I can detach. I have had to at times. I’ve lived in Spain, China, Thailand, England and a variety of US states. Leaving has meant detaching from friends, not only during the days before facebook, or even e-mail. Detaching is often necessary in order to free up focus to attach in a new place, with new relationships, tasks and experiences.
But detachment is never comprehensive. There are always aspects of connection, all the more apparent since electronic social media expansion. As years accumulate, so do partial detachments. Midlife, then, is not just a rethink of what could have been etc., it is also a rethink of what needs to be more thoroughly detached vs. what has been neglected and needs attention. My crisis of focus during my sabbatical is on this puzzle.
I want simplicity, but I’m not ruthless. I hope that part of the reason is some degree of kindness and not just weakness. I care about most of the interrupted projects and relationships I’ve left scattered.
What I do know is that part of my inability to achieve simplicity at this point is lack of clarity of what is next and how to pursue it. My life is looking more like a bush than a tree. Branches shoot up and out from the ground in every direction. I want to be more like a tree with a trunk that raises the branches up; a central pillar of purpose and identity with diverse implications.
The next step toward that is too much like the last few steps. I think about getting through whatever is current, either by determination or delight, but delaying definition. After ________ I’ll focus.
As Christmas becomes the _________, I’ve decided to decide. I want to write. Writing is like language learning, you have to go through poor fluency to get to good fluency. And so, I will write and write and write. I need it, and if it ends up being fluent, all the better.