I used to fancy myself a high-stakes player in the game of life. Like give me a really Big goal, a Big adversary, a Big crisis and I’m all amped up and ready to go. The only thing is, more and more, I’m struck by how my life works better not as a series of Big stuff with fallow periods in between, but as a daily, incremental, moment-by-moment trudge.
How relentless! How boring! I want a life where the soundtrack has lots of cymbals and big drums that boom significantly, ominously, triumphantly. Seriously.
Then again, the plus side of living incrementally is that the screw-ups, as well as the triumphs, are fleeting. It’s all pretty repairable. I don’t need to stew in the agony of imperfection or a cloudy day. I can keep going, one foot in front of the other, no cliff diving. Amble that wobbly path.
The downside is there’s not that daily adrenaline rush, that surge of hot fuel from living as if getting that parking spot is a do-or-die event, as if picking the right preschool makes or breaks everything, as if multigrain versus sourdough launches my health and wellbeing on an unstoppable trajectory, the result of which is vitally important to the future of the universe.
So, it is boring. Boring like a passionflower vine growing up and tangling up a trellis and taking over a whole white wall with green leaves and green flower buds and thick green stems and then blooming bright pink and purple little aliens is boring. Kinda miraculous and gorgeous. Not loud like a rock song or a marching band or even a symphony but loud like the sound of the ocean shush or yes my lover’s heartbeat or the wordless song my child sings to himself while arranging and re-arranging his rock collection, when he thinks no one is listening. Loud like that quiet little voice inside me that says yes, I want to live now. I have served my time trying to live this, that, or whatever else that was not me. I am ready. I am scared and I am moving forward anyway. Incrementally.