Yeah, but what if ???????????????????

Posted on 9/24/2014 by Daddy Will

I look back at the many years of my life that I devoted to "What if?" Living in fear of what may come to pass. Only in retrospect have I come to realize that all that fear of impending doom, all the anxiety and negativity was for naught, other than to rob me of the opportunity to experience the positive pleasure and full potential that was rightly mine for the claiming. I have no time for that today. I don't live recklessly, but, I certainly don't deny myself certain pleasures because it may cause me to burn when I pee. As I've said countless times. I'm at an age where I'm facing the laws of diminishing returns. This does not make me a fatalist with a pessimistic outlook on life. I see myself as pragmatist wish an infallible positive outlook on the future. But, I'm realistic. Look, I realize that were I happen to get a misspelled tattoo on my ass today, that I would in fact have to live with it for the rest of my life. But, just how many years are we talking here? It's only a matter of time before the only ones that will see it is the nurse that's changing me or the mortician. Get out there and have raise Hell!

I occasionally encounter a person that expresses some dread regarding the fact that they are facing a birthday that will mark the milestone of another decade of living. They're  seemingly filled with dread at the prospect of turning 40, 50,or 60. However, I've observed that by the time 70, 80, or even 90 is on the horizon, they're often inclined to approach it with a sense of amused anticipation and pride.  boastfulness even.

I may have had a twinge of trepidation as I turned 40, but it was soon replaced by acceptance and even a bit of braggadocio. Turning 50 was fantastic.  For a few weeks prior to hitting the half-century mark and for several months subsequent to the event, I was actually almost giddy.  I had arrived. I wanted to announce to the whole world; "I'M FIFTY!!" I actually felt as though I had accomplished something, that I had fooled the House, beaten the odds. Here I was, living in San Francisco, in a lovely apartment with a view of the entire city and bay.  I'd already been six years with a wonderful man, enjoying the most functional dysfunctional relationship of my life. We're still together, today he's my husband and day by day we continue to grow more steadfastly entrenched in the quagmire of codependent enmeshment that we prefer to consider "unconditional love. "Hell, turning 50 was like a slap in the face to all of those naysayers, myself included, that said I'd never live to see the day, much less be happy and content.

In the ensuing years, I've went on to observe more subtly nuanced changes in my attitude towards aging.  At some point at around 55, I came to the realization that all of those things I had most feared in life, all of those "what if's" that filled me with fear and dread had pretty much lost their potential to create even a bit of  anxiety.  Cancer, HIV, disability, relationship issues, being alone, wearing diapers…   You realize that some have already come to pass, and you've survived. And, the looming threat of those that haven't have ceased to consume you. Even if they were to manifest, you realize that you have the skills and degree of acceptance to deal with it. Hell if I do end up in diapers, it's hardly my problem, it's not likely that I'll be trusted with the task of changing them.

I was giving all of these thoughts a bit of mental bandwidth this morning as I was involved in my morning ritual of coffee, observation, rumination, and procrastination. I realized that I've have pretty much reached this sense of balance, a sort of emotional/spiritual Feng Shui within. A calm place where the fears of "What If?"  have succumbed to "So What."  I've honestly yet to clarify whether So What is actually a question or a declaration. I think it may be both. This is not the cavalier or defiant "so what" of youth or ignorance. Not a "so what" of tempting fate, or  the arrogance of "come on Life, give it your best shot. I can take it."  It's not even a "so what" of insipid and apathetic indifference, or resignation.

It's a "So What" of gratitude, of faith, of confidence and security.  It's knowing that in the very depths of my being that once again, I am part and parcel of all that I've ever been, and prepared to take on the experiences that will lead to being all that I will ever be.

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