True Pathway of Life by Feathered Tary (Flckr Creative Commons)
“Sometimes in life, from out of a myriad of prosaic decisions like what to eat and where to sleep and how to dress, a true crossroads is revealed. In these moments, when the fog of relative irrelevancy lifts and fate rolls out a demand for free will, there is only left or right”. ~ J. R. Ward
My hearing with Social Security is coming up on September 16, and I believe that I am beginning to panic. After all, that hearing is going to be a live-altering event. I mean, if SS determines that yes, I am in fact disabled, then I go on their roster of disabled people. It makes it official—government official.
The fear of being officially classified as a nonfunctioning member of society is causing me to look at the job listings with George Washington. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, wandering aimlessly through job listings, thinking about what I could do.
But time for total truth: Would I be able to do it—it being return to the job force full-time, rejoin the lot of functioning, productive members of society?I honestly don’t know, and probably wouldn’t know until I tried. But the catch 22, the big iron in the works, so to speak, is that if I tried and found that I couldn’t do it, then what? Start the entire process again? Would that even be a possibility?
Hence, my panic. I remember my mother used to repeat a phrase when she was perplexed: “What to do? What to do?” Exactly. Précisément.
One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.” ~ Lewis Carroll
A person could go mad in the face of such a conundrum: choose to act, and the possible failure has innumerable ramifications, but choose not to act, and the acquiescence may lead to the ultimate loss of self.
Search your soul . . . Let your conscience be your guide . . . In the end, you’ll do what’s right . . .
Really? Seriously? Being in this position make me realize acutely why some people consult psychics, have their palms read, have a Tarot card reading: Just tell me what’s going to come, and I’ll know what decision to make.
Sorry, but no. Back to that whole free will concept: Each individual possesses the ability to control his or her fate by choosing a course of action from among alternatives; whether or not free will is connected to moral responsibility depends upon the individual. That being said, the concept of free will implies being responsible for one’s actions as a result of being accorded the freedom to choose.. However, as most philosophers point out, the concept of free will is illusory in that whether or not the individual succeeds in carrying out actions decided upon depends on a number of factors beyond that individual’s control.
Or at least, that’s how I perceive it to be.
“Although every man believes that his decisions and resolutions involve the most multifarious factors, in reality they are mere oscillation between flight and longing.” ~ Herman Broch
The sticking point for me, then, is that if I do what I most want to do, that is, try to go back to work, possibly work on another degree, then I am subjecting my family to risk. That and the fact that I decide, but many factors out there loom beyond my control.
The positives of trying to go back to work:
- Improved self-worth from feeling as if I am doing something productive
- Increased family income, thereby helping to move us out of this never-ending miasma
- Having health insurance paid for by the company instead of self-paying
- Depending more on myself to get things done
- Possibly feeling better when my mind has other things on which to dwell
The negatives of trying to go back to work:
- Working again and finding out that my body cannot tolerate the activity
- Not being around full-time for Brett while he is beginning college, or being available to my family on a full-time basis
- The costs involved in going back to work: purchasing another vehicle, travel, wardrobe
- Having to go out on disability again and possibly not being able to get coverage
- Having to pay back debts that were forgiven when I went on disability
I did not put having time to write on either of these lists as my experience in the past few years has shown me that I will write whether or not I have the time depending on my need to say something. In all of the time that I have been out on disability, I still have not put together my book, which is what I said that I would do. That in itself is telling.
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” ~ M. Scott Peck
Pathway bridge in Saharna Moldova, by Guttorm Flatabo
As some of you may realize, I write my way through, the logic being that as I put the words to page, my mind processes and sifts, allowing me to arrive at some kind of logical conclusion, and if not a conclusion, then at least a moment to pause. Having written about decisions countless times, I can say that at this moment, I am not more certain as to what I should do than when I began this post.
No great truth has come to me. At least, I don’t believe that it has. I heard a homily or proverb one time that went something like this: If you toss a coin in the air to help you make a decision, pause as the coin is in the air to reveal to yourself which outcome you were hoping for. Kind of like truth in a fortune cookie.
I know what I want to do, but so many things make me afraid to take this route, not the least of which is how much pain I am in from concentrating so hard on getting these words out.
Best five out of six . . . any words of wisdom would be appreciated.
“There are no prescriptive solutions, no grand designs for grand problems. Life’s solutions lie in the minute particulars involving more and more individual people daring to create their own life and art, daring to listen to the voice within their deepest, original nature, and deeper still, the voice within the earth.”
~ Stephen Nachmanovitch
More later. Peace.
Music by Dryer, “Seen Enough”