Friday, January 9, 2009


When I graduated from college, I had all sorts of dreams. Among them was the urge to see the world--maybe not as big as George Bailey’s in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but strong nonetheless.

I had already seen much of the country, courtesy of my parents, who dragged their children from state to state during vacations from attraction to attraction. I’m not complaining--I saw the Badlands, the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, Carlsbad Caverns, Yellowstone, the Smokey Mountains, a bit of Mexico and Canada, and a host of other wonderful sights. I loved it--though I thought we should settle and soak in each sight, rather than cramming as many as possible into a few vacation weeks, only to enjoy the pictures later.

I wanted to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, to canoe the Mississippi, to sail the St. Lawrence, to cross the Rocky Mountains, to climb Machu Picchu. I didn’t want to do this alone, however. I shared my vision with several adventurous friends, but one by one, they all had new jobs, new girlfriends, new living situations or various other new circumstances that would stand in the way of such untrammeled endeavors. So, after a lot of conversation and investigation, my expeditions, one by one, were replaced by those closer to home.

Well, I have lived in the middle of the Green Mountains of Vermont, and now live a few hours from the Adirondack Mountains. At home, I’m surrounded by beautiful countryside, with beautiful hiking, skiing, and kayaking opportunities just minutes away. My wish to soak it in has become a life. Instead of going somewhere to see nature, I live with it. And when I desperately need a walk in the country just to clear my head, I only have to go outside.

I now have friends who want to wander, if not in the same way, at least to seek greener grass. I think about it, and I certainly appreciate all the wonderful sights to see, and all the wonderful things to potentially do in life.

But except for someone to share it with, I’m content.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What IS a "Normal Life"?

Sittin’ here just thinkin,’ taking a few moments break from work (OK, I DID get out earlier for an…interesting ski with my husky across sleet…), I’m struck by how many times I’ve heard the words over the years, in a wide variety of contexts, “Well, I need to get my life in order first.”

Just whose life IS “in order”? What does that even mean? Someone with no problems? Someone with no entanglements? Someone whose life moves everyday perfectly synched to some cosmic schedule? Who ARE these people?

Well, they don’t exist, of course. I’m all for continual self-improvement and striving for the best, but to wait for that before truly living is sad, and perhaps dysfunctional, if understandably so. We’ll all die first!

Nowhere is this more prevalent than in new relationships, and it’s rooted in pride. I’m as guilty as anyone--I do alone very well, I don’t need anyone, I’ve got other life issues to address, and so on. I certainly have my share of pride, too. But despite our individual culture--and this is not to ignore the many benefits of valuing each of us as individuals--it’s flawed at best.

Simply considering our biology dictates man was meant to live with woman, and woman with man. Sure, its more than that--which is why sex with someone loved on multiple levels and for multiple reasons is wonderful, not just a biological act. But to pretend this is apart from our nature is silly.

Perfection doesn’t come easily, if it comes at all. So here’s to imperfect relationships and abnormal lives--in all their messy, individualistic, problem-soaked and vastly interesting living-life-to-its-fullest glory.


Friday, January 2, 2009

A Hard Year’s Beginning

I’ve got to learn to stop getting into long distance relationships. Or I’d like to. Thing is, I keep meeting interesting women who don’t live next door. So I’ll probably keep doing it.

In particular, I find there’s a process:

1) complain there are no good men
2) meet good man
3) get interested
4) get serious about man
5) get very happy
6) think of every possible scenario about what could go wrong
7) sabotage relationship so that none of those things can happen
8) be sad
9) complain there are no good men

Long distance makes it impossible to go get coffee and talk, so we add hiding behind the keyboard or turning off the cell phone to further complicate the issue.

I guess I don’t understand.

I’m a “let’s take what’s good and work from there” kinda guy. Look for things wrong, and you’ll always find them (doesn’t anyone read “Young Goodman Brown” anymore?).

But, a relationship of any kind takes the decisions of two people.

Seems I’m back at square one.

I don’t like it.