or next year?) we can afford to pay for health care coverage, and we have access to an HMO that was rated the best in the country by Consumer Reports last year - no small thing when one takes medications that would cost close to $3k a month without insurance. We're warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We see and hear songbirds every day. Signs of spring come early, in February, when the daffodils burst open and the camellia bushes are covered in magenta blossoms.
I could go on with the list, but you get the point, I'm sure.
In the scheme of things, compared to 99% of the people living on the planet today, I have no reason to feel sorry for myself. But I do.
I miss my work so much. I even miss getting up at 5 a.m. and starting my arduous commute to Silicon Valley 40 minutes later, just to avoid the traffic back-up on the approach to the Bay Bridge. (I don't miss having to stay in the office until 6:30 p.m. for the same reason, or working in a company that demanded "24/7" of its managers, though.) I guess the thing I miss the most, smarmy though it might sound, is the connection with a diverse and interesting group of people and the clear knowledge that my work actually helped a lot of them survive the rigors of life in the DotCom universe a little bit better than if I'd not been around. I miss knowing that I was someone people could trust. At one point, my boss called me "The soul of the company" (okay, he said it as kind of a guilt-trip, when I was thinking about quitting, but still - I like knowing that someone valued my integrity).
Hmmm. So as I read what I've written here, it looks like my Ego is what's hurting, doesn't it? I'm such a competitive being, and I've lost the ability to compete in the one place where the ol' Ego had the opportunity to shine, to get all kinds of positive feedback, all kinds of strokes. So when I tell myself I'm feeling sorry for myself because I have Multiple Sclerosis, that's really bullshit, isn't it? My poor little Ego is feeling neglected - that's what's really going on here.
So maybe the way out of this rat-hole is finding a way to soothe that part of me and find contentment elsewhere?
Oy. An AFOG (Another F***ing Opportunity for Growth) appears. Maybe I can take up the challenge and do some real work around this not-so-new- but-still-uncomfortable life of mine? If I do, at least I'll stop whining, even if I only whine inside my head? Who knows? But stay tuned, 'cause I'll probably end up bitching about the process here!