I’ve recently had an epiphany about my expectations in life from my other half; the yang to my yin. I use this phrase, often, but when I consulted with the oracle (aka Google) I discovered that yin is characteristic of feminine and negative things and yang is masculine with a positive focus. This sense of balance is not static; but is constantly changing and yin and yang are interwoven. One cannot exist without the other.
My schedule needs to be filled with activity; his empty with nothingness. I am type A/ extrovert; he is type B/ introvert. I, the Democrat; he the Republican. Religious vs. secular; the list continues on… but my yang has been placed in my life for a reason. We sometimes walk our paths, separately, but amazingly seem to find common ground. I would not seek the whys of my religious doctrine without his questions. He would not push for more without my gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) prodding.
What I’ve arrived to is this. I need to lower my expectations of what life should be and he needs to raise his. It has taken us almost four years of transition, to get to this conclusion, with a lot of hills, valleys and a long plateau. But we have now gotten through the dry desert and are exploring the wild territory of the vast unknown. The state of the world will always be chaotic and unstable. We can all be gone with one nuclear warhead from North Korea, the economy can create havoc with our future or an earthquake can shake the foundations of all we own. But we walk this life, hopefully, with our own solid foundation of who we are and what we want to achieve out of it.
My yang wants prosperity and stability (who doesn’t?) from our life. I’d like the power of choice; to expand my mind. But most of all I crave stability and structure; for things to fall into place. If you work hard, you should be rewarded. If you will it; it shall be. I lament about silly things like: punctuality, a clean house, etiquette. But I also want more; the nebulous word which encompasses what? What exactly is more?
My, yin. is always searching for the elusive more. Usually the more connotates a lot of money but those of my friends, that do have the more. usually seek even more things to conquer: the bigger home, the fancier car, the latest and greatest techno gizmo, the illustrious career, the recognition for their contribution. For myself I just want the choice. But then I considered, what would my choices be? It’s a never ending cycle of searching for the one thing that will make you perfectly happy.
Thus I have arrived at my epiphany. I cannot expect others to want and feel the same as myself. This doesn’t mean that I should give up the things I want in life; not at all. It only means that I need to shift my focus and make the ordinary; extraordinary. Every day. I am learning to do more with less; a tough lesson to learn after always thinking the fix-it of all things is the almighty dollar. I used to deny to my husband that money is not everything and he always rebuts with the fact that you cannot do anything without it. Yes. Part of having choice is having the means to make it, and there are many people in the world who cannot make the very self-centered choices we first world countries make. There are many people out there that have to choose food and shelter first; above all things.
And so I embark on my journey to remember my life path; where it began and where it has taken me. I think this has been lurking in my subconscious for some time and it’s only in the growth of my children that it has been forced to the surface. The visual of watching my young sons change, before my very eyes, makes me remember those ages; things I’ve pushed to the back of my mind, forgotten. My id has become pronounced and a bit frantic. Both Dave and I see the window of parenting starting to narrow and we want to make the most of it and pass on what we feel is important before that window closes.
This brought my family of five to my childhood town. It has been on my mind and we have not visited it in two years. It was my hubby’s suggestion to finish our week of spring break on the central coast. But what would we do there? When he used his YELP app the reviews were not encouraging and after perusing them he finally believed me. Sitting in a local park did not a great vacation make.
Amidst the grumbling of sons who have not sat in front of their game consoles or computers for most of the week; this was worse than death. They envisioned a spring break of 12-16 hours of uninterrupted zombie- like bliss; lost in Minecraft shafts or Team Fortress. To take a road trip with no plans in mind? Why would we want to do that? I realized my sons are accustomed to having great vacations and imagined them as adults trying to have even better vacations searching for the elusive more.
And so we lowered our expectations. What we discovered is that, without the constant of activity, we still enjoy each other’s company. Without the bickering of whose turn it is and what to play; our sons learned to find simple things to pass the time. They jumped rope with a seaweed amongst the dunes. They ran around a local park in Solvang and trekked to a waterfall (more like trickle) on the outskirts. We moo’ed at cows and stared at the fog as we laid on the sand. I appreciated the beauty of growing up in this place: my verdant rolling hills, the fine white sand on an empty, windblown beach. I showed my hubby and sons my elementary, jr. high and high school and I let the memories return of the seventeen years I lived in this place; my childhood home. Nothing ties me to the area anymore besides my parents’ headstones. My closest childhood girlfriends live in cities too: two in LA & the other in Sacramento. But the unchanged beauty of the place will always draw me back here. I am glad my hubby chose to visit and understood why he chose it. It was important. I, now, know where I come from and thankfully, that person is still within me. What more do I need?