Life’s great.  As good as ever, if not better than ever.  What a great world. I luckily managed myself into a sustainable life with good social systems things and people that mattered.  Casting the net to the proper width is of utmost importance. Too wide a toss can make relationships shallow and superficial.  Too narrow can have more dire consequences.

Falling performance.  That’s not so terrible.  Just is what is, I’ll get it back.  No, I’m pissed, at myself. Get your act together lazy man.  No, that didn’t work, something seems wrong. Walking feels funny.  

Accident at work, on scaffolding, in front of the clients.  I’ve successfully done that procedure thousands of times.  Now I can’t even do my job anymore.

Confused.  Try not to worry.  It will get it fixed, carry on till then.  Don’t buy trouble. When you hear hoof steps, think horses, not zebras.  

Oh, that is it!  What are the odds?  It WAS zebras.

Fear.  Clinging to the idea of what I can do to not cease to exist.  Clinging can be a source of comfort, but not a good one, not good at all.  

Nothing matters now.  What’s the use, all is lost.  All I have been working for is for nothing, meaningless.  This is the worst thing of all, this “nothing matters” part.  These thoughts can not be completely controlled, they can’t be avoided. Perhaps they can be postponed, but what good does that do?  

Sadness.  ‘This is one of the last times I will ever see a sunset’, so I study it, intently soaking in every detail.  I study it all. This hyper appreciation shows the beauty, is deep in feeling, has some advantages, but not when it is studying something because ‘it’s the last time’.  The appreciation of beauty is offset by the sadness of loss. The last time I will see these trees, this river, this activity, that activity, each activity, as they go away, one by one, each one passing with yet another little private funeral.  I’m tired of these funerals, but they keep coming.

Embarrassed.  A lifetime of being capable, ‘being the go to man’ wears deep pathways into your brain, it’s who you are… but then you aren’t.  It takes a lot of continual effort to push the mental ox cart of ‘who you are’ through the weeds and ditches, when the pathway of ‘who you were’ is blocked.  You fight to get the cart back on that old familiar path, somehow hoping that it’s not really blocked, but each time, it is.

Decision.  Fight on while making what feels like an awkward scene, looking pathetic, admitting that you are weak?  Or not? 

A little selfish anger.  “I watched my dad enjoy retirement for 25 plus years, I’ve only got a few years left. Damn it, I spent my life saving money for the future, I should be allowed”.  But then guilt. I’ve abandoned them. I’m out. I feel worthless. They eventually treat me as out. There was a lot of identity there, a whole lot. I never replaced it with enough.  I try to be good at controlling it but anger leaks out in odd ways sometimes. Social interactions still feel good, allows you to pretend that the cart is still on the path. My friends are so young, vibrant, busy.  I was busy. Busy is good, pays the bills, earns respect. The weeds get taller. The ditches get deeper, the cart just gets heavier.

Dependence.  I can’t imagine how much worse my life would be without my wife.  She is such a good person. She works so hard, becoming one unit in the task of getting life done. That’s not so different than other couples, just a little more constant, and less rewarding, at least for me.  No divide and conquer. It’s hard on her, perhaps more so, but in different ways. She is strong, resilient, loving, but I worry about her, a lot. She has needs. She’s not on this earth for my benefit. She needs more backup, support.  I am not doing a good job of finding that. My life feels surprisingly normal, even though it’s not anything like before.

Future.  Perhaps that’s the crux of it.  Life is what happens to you as you are planning your life (quote from somebody).  Realistic planning is rather depressing in this situation, so you just do life.  Plan, not so much. This puts you in a little different place than the people around you.

Control.  Any control.  Just being able to put your thoughts into making something happen.  That gives you engagement. This is more important than you think. Passive observation gets hollow.  Perhaps that’s why social encounters become so needed. In this, you can influence at least something.  Less gets to be more important. I have seen loss of control up close, and no matter how many times “I don’t want to be a burden” is said, and how much legal paperwork is done, control can all go out the window.  That scares me.

Life continues, more will be added to the nutshell, but I don’t yet know what.