Ever feel like no matter what you do, what you want or how hard you try, you only go round and round in circles? Well, I do that when I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do.
First few times it happened in front of my wife, she tilted her head and scrunched her face. “Why do you do that?”
“You turned around in a complete circle.”
Years ago, my dad used to ask me the same thing, “Why do you go around in circles?”
What’s there to say? It just happens.
Most of my life is like that: it just happens.
It just happens that I was born on a snowy night in a modest farm house in an isolated village in mountainous south-central Italy. It just happens that my mom was attended by a local midwife who maybe squeezed the forceps a little too hard on my fragile skull.
It just happens that I have struggled with spastic hands, slightly slurred speech, and a heavy gait all my life.
My wife tells me I am one of a kind. I know she means that in a good way because she always adds that she could never have married some run-of-the-mill guy. Sometimes she gets angry and yells at me, and she expects me to pull my weight around the house, just like a regular person with no handicap.
I like that about her.
I’m finding that a big part of being married is dreaming together about the future. It could be about the immediate future, like where we want to go next on vacation, or the more distant future, like where we should live out our final years as a couple.
Mostly, my wife is like me, letting life just happen, only she likes to nudge its direction with a little planning.
This planning stuff is all new to me. Growing up with this condition of mine has hindered a good part of my independence. I’ve had to depend on my parents, siblings, and others for transportation, medical care, financial management, and the like.
Don’t get me wrong: I may not have a lot of schooling or know much about some basic life-management things, but I have never considered myself less worthy than anyone else.
Plus, I’m as strong as an ox and my voice booms when I’m ticked off, which can scare those who don’t know me and try to give me guff. Let me live my way, that’s my philosophy.
Anyway, like I was saying, I never much planned anything. I tried to get some things going but they didn’t work out. Like the chicken farm.
Or the time I opened an Italian confection and gift shop. We came up with a great name, Il Dolce Pensiero – the sweet thought. But… wrong location, bad local economy. I felt like a failure when we had to close up. Still do.
My wife says, “Big deal. Move on to the next thing.” I have a tough time letting go of bad feelings.
Lately, I’ve been wanting to make some sense of things I’ve seen and gone through. Must be some kind of reckoning that goes along with getting older. Who knows.
So for the next few weeks I’m going to relate some random thoughts that have popped up as I wander through this crazy world of ours. Stay tuned. Or not.