What I didn't expect was what a drag it was to be present. Ironically enough, the work that wasn't dealing in the hardware of home repair in the summer concentrated on software - specifically shareware applications and web 2.0 awareness. Now, in MY mind, being on the Internet is not being present...at least it wasn't until I realized that it was where I wanted to be most of the time. What I experienced was my being more happily present on the Internet than in real time. I really didn't experience a lot of deep satisfaction and inspiration from my hard work painting , scraping and sealing. Remodeling a house made me feel weary and pained. I got so sick of the thing that I was working endlessly on that I wanted to throw myself off the top of Baby, my 14 foot ladder, to end it all. Doing the present thing - the duty thing - does not beget more presence in me. Au contraire. So the REAL question became: Which present is it, SISTAH?
I found out plenty about myself and that word over the year and the truth of the matter is I don't want to be present. Not really - not like I envisioned it last year anyway - not like schlepping across a vast and barren cultural wasteland with an albatross called home owner and community member strapped around my neck! Like I said last year, the trips the thing. I found I have a resistance to presence and on my way I picked up on a few tricks I use on myself to make myself miserable and absent in my relationships with people. Those were weeded out (though I'm sure they will make an appearance now and again!) . I had a few things to learn about the definition, obviously...Of course, any sane person would resist presence as I had it defined.
I realized that I have always used my sense of duty or responsibility to keep me present in the world (when I wasn't using sex and marriage to do so). This, of course, begs my consideration of alternatives. In the end I decided that technology actually allows me a form of presence. It helps me be in the here and now. I found out I need a healthy measure of virtual and real. I suspect that due to my age I can tolerate more on-line activity than a younger person who has such a high profile in the world to maintain. I also found out it is okay to not be a pillar of my local community but being a friendly and kind participant is good. I go to a few local things and that's enough. I go on-line and make a few friends, that's enough. I'm older - I've subtle fish to fry...and sometimes this kind of cooking must be done during a siesta.
It helped having an annual word to bounce around during the year and I think it is a good tool to help keep the time-line taut and not whipping around in the wind. I looked down Kristine's list of chosen words this year and yawned....I looked at it again later and yawned again. Nothing jumped out at me. So I decided to resort to trickery.... I will explain the trick next post. If you should choose a word of the year, I hope you will share your word and your experiences.....