When was the last time you had one of those fitful days of thinking? Thinking without control or intent or purpose. Thinking just to drive yourself mad. This kind of thinking does not create or inspire or produce. It merely runs, each thought like that possessed herd of pigs headed full speed ahead toward the edge of the cliff, falling to the rocks below before ever doing anything with their lives but consume and excrete. That's the kind of thinking I'm doing today. These thoughts stampede in and out of my brain space and, for the life of me, I can't reign them in. It's in moments like these that the "sell everything and give to the poor" idea doesn't seem too crazy because then at least there would be no external junk to deal with, only the stuff in my head. But then I start to feel really nuts and wonder if, in fact, this is what the pigs felt when they saw the edge getting closer but couldn't stop running. And then I realize I've compared my state of mind to that of demonic swine and it seems we have more to discuss.
Some months ago I got it into my head that I would create this perfect life for myself. Beautiful new home, enviable wardrobe, fit body to slide into the enviable wardrobe, bountiful relationships, fulfilling theatrical prospects, growing IRA, chunky savings, and peace of mind. Here's the best part: I decided to accomplish these things all on my own by September 30. That's right. I planned to close on this new home (of which, don't be misled, I am incredibly proud and thankful for) 25 pounds lighter, with extra room in my savings as well as my skirts. Somewhere in between losing weight and stashing money, though, I have started to seriously lose it. This is tough, this making things fall perfectly in line in my life. When did I decide I could do this? Or even that I wanted my life to look the way it would if I could? Nothing is going as planned. I'm certain that failure will be my saving grace.
I have always held a deep appreciation for the imperfect. Lived in and loved on are virtues in my book. Although, let's be honest, I do love shiny and new, as well. I like the idea of worn in jeans and brand new gadgets. Freshly cut Christmas trees with decades old, homemade ornaments. Old family recipes in brand new Pampered Chef dishes. But life? And people? Always better well worn, and with stories to tell. So why have I let myself be swept away in this rat race all of a sudden? I heard it said once that even if you leave the rat race, you're still just a rat. Maybe that's why it's so easy to fall back into it. Maybe I need to decide every morning if I'm going to run with all the other rats or lay down with the sheep, at peace, and say, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."
So, I guess in the end I'd rather be a sheep than a rat or a pig.