Humor Magazine

We’re All Just Dust

By Mommabethyname @MommaBeThyName

You know that feeling you get, that feeling of relief you experience once you reach the end of something long-anticipated? When you walk off that stage, or are wheeled out of the hospital with that newborn baby? That deep, heavy sigh that occurs, almost unconsciously, when you realize you worried so much, for so long, for, essentially, nothing?

I spent most of my twenties in this spiral, practically hyperventilating over the details of my yet-to-be-solidified life, whether I’d find love, fulfillment, have children, own a home. The energy I put out could have easily powered a medium-sized city. And interviewing for jobs? Disney World, for at least a week.

I worried a lot. We humans worry a lot. We get something accomplished, and it’s onto the next. We meet a goal, and then make a new one. Never do we sit back and ‘let things happen’, or ‘Let Go, and Let God’, as the saying goes. As a matter of fact, I believe this is why we even have sayings like this. Because we never do these things on our own. We need to be reminded, to be preached to, to be calmed.

We throw pennies in fountains, wish on stars, bend over idols, and pray like the Dickens’. And once one scene closes, another curtain rises.

Many a book has ended with the main character walking off into the sunset, vowing to accept whatever fate has in store. Why do you think that is? Because we don’t want to wait for fate! We have better things to do. Like worry about fate.

We often don’t take stock of our happiness – right here in front of us, at this moment. We often lack the faith we need to get us through the day – and try to fill the gaping holes we create within ourselves with prayer and Xanax. Sometimes both.

This is how we live. This is our fuel.

We wish away the very times of our lives we spend a lifetime yearning to get back. We curse away our youths, then spend the rest of our lives trying to recapture them. We want nothing but to be successful and independent in our twenties, but do not realize, until it’s over, that we’ve unconsciously chased away one of the greatest, most memorable, most vibrant times of our lives.

So, why do we do it? Is it culture? Is it human nature? And is it useful?

I was told in college (many times, actually), that a certain measure of anxiety is actually a catalyst to achievement. And, thinking back to my dorm room days, holed up with a book and a highlighter, mere hours before an exam, I’d say this is true.

Had someone told me, when I was crying in my soup at twenty-three, that I would settle into a rather comfortable life, with a loving husband and three beautiful, intelligent, healthy children, I would have immediately responded, “Yeah, right!” But if – and this is a big if – I had heard that and taken it to heart, or had what some fine folks call ‘faith’, I may have enjoyed many more Friday nights, alone, on the couch, with Dateline and a buffalo chicken calzone. Which, now that I think of it, I may just have done.

And when you really think about it, the macro of our existence, the fact that we’re infinitesimally small in the face of time, Earth, and the universe, spilling coffee on your white capris seems a little silly, doesn’t it? Or eagerly anticipating one of those magical, milestone birthdays? (Eighteen and Twenty-One, I’m talking to you!)

It’s all a bit like standing in Times Square with the delusion that someone will notice you, or looking out at the stars without acknowledging the fact that you were, and will one day become, a speck of dust. Myopic.

In short, I think we need to stop worrying – about love, about success, about life, about the future. Put away the angst. Most of the time, you’re on the right track, doing the right thing, and when you’re not, the universe has its ways of knocking you off. Taste a tiny scoop of Buddha, and let physical things go. Chances are, you’ll be just as happy with ‘less’ as you are with ‘more’.

Things usually work out. Eventually. You just have to remember, when you’re busting your ass to meet a deadline, or trying to bench a hundred pounds, that you’re just a mammal, on a habitable planet, that someday (or, maybe even tomorrow) will become extinct.

If that doesn’t bring you a little peace and appreciation of the here and now, I don’t know what will.

Milky Way Over Crater Lake [Explore 07/09/13]

Milky Way Over Crater Lake [Explore 07/09/13] (Photo credit: Joe Parks)

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