My Point Is…

Table for four – just enough.

At one extreme is meat.  At the other is cake.  I consume neither.  Plants sustain my body.  They are in the middle.

At one end is a suicide bomber.  At the other end, someone gleefully burns a holy text to get in the news.  I pray regularly, but mostly in silence.  I attend the public God meet for Mom and the tunes, and I profess a trinity of coequal balance: scripture/tradition/reason.

Some play games at work on their phones.  Others live off the grid either by intent or homelessness.  We use our computers for writing, but also love to turn pages, absorbed in the pleasure of reading a well-written book printed on paper made from trees.  Books smell better than my laptop and e-reader.

At one end is Rush with his minions, gaseous and angry.  At the other is Dennis, whiny and pedantic and unable to express his ideas in under 2000 words.  He has minions too.  I have some trouble finding reasons to vote.  I do it from habit, and I still dare to hope, though I know voting is sometimes a meaningless and absurd joke.  Sometimes there’s a candidate who doesn’t seem to be either too theoretically-minded or a charismatic rabble-rouser.  I’m happy to vote for them.

At one end is the General Practitioner aka Family Doctor, who will spend a whole hour checking you over and helping – if you can get an appointment before next week.  At the other end is the Emergency Room.  You KNOW you’ll be there all day, but you have no insurance, so there’s nowhere else you can go.  I work in Urgent Care.  We greet ‘em, treat ‘em and street ‘em.  In and out during your lunch break, and we can fix anything below a heart attack (we can stabilize that) down to a cut finger.  My job is in the middle.

Last year we moved from a place where more than seven million live and work, to this community of nine thousand.  My mother moved to this area in 2006, but she upgraded from a community of 400 to one of 5,000 that is 30 miles from mine.  After 25 years living thousands of miles apart, we now meet in the middle, twice a week.

Last year I admitted I was addicted to overworking.  By choosing to own less, buying a smaller house close to work and seeking more balance between my inner and outer life I have grown richer in the acquisition of everything that is most valuable to me.  I have more time now.  I had almost forgotten what that was like.  I’m happy to spend some with you.

Hooray for the middle!

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31 Comments

Filed under Ethics and Morality, Metaphysics, symbolism

31 responses to “My Point Is…

  1. The Middle sounds like a wonderful place and I hope to reside there, eventually. I don’t know how long it will take me to get there, but I am definitely en route.

  2. Himself and I are striving for the Middle , some days we mange but often various responsibilities, obligations and necessities keep it just beyond our grasp.
    We are currently in the middle of a massive renovation, and taking the opportunity to “downsize within home” getting rid of a lot of clutter and stuff that was weighing us down.
    There is a bigger Plan of Simplification in the wings, but we also need to work, renovate and live, so the bigger plan is a work/idea-in-progress.
    The work/life balance is harder to achieve these days than you sometimes think, so many demands are made on our time and we are made to feel guilty for saying “no”.
    The biggest problem is that “someone” has to be the helper, the do-er, the carer, the giver, the one who turns up when promised and lends a hand even with the hard work and the dirty stuff. Usually it works out that it’s the same “someones” every time.
    Our vision is to decrease so that we can increase… more time to entertain, spend time with people and be more organised to that we use our time wisely.
    Congratulations for managing to quit the Rat Race… we have been near the off-ramp a few times, but so far (sigh) have not managed to be in the right lane of Life to get to the Exit.

  3. Deborah

    “I can’t afford to waste my time making money”

    This quote has always stuck in my mind, and your lovely, peaceful post reminded me of it (although not the name of the person who said it – I feel a googlathon coming on).

  4. I think I’ll stick to steak and cake, but everything in moderation too. I’m so glad one of the cats got in your pic.

    You suppose that nutjob predicting the world is going to end on the 21st actually knows? I know it’s 99.9 percent not true, but if it’s true and the bible is verbatim god’s word, I’m probably not going up. I read on one guys site that the rest of us are going to be bit over and over by locusts with scorpion like stings. But then on another site, I read some crap about Obama ushering in worldwide Islam, and that is so stupid. I’m not even that gullible. It’s just this .1 percent thats left over from childhood that’s tellin me watch out May 21 I’m either going to be chomped down on by locusts or burn in hell.

    • Congratulations on your keen eye, Lisa! That’s Dixie, the alpha. She was looking out the window until I got up on the piano bench to take the picture. If zoomed in enough, you could see the expression of “You don’t usually do that” on her face.

      The way I approach end of the world predictions is pretty simple. Every day is the end of the world for someone. Every day is the beginning of the world for someone else. I shall do what I can to remain in between, until the day I can’t. I feel for ya, girl. It’s uncomfortable out on the ends.

  5. In the straight away, I usually drive about 65 miles per hour and people are whizzing by me at 120 mph or comatose at 5 mph on the other side. Cheers to the middle!

  6. I moved to the middle years ago. Having two professions allowed me to make choices: be a CFO somewhere with an eye on a CEO postion, or do what I love to do – play with systems all day. So I play with finance systems. No, it doesn’t pay as well as being a CFO or a CEO, but I don’t mind. I made the decision to step back, to do what I enjoy doing every day.

    Mind you – I’m not sure “middle” is where I’m at. After all the CEO of the Westpac Bank earns about $9.5 mil (she just took a pay cut) so the middle between $0 and $9.5 mill would be $4.75mil – and that is NOT my salary, unfortunately.

    Now I do not want to think about it any more, that just scared the living daylights out of me.

  7. lifewith4cats

    I’m glad you are achieving that place where one can simply ‘be’ instead of ‘do’.

    I also enjoyed seeing Dixie.

  8. “Greet ‘em, treat ‘em and street ‘em” is a brilliant motto.

    I’m happy that you’re spending some of that time with us, as well!

  9. Absolutely fantastic post! I really enjoyed reading it, every word! The concept is one that is dear to me, and I agree wholeheartedly that it is in the middle that happiness lies. It is essential to achieve balance in everything, it ensures we do not become extreme in any emotion or activity. Great blog!!!

  10. Not unpartial to the middle, either, and my table’s certainly similar to yours, albeit sprayed (twice) an overly jaunty red.

    I enjoyed your blog, though can’t claim to have digested that many posts yet, and I thought (hope you don’t mind) I’d mention mine, mainly because my most recent post, today’s, also deals with work, over-work and the virtues of not working too hard. I won’t put a link here, it might be construed as rude and/or spamful, but google stinky patter if you’re interested.

    And thanks.

    • I remembered the term from an old journalism class. I’m glad the topic is important to others. I see many who are unhappy in lives out of balance. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll read yours once you actually post it – the last one I found was about an Aussie cricketer.

  11. Hmm, thanks for the tip, could’ve sworn it was up. Turns out I’d made a page, not a post.

    Spot the rookie.

  12. Pingback: 5 Simple Tips to Be Positive while IN the Eye of the Storm « *POSITIVE PROVOCATIONS*

  13. My faerie Godsister has flown by to *ping* me with her wand. She often writes about this balance thing, and provides great simple means to achieve it.

  14. The middle path is the way! Beautiful.

  15. Gemma Sidney

    This is a great post. I try to spend most of my time on middle ground. Not black, not white, but kinda grey. Not the blah grey, but the good grey. I still eat cake, but I’m choosy.

    • If I could obtain the quality and variety of “cake” available in Paris, I might eat it too. Tout va bien. They do make nice bread here. You understood the kind of grey I meant. There was plenty of the blah kind yesterday. It rained hard all day and I was feeling low. It also didn’t help that the wife was gone most of it, singing with a different choir. She LOVES rain, which I find nuts, but still charming. Thanks, Gemma.

      • Gemma Sidney

        Hmm, rain is ok as long as you don’t have to be out in it. I like the sound and smell of rain, if I’m somewhere safe and cosy, with a nice slice of cake…

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