After a Saturday filled with conflicting emotions about PRIDE weekend and the sad truth that so many people are still left out, yesterday was a day that just sucked. The weather was beautiful and warm, I did get out for a little while since Hal was at work. The main thing that I did was to deal with comments made by “friends” about my PRIDE and Prejudice Weekend post. I don’t want to get into that right now, perhaps in another day or two once I gain some perspective on things.
To say that the weekend seems to have vanished without a trace is an understatement. Sometimes we just lose track of time and we feel that we have been cheated. I used to feel that way until I began to realize that the feeling is trying to tell me something and that I need to listen closely. Taking time to meditate and concentrate is never wasted. This is a valuable lesson I learned the hard way. I used to live for the weekends, nothing mattered except getting through the week on the job so I could run myself ragged and then regret the time that had passed. Now, I still enjoy the weekend, but I have a different perspective on things. I still struggle with the feeling that I didn’t do enough to make the weekend memorable, but I am getting better about that. I find that I can enjoy the silence and focus internally and find pleasure in that. For so many reasons, the thought of going into DC for PRIDE never entered my mind. I have a life here with Hal and it was not pleasant the time that I did forsake my pledge and went into town to meet up with friends. While everyone else was having a great time, I was too busy thinking about how Hal was doing at work to focus on what went on around me. I found myself wondering if The Stooges were doing OK while the “friends” were ogling the eye-candy all around them.
The people in the group were all talking about the things that they were looking for to make their futures happier. I realized that I already had those things and I quickly become bored with listening to them. Hal and I had grown apart from them for many reasons, but I had not wanted to let things go so easily. That PRIDE weekend years ago convinced me that it was time to move on and be happy with my life as it is, because I didn’t have reason to want anything other than what I had already found. I realized that it wasn’t the atmosphere of PRIDE, which is wonderful for the most part if you suspend reality for a few days to ignore the fact that so many people still are being hurt and oppressed within the community that is supposed to be celebrating its freedom. The truth is that the people Hal and I had hung out with were toxic, they were never truly happy and seemed to take great pleasure in trying to bring others down to their level of misery as often as possible.
So many times, Hal and I got together with these people and never thought about the real issues that were driving them. The sad truth was that they would pick out a sacrificial victim from the group and spend time criticizing that person under the guise of “helping” them. It finally became obvious that Hal and I were not that easy to pick on because we presented a united front to block their criticism. I cannot say that we were innocent of talking about others however, and I am ashamed of that. Eventually I began to defend the person being singled out, and this caused great friction within the group. It did not mean that the person I would defend became some great new friend because they probably considered that my action was part of some bigger game that was being played on them, and that is a shame.
As Hal and I drifted apart physically and emotionally from these people, we grew closer to each other. Our lives got better and theirs stayed roughly the same. As we moved from place to place within the DMV, they stayed in the same place, kept the same routines, and they stagnated. We all grew older, but Hal and I managed to get out of the game zone.
And now, weekends are still my refuge, but not in the same way. I no longer care about getting together with the people who we have drifted apart from. I know that the time is my own while Hal is at work, but that means I can use it to make things better for both of us. At times, that means that I use the time to simply relax. That is my new normal and I suppose that this weekend my comments brought those people from the past into my present for a little while. They reached back from the past and dredged up all the old stuff that had been buried and almost forgotten. It wasn’t pleasant for me, and I let it take a toll that wasn’t necessary on me. This Monday I vow to never let that happen to me again.
I have more than enough for a full life here and now. Once the workday is over, I will take Hal to work and then pick him up later in the evening. While Hal is at work I have a chiropractor appointment and then I might go to pick up the new license plates for the Fiesta at the dealer since they are open until 2100. That trip might not happen because of the traffic between here and the dealer, if that is the case then it becomes a top priority for tomorrow after work. Other than those things there is dinner to be prepared and The Stooges to be cared for. If I can find the time, I will also practice on my guitar. It isn’t the most glamorous or exciting life, but it is mine and I am very proud of all that Hal and I have accomplished over our 17 years together. I will take what we have any day over the way things used to be.
I think that is the key to being happy in life. Weekends will come and go, but the important things last through each and every day. Learning to enjoy each one of the days is the important thing.