Friday, May 25, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
It is important to know that life is a very wonderful gift, and that we should be mindful of this as we take this journey of ours. While getting carried through the whirlwind of our responsibilities, busy schedules, and daily routines, we need to acknowledge that these stresses are only small and often insignificant parts of who we are and what we do. There are times when it is absolutely necessary to pull out of our micromanaging and take a moment to be aware and give thanks. This year has been incredibly hectic for me, and since it is my birthday today, I celebrate it with an opportunity for reflection on what I have and how I am managing it.
I begin with mentioning that married life is something that I have been really busy adjusting to. It is very different from the lifestyle I once had as a bachelor. I follow that statement with mentioning that nothing could be more satisfying and wonderful than married life. Beginning and ending each new day with the love of my life, my best friend, my Empress, is a truly magnificent blessing alone. I can remember days of solitude, days of wondering whether or not there was that special woman for me... and then here I am spending each day and night with her! We share a home together, this little place of our own that we can take refuge in after long days of work. We have our arms to comfort one another. We have our shared experiences. To an outsider, it may seem boring or ridiculously ordinary. However, it is this constant and steadfast rhythm which is truly amazing. This stability is built on love, trust, and satisfaction. These qualities seem typical because we all desire them and strive for them in one way or another, but they are very extraordinary. So much so, that it seems just... ordinary. I liken it to the earth, spinning each day on its axis... turning day into night, and orbiting around the sun, bringing season after season. We expect these things, we are familiar with these things, but this act literally keeps the world turning. Together with my wife, “moon and sun” as I had written in a poem for our wedding, this daily turn with my Significant Other is significant indeed.
However, with married life comes a newfound responsibility. Being there for each other emotionally, spiritually, financially and physically can be exhausting. A single person meets their own needs (which is often a feat in itself), and then extends themselves to others when necessary. A married person must consider their partner, must make sacrifices, and must meet each other’s needs. Add to this being a homeowner, juggling mortgage payments, loans and bills, for the sake of securing your family. It is a very different way of life, but certainly it is a good type of “different”. Adjusting to that tempo is something that I am still learning. Even though I know that many challenges await us in our long years ahead (JAH willing), we have the commitment and love to succeed.
Adding to the daily rigors of (newly) married life is my life as a teacher. Those of us who are teachers know that the lifestyle of an educator can be very exhausting and very taxing. It has been a difficult year for me professionally for a variety of reasons, one of which includes working multiple jobs. Stability is just as important to a career as it is to personal or married life... we long for having a sense of achievement and a sense of worth, and when we feel stressed, overwhelmed, or unappreciated it can really affect our entire life and our outlook on life. Being in this situation has taught me a few things this year, at least an awareness of how important or unimportant something actually is. Whereas a sense of stability is vital and hopefully expected in married life, there is less of a guarantee for this at work. Changes can come quickly, both positive and negative. Unfortunately there has been a lot of negativity to cope with this year as a teacher, whether on a local level, state and national level, or even cultural level. Add to this the fact that socializing with so many people, and in my case indifferent teenagers, comes with a lot of extra pressures. Yet, although it is a facet of my life, it is NOT my life... not your life, not our life. Life is much more than that, and at times it is very necessary for us to skim it off the surface and reconstitute ourselves. Time for realignment (or vacation, whichever comes first).
As a married couple, having time for our families and our friends is another new adjustment. It is not always easy to keep this component at the forefront of our lives, but I believe it is necessary. Family is very important to me and, along with my wife, I am very blessed to have my relationships with my parents and brothers, my in-laws, and other relatives to all prosper. This is rare for so many people nowadays, so I acknowledge this as a true blessing. The simple fact that my wife and I can address each other’s parents as “Mom” and “Dad” and say it with love and feeling is such an awesome thing in itself. Friendship can be trickier to maintain because it requires communication and understanding to stay strong... but we all need it, and we should all value it. So I say to all my friends and family alike... I love you! As one of my friends has always said to me, “two mountains don’t always meet”. So distance is no matter when hearts and minds are in tune. I am confident that I will get better at making time for all the people I love and care for, give thanks for the patience.
Now, after making time for my wife, my family and friends, I am working on reestablishing time for myself: Time to educate myself on the things that inspire me, time to strengthen my convictions, time set aside to write (which has been sparse this year for aforementioned reasons), time to read, time to keep physically fit, time to sing, time to celebrate. Time for doing the things that make me who I am... a husband, a teacher, a Rastaman, a friend, a world citizen. Yes these things are very important and necessary.
Finally I end this by saying I give thanks to God, whom I call JAH, Jehovah, Rastafari. Life is great and beautiful, but I can never forget the blessings that I have. For me it is important to acknowledge the Creator’s hand in this life of mine... because it is very real in my sight. When life is good, it is human for us to forget about God. I cannot. After expressing all the new things I am learning to adjust to, one can see how these adjustments are really just growing into the blessings that have been forwarded unto I&I. I have my Empress, I have my family, and friends. I have my health and strength. I have a meaningful vocation. I have a voice. Today, on my birthday, I renew my friendship with JAH and give thanks for life!
Yes, give thanks for another year and for all my blessings. I hope to keep this fire burning... so, all the Massive, check for the reasonings, poems, and lyrics in a Rastaman stylee! I am still here and there are still so many things to say.