I’ve come to realize that expectations and reality never really seem to cross paths for longer than a few steps. The result of something is usually a jumbled mess of expectations and plans and the actions regarding both. Examples abound even for the simplest of tasks. One that comes to mind for me was a simple job. I wanted to make a photocopy of a painting I saw in a library book. I walk up to the photocopier and realize I don’t have any change, nor do I have a library card to load money. I ask to break a twenty dollar bill but the librarian doesn’t have the proper amount of change. I place the book on the counter and ask her to watch it, while I run across the street and break my twenty. When I come back, I grab my book and flip to my page and turn to see a line has now formed at the machine. No harm no foul, however, when Jimmy, Sally, Pippy, and Dave have finished with their copies, the machine has no more toner and my simple, expected task of making a copy of a painting I enjoyed, turned into what can only be described as a “clusterfuck.” There also was one of my first jobs that was meant to be simple and to spare you the gruesome details I will say I didn’t play the angle right and the mess was almost beyond repair. The term clusterfuck also comes to mind most often when a group sets out to accomplish something and it isn’t always a negative thing if the majority of that group has a sense of humour. Every day of my life seems to fit on the clusterfuck spectrum. There’s the time I spend thinking about you, the time I spend thinking about my choices with regard to you, the time I spend thinking about the most recent job, the time I spend thinking about the future job, the time I spend thinking about all of the past and future jobs, and the time I spend trying to push all of those thoughts away and escape from this unexpected reality. So, yes, if that’s not a clusterfuck in some form then I don’t know what is.
With respect to the work I have done, the expectations versus the reality of a lifetime come to mind and by extension the definition of a lifetime. I will argue until my own end that because of my actions, lifetimes have ended too soon. But then I am forced to ask – most likely because there is a part of me that tries to paint me as a victim and not a villain – have these lifetimes ended before they were meant to? What is the true definition of a lifetime? Is it the expected average for our culture or the reality of each individual situation? On average we are meant to live into our 70’s and 80’s. Individually, we know this is not often the case. And that brings me to the dilemma I face and one of my conclusions is no matter what age we live to (and no matter how we go) we are all one lifetime old. We are here for our lifetime and then we are not. I don’t deserve reprieve but this helps ease my burden somewhat, because I feel as though maybe I’m not having any impact on the magic of the future as I spoke about previous. Maybe things are working out the way they work out because that is just the way they worked out based on the dynamic set of decisions, choices, circumstances, life intersections and butterfly wing flaps. I’ll never conclusively subscribe to this, but in the clusterfuck of my life and mind and expectations and the reality that is the outcome of it all, I have pondered “maybe” so I can extend my lifetime by another hour.