Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Midlife Ramblings Ahead! Steel Thyself!

Sorry. I'm a sucker for waterside shots with cool gradients and that wispy foggy water effect... how moody, eh!? Eh!?


Don't read the next sentence if you don't want advance information on how my life is going to turn out. You have been warned!

I'm going to live happily ever after.


OK, it's safe to keep reading now, spoiler free.

What have I to share today? Well, the same old stuff. Life is awesome. Life sucks. I feel terrific. I feel yucky. Everything is wonderful. What else can go wrong? Life is full of wonder and joy. Life is full of pain and sorrow.

But, I had a fish taco for dinner tonight! So, I have that going for me. Which is nice.

My sister Lisa lamented the fact that my 500th post was wind-free. So to make up for that lack, I shall now post a Jack Vale video, called LISTEN!

Man, I wish I had the nerve to do that. Jack is awesome.

And now, Midlife Rambling, by Dave Wagner

So, I've got that angsty tight feeling in my bones again... like I'm wearing a jacket that's too tight for me, and I just want to rip it off and fling it away. I want to travel. I want to break out of my routine. I want to DO SOMETHING. I feel like if I kicked the bucket, nobody would say anything about me other than, "Yeah, Dave was a funny guy. And he farted a lot. Yeah... ok, so who wants to talk next?" Is that really the legacy I want to leave? I'm sick of looking at pictures and video of the world, and the people, and the things out there to do and see, while I sit on my duff in my office, content to play games, drink Starbucks, and threaten to write. Gah, I hate that feeling, like I'm frittering away my life doing next-to-nothing! GAAAHHHHH!!!!!

Eldest Daughter turns 21 in exactly one week. Middle Daughter turns 16 in July. They're both so wonderful and smart and beautiful. All my kids are treasures to me, priceless without limit. Sometimes I get all panicky, thinking maybe I haven't been the best dad for them. The type of dad they needed. I always figured, just being here was a big step in the right direction. That the rest would take care of itself. Maybe it has, maybe not, who knows?

I have this Windows 7 theme I downloaded, that cycles through a bunch of nice landscapey pictures of Ireland. There are some beautiful places in the world. Of course, San Diego is beautiful. I don't normally "see" that. I've grown up here, so usually, it doesn't register anymore. Maybe somewhere, someone has a Win7 theme that cycles pictures of San Diego, and they daydream about coming here. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side (of the world), eh? Well, when it comes to green, I think it would be hard to beat Ireland. I've actually been there before - went in March of 2001, actually. My mind was otherwise occupied while we were there, so don't recall much of the scenery. Of course, the Shankill district of Belfast isn't exactly the most picturesque part of Ireland...

I'd love to go back. And actually see the place this time. I mean, really "see" it...

I know in my head that the very height of "living" is to be able to hear God, find out exactly what He'd like me to do right now, and do it... I've been a believer in that for a decade or longer now. Why I don't actually do it is a mystery to me still. Fear, I suppose. Fear of the unknown. Fear of hearing wrong and doing something foolish (or dangerous). Fear of starting down a path where mistakes can have eternal consequences (it's safer not to start at all then to start and fail big). I know (again, in my head) that that's merely a complete lack of trust talking. God wouldn't let me fall if I pursued that type of life... but I cling to what I know, even though it is lacking. Even though the fruit of it is an often-overwhelming angsty feeling, like wearing a jacket that is too tight for me, that I just want to rip off and fling away...

Logan started a Theology blog called Ruminating About Scripture, if that sort of thing intrigues you.

Do I feel hypocritical waxing theologic while simultaneously joking about passing wind, and posting/writing silly, vacuous things? While recommending and praising books that have profane elements? Complaining about life when, all things considered, everything is wonderful? Well, yeah, I do. I have ways of justifying it to myself, but really, it's just the result of compromise. A legacy of compromise. Is that really what I want?

Well, there's only one thing to do! Deflect the issue by posting something irreverent!

Well, once again, I started a blog post with a blank window, and had no clue what I would post. It is a method that regularly yields inconsistent results. I suppose time will tell where this post rates on the Palatability Scale.

Adios for now.

Dave the Listless


logankstewart said...

Thanks for the spoiler alert. I'll be sure and check back after I'm finished reading it...

Midlife Rambling, a Review
It seems to me that Dave the Listless is both satisfied and unsatisfied both with his current place in life. On some ends, he has so many things to be thankful for, but he questions how to balance his satisfaction with his longing. Unfortunately, this reviewer has little to say on the matter, though he has his opinions. Simply put, it's DO SOMETHING. Start simple. Start small. That's what I'd tell Dave to do. Take a weekend trip with the family to somewhere they've never been. Build up to doing something large. That'd be my advice. Of course, Dave is just a character in a weblog I read, so who knows what he's capable of.

As for his musings of God's will... "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." God should be feared. He is the creator of everything. And yet, He loves us despite our screw ups. I firmly believe that as long as we're seeking the Spirit's guidance, reading His Word and thinking on Him, then our actions will be guided by the Spirit. We won't go down wrong paths because the Spirit will direct our ways (Acts 16:6,7). Finally, God is a great big God of freedom, not a tiny, chain-donning, slave-driving God. He wants us to have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).

Hey, there's a link to my new blog! How'd that get out?

Ah, the age-old lightsaber dilemma. I won't tell you what I did with mine...

Anonymous said...

Dear Scrabble-Buddy,
I am approaching 50 this August, I am poor, my nails are stained with paint from Home Depot, my youngest is going off to college, and I am moving to a retirement community to take care of my Mom - in yucky AZ. Save any pity, I have plenty of my own. My point is this - I believe that this IS the test. Sure, I've cried every day this last past week. My peers are married (some even happily), travel, get their nails and hair done, have the time and strength for charitable works. Who says the Valley of the Shadow of death has to be only like a war & plague - maybe it's also monotony & boredom. Ask God if this is an ordained Valley, or a character flaw - then go from there.

Beth A.

PS: I finally took my turn

Rug Warrior said...

Dave, considering that God is the Creator of all things... that includes fart humor. And since your post made me laugh out loud, even though I knew it was wrong to, that's a pretty good legacy for this one post. Making someone laugh matters.

I think... and you know how much I think... that when you look at life as some vast expanse, you can easily get into traps of dreams not matching up with reality. We all fall into that gap. Wanting to be "there" when you are "here." We have this incredible adventure in our heads, that will always be beyond what we feel we can achieve. But that's the purpose of the dreaming - to get so big that it PULLS you somewhere.

Sitting down and thinking about life legacy is heavy. I don't know anyone who would do so and tell me - whether they were 18 or 90, that they have the perfect and complete legacy. There will always be more they wanted to get done than did. Heck, in a given day I've got 100 things just on my "to do" list - much less a "legacy list."

So...something that helps me is to look at "legacy" as something on a daily "to do" list - and that the legacy is, did someone feel better about themselves around me, happier, more whole, important, loved?

People in your life end up in categories not so much on what they "did" for you, but how you "felt" around them. For me I pay attention to whether I feel better about who I am around some, or if I feel worse about "me." So part of my "daily legacy" is did I make someone know they had a friend who cares about them.

Whether it was a call, a chat, an email, a FB post, or a text saying "hey, you are cool!" Did I give someone a gift of a little piece of my heart? That is a legacy that carries on.

You make everyone laugh. You've done that for as long as I can remember. Laugh to the point of tears laugh... and I can tell you that with as many people as I've met on this planet in all my many years here... there are not many I can say that about. It's natural for you - you may not even know how good at it you are, and at writing, because it's second nature to you - but that's your gift.

People can be in a bad place - and you can do something so inappropriate, but damn funny, to make that sad go away - at least for that moment.

That's your unique ability. So if you are truly looking for a "legacy" beyond what you have already given to so many people through your writing, through your children, through your family, through your church and faith, through your daily laughs... then start with what you do great naturally. And this blog is exactly that.

I think some people look at other people's "great works" and feel they need to follow other people's paths.

Look at Bryan, gone at 26, and yet we all remember him, feel his presence, laugh and cry about memories, as if he left yesterday and not 11 years ago. He left an imprint on all of us, but not through any orchestrated "legacy" for his life... just through being a great man, brother, son, friend.

You are that and even more. You and Marla have these incredible daughters, and a large circle of friends and family. There is no better legacy than that.

And even with your blogs here - I laugh, and I cry - which as you know is how you know if you are watching an Oscar caliber movie... whether you feel emotion through the piece of art. So your "art" here is working, and it IS a gift to those who read it.

Love you,

David Wagner said...

Dang... those have to be the best three comments I've ever received, in all my long decades writing this blog. I think I just might copy/paste into a Word doc, and save them, and read them every once in a while, just to boost my spirits and set my head right.

Thank you Logan, Beth and Lisa.

kingphatcow said...

Wanna go on a wilderness weekend with me, Dave?