Declared redundant

The pressure builds, the atmosphere shrinking, pressing.  High-altitude breathing, gasping to tease out the combo of airs that will sustain.

Only in the last year or so did I hear the expression “made redundant,” which is the equivalent of the US “laid off.”

To be laid off is a shunting aside, a putting away, but still along the stream of the action.  To be made redundant says that the purpose is gone, done, over, shoved away from the stream.

Coming on two years ago I was made redundant.  …  That day was my 53rd birthday.  Guess what I got for my birthday?!  Laid off!

The first three months after that I worked like a fiend, creating a garden where there was once an ugly and useless expanse of lawn that only highlighted the asphalt just beyond.  I hauled cubic yards of soil with a shovel, placed according to the design in my head.  Plants that had languished in pots of all sizes were transplanted into fresh soil kept damp by the 45-degree drizzle that was my companion for those three months.

Being outdoors keeps my soul intact, keeps the Me from flying apart and getting lost in the press of humanity and paving.   The more disturbed the weather, the happier I am.  I often wonder if it has something to do with the barometric pressure equalizing with my own internal pressure.

I have trudged along on Nordic skis directly into the 30 mph wind full of wet snow that coats the parts of my face not covered by fleece, head bowed to keep from being blinded.  I have sailed in and out of a boat slip in the blowing snow, cold-nipped hands hanging on at the bow working the jib sail.  I have paddled for my life in my 17-foot ocean kayak in 3-foot waves and long swells that pushed me away from the shelter of the shore I sought.  I have dug snow caves to take shelter during sub-zero nights.

I understand those privations, my gut knows how to respond.  I know how to dress, understand that the weather dictates my coverings, and that Nature will kill me if I am not vigilant.  It is like turning your back on the ocean while beachcombing–rogue waves come along as they are dictated to do by far-off disturbances and sweep into all in their paths.

Now, in my city-life, I feel confused and overwhelmed, not knowing which way to turn to solve the redundancy.  I want to slink away from the concrete and human crush and lose myself in the elements that I understand.  I am shrinking against the pressures and I wonder if it is to end in my end.  I have lost sight of the path.  I have tried many different paths and am very tired.  Am I all in, finally?

I’m a few months shy of 55, not old, but redundant in the culture of earned money.  This house I have so lovingly carved myself into was supposed to be my savings account for my future, but now I can’t see how that will happen.   Now, I look calculatingly at the extensive created landscaping and wonder if we’ve added some perceived value to this little house that is perhaps redundant to me.

Now, working with my hands–in the garden or at concrete and mosaics–keeps the Me from disintegrating; that’s it.  At times, the disabilities of my physical self exclude me from those endeavors.  Then,  my head starts to pulse with the pressures until I’m sure I will implode.

Redundant?  How can there be too many of me?

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. TheIdiotSpeaketh
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 10:51:46

    First of all, I hope that years from now I can write half as well you do. I can totally relate to what you are saying here. Finding yourself suddenly disabled, like I did, suddenly made me redundant to much of the world. I have dealt with many of the same emotions that you talk about in this post. As you know, I too often question whether the path I am on is truly leading me anywhere. I am horribly cliche’d but all I know is that you will never get to that place you are yearning for if you stop walking down a path, any path. I’m going to keep walking and hope I find the right path, I hope you will join me. Just know you are not alone. :)


    • lahgitana
      Oct 26, 2011 @ 19:58:27

      Firstly, thank you for that lovely compliment. Writing keeps me sane.

      Remember that I told you that your posts have struck chords in me? Standing Still unblocked the floodgates and made all that come to the surface at last. Trudging along, knowing how tough things are… but sometimes I just have to blow a gasket.

      It did not used to help me to think I wasn’t alone, but now it does, so thank you for the kind invitation, Mark. Let’s see what happens next!


  2. minlit
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 11:00:39

    It seems to be the week to recommend this book:
    Novice to Master by Soko Morinaga.


    • lahgitana
      Oct 26, 2011 @ 20:01:13

      I looked up the book–the subtitle made me laugh out loud: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of My Own Stupidity. Thank you! (Mark, if you’re reading this, you may also be interested in the book!)

      It has been a rough week for many people. I wonder why?

      Thank you for chiming in. >:-D


  3. Trackback: four springtimes for my lilac to recover | Rockin' the Purple!

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