This is where living the question starts to be a real daily challenge. I found myself starting to plot ahead what I would write and then…NOOOO…the idea was to live with the questions and respond accordingly.
So here it is, 4:02 in the afternoon, and I’m wondering just what question I have been living today. Finally decided to turn on the old computer and cue up the young Miranda Lambert and pour the young Merlot and try to determine just what old me is thinking about today behind the school prep and Song Pop and novel reading and making Cuban rice and beans.
Measuring. I want to think about measures. I want to release measures.
I already have for my personal life — well, at least in one aspect. I quit measuring my footsteps via Fitbit. I’ve gone out and walked just for fun and revelation and inspiration. Not really for exercise, let’s face it, although that’s a by-product.
I won’t buy any more apps that measure my time running or walking or which wines I’ve drunk. Enough.
I did check on one measure. Went to the TeenBiz website — our reading program — to see how my students did last month. Yes, I looked. And yes, they did fabulous.
Okay, so I haven’t given up measures.
I still need lists. That’s a measure, right? Crossing things off those lists is wonderfully satisfying, and always has been. My dad was a list maker. I feel I learned from the best, so I’m not likely to give up that measure.
Soon grades will be due and yes, that’s a measure. I will be checking to see if the assessment marks coincide with my observations. Yes, I’m a professional. That’s the way it’s done.
And we all know that I will get on the scale again, once my pants are looser or tighter.
I can give up a lot of things. But releasing the need to measure is tough in this world.
So, what is one small step in daring to be human in an uncomplicated way, without measuring my accomplishments?
Yeah. I have no idea how to answer that either. But it did lead me to Shakespeare.
He has this play called Measure for Measure. I looked up “famous quotes” from the play, and found this gem:
The miserable have no other medicine
But only hope (3.1.2)
I am quite certain measuring is about hope. Is measuring also about misery? Is it the only way to hope for something better? The lost weight? The increased reading scores? That somehow our life will be worthwhile if we can put it on the scale, collect data, and declare…something?
Yeah. I have no idea how I got there either. But I suspect that this year I will be getting a lot of this as I live the question.
So, the final answer to the question today about how to dare to be human? Stop the misery. Stop hoping for change. Stop relying on the measures.
Note to self: Do not leave the kitchen to write this blog when rice and beans are cooking, especially when you carry with you a big ol’ glass of red. Thank goodness I rescued in time.
Second Note to Self: Shakespeare will be my go-to guy from now on. Fair warning, readers.