on fixing what’s broken

And letting be what is not.

The hardest part is deciding which is which. Choosing what to excise, considering what is worth keeping. It seems like it should be easy, no, simple. But if there is one thing I have learned in my almost 50 years of life, it is that very few things are simple.We want answers where none exist, permanence where there is only temporary, stability where there is only change. Constant, continual change.

It’s can be hard to keep up. Hard to let go of old habits and possessions and comforts. There is always the possibility that you will get it wrong. The potential for regret. I’m not a fan of regret.

And some of it comes down to actually attempting to change who you are. To overcome your own weaknesses and turn them into something resembling strengths. Part of me wonders if it is even possible. I am not an overly-organized sort of person, my desk is always, always a scattered mess of papers, I put paperwork off to the very last minute, I procrastinate about doing things that need, truly NEED, to be done.

There are smaller things in my life that have needed fixing for years. Literally years. Some days I stop and I wonder how this happens. The door that still doesn’t close quite right, the shower spout that needs replacing. The window I never open because the screen needs repair. These are all things I know how to do, yet, somehow, they never manage to be done.

All things I want to change, things I have attempted to change over and over again. And almost always, I have failed. Am I attempting the impossible? If I’m simply not wired to be a certain way, should I just live with the way things are?

Except. I’m not happy with the way they are.

So the quest continues. New resolutions are made. Habits are battled. The square peg that I am becomes a bit more worn around the edges, slowly evolving into roundness. Very slowly. Shape-shifting is a difficult thing.

Perhaps that is because deep down, I’m perfectly fine with being square. Actually, more than fine with it, glad of it.

However, the world I live in is round.

And so, I compromise. It seems to be a matter of survival. I learn as I go along, and hopefully don’t make the same mistakes too often. I struggle with my imperfections, my inability to be the kind of person I am not. I find ways to work around it, ways to be who I am and still live in the world that exists.

But it takes a lot of effort and energy and time. Time I would rather be spending otherwise. My aptitudes lie in other places. But I am realizing, as age chips away at the time I have left, that getting better at fixing and maintaining and discarding will, in the long run, give me more of the kind of time that matters.

I just have to keep working on sanding down those square edges, getting them to fit into the places I need to be, at least on the surface.

Of course, in my heart and my head, I will always be square.

And I will always be fine with that.

I can’t help it, it’s who I am.

10 Responses to “on fixing what’s broken”

  • Debi Says:

    i’ll be back. this requires thinking. xoxo

  • vicki Says:

    who you are helps the world go round… i’m so enjoying your thoughtful, well-written pieces! thank you… 🙂

  • Michael Says:

    I am so glad you are still square in this round world; I wouldn’t want you to fit snugly and comfortably, where there is no wiggle room for wonder.

  • Kathryn Dyche Dechairo Says:

    I can so relate to feeling like a square peg in a world of round holes. Perfectly expressed.

  • Pat Byers (Tilda) Says:

    when you learn this secret of life, share it with me. on occasion i decide i will become a more quiet person, less spontaneous, less exuberant. i will sit quietly and watch in silence and not share. i never quite achieve any of it. it is not who i am. yet in rare days, i think it would be a choice. indeed, it takes a lot of effort, energy and time to be NOT who we are.

  • missing moments Says:

    It is the way the world should be … being comfortable with oneself. You state it so well!

  • Nana Says:

    We love who you are ……….

  • Alma Says:

    A few thoughts I had while reading this:

    -If things truly *need* to be done, they will eventually happen because we won’t have any other choice. I believe life supports us in making the choices we need to make happen.
    -Sometimes, we are aware of things that need to change–and feel unhappy that the conditions exist that require that change. But that doesn’t mean some part of us isn’t holding on to it for dear life–often without us even knowing it.
    -Sometimes, we are our square selves because it’s all we’ve ever known–but it isn’t necessary ours to claim. So often, us–the square us–comes from others…either directly or as an act of rebellion.

    A story:
    For 26 years of my life, I lived in poverty. The last 6, I was college educated and had a good job. I was still poor and desperately trying to make it all work. And I was angry. I blamed that neighborhood and its desperation for keeping me stuck. But the reality was that I had evolved to expect poverty in all facets of my life. I would get angry and vow to my mother that I was going to leave. I knew that place did nothing for me. I knew it was unhealthy to stay. But I still did, year after year–though I sincerely wanted…and needed to leave.

    Three weeks after she died, I spent 1 day looking for an apartment and rented the first one I saw. I left that place and didn’t look back for a whole year. I started visiting it again this year, and I realized that the place I lived wasn’t what kept me stuck. It was me, and that small part of me that didn’t want to be different. It was me and the lessons I learned and the issues I inherited. It was all I ever knew about anything that mattered. Leaving has changed me in crazy ways to the extent that no one I grew up with recognizes me anymore. I don’t feel like I belong in either place–I’m neither square or round. I’m a triangle. But, for the first time, no matter where I am…I’m me. And I’m exactly where I need to be. And I got here just in time.

  • emma Says:

    square is good.

  • rhayne Says:

    You give me strength. I often feel like a square peg in this round, very round world. Still trying to find my way, and the road is a long one.

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