Survivor Journals

Survivor Journals:   Year I

Round 2     by Paulineee

Topic: Describe Your World

I have many worlds; overlapping, shifting worlds. I have the world of a wife and mother, the world of a daughter, the world of a friend; the world of an English Quebecer, the world of a Canadian. A world of snow, often. The world of the present, the world of the future, and even the world of the past, much as I try to ignore it.

Then there's the online and offline worlds, and even these overlap; for instance, when I email people I've known all my life, or when I take out my camera and hunt for numbers for Rien, take photos with the intention of posting them on my site, or look at an experience a little differently because I plan to be writing about it later.

I could describe my physical world, what my desktop looks like (messy), where the furniture is in my house, what it sounds like when it's quiet, what it sounds like when it's noisy, what it smells like, how the floor rumbles when trucks go by, and how warm or cold it is.

I seriously considered writing the entire entry about my world on the computer - what my "desktop" looks like (tidy; the background is a section of a Monet water lily painting), my colour scheme, how many windows I keep open, computer sounds (usually turned off) and what I do all day while I'm here. But that would be a bit too easy.

I could describe what my senses tell me but that would convey only a small part of my "world". What makes my world different from that of the other people sharing my physical space is how I react to it and interpret it and what goes on in my head independent of my surroundings. The sixth sense, in this case, is emotion.

I'm content, and often happy these days but I carry around almost fifty years of baggage. With time, much of it has lost its edge and just sits there and exists. Its colour has faded from blood red to sepia brown like old photographs. Some of it is comforting because it gives me a frame of reference. I know who I am. I can read the stamps on my visa.

I take things in stride much more than I used to. Just the fact of having five decades instead of two behind me puts events in perspective. I rarely sweat the small stuff, but I can't say it's all small stuff. I think only people who don't have children can say that, and even then, only if they want to.

I've been a mother (including pregnancy) for twenty years and have settled nicely into that role. It fits. I've been a wife for almost twenty-five years; that fits slightly less well but it'll do for now. I look at my world as a mother and wife must - I no longer have to make sure the household poisons are out of reach, but have to look further afield to try to deflect poisonous influences. I've been lucky so far. I try to keep track of everyone's comings and goings, how many will be home for dinner, and if they didn't forget their keys. I must also make sure the favourite clothes are clean, preferably yesterday.

While I'm doing this I have to dance through the minefield in my head. The depression is kept at bay (usually) but, as they say, I have issues. Most of those are left over from my relationship with my late mother. My mother was wrong about most things but on occasion she was right - and those were the times I rebelled. I need to sort out my values to see which are a result of anti-mom rebellion and which actually make sense. I need to forgive her but I'm not there yet. Even thinking about her and our problems makes me anxious. I'd rather stuff it all away but that doesn't seem to be a good long term solution - it's probably how I came to be travelling with more baggage than necessary. (Insert appropriate joke about women and packing here.)

I'm neurotic but less than I used to be. I take small and medium sized spiders in stride, often leaving them alone in the corners. I ride elevators but not (if I can help it) airplanes. I don't worry excessively about the kids, my health, earthquakes or war. There's no way to prepare myself for tragedy so why bother to try. This might be known in some religions as "faith". Whatever.

It's not just me, my house and my family - there's a world surrounding my world. Friends, community, the city nearby, sports, politics, books, music, internet. These and others circulate around my nucleus like electrons; like planets around the sun; like an old vinyl record around the turntable.. well you get the idea. They affect my mood and alter my course at times; turbulence or smooth sailing. (Mixed metaphors? Perish the thought!)

As I write, it's almost 1 AM. This is the part of the day I like best. Everyone is home and asleep, worries put away for the night. The computer is humming, the crickets aren't, and the lizard is scratching around in his tank. Right now everything is as it should be in all my worlds.

Want to surf the entries in ring form? Go here and choose "Ring mode" for any one journal to begin.

The Other Participating Journals:

And If I Die Before I Wake
Funny The World
Hell Is Other People
Nova Notes
On My Lap & From My Mind
Quiet Moments

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