Since about December 30th, I've been relentlessly insisting that 2009 will be "the year of abundance." So far, so very, very good: my genius sister placed first in a national playwriting competition, Jam Guy has with abundant energy replaced the roof on our greenhouse and built us a bed, Surfrunner welcomed a new baby nephew, I passed my boards and can start planning to start my practice. We are making new friends and enriching old friendships. Oh! And this afternoon, after like six months of applying to practically every single job I qualify for within a half-hour's drive because sitting at home not working is messing with my head, I started a part-time temp job at a county land preservation agency that's a ten-minute bike ride away--not a dream job, but exactly what I need in these months while I'm building a practice, and anyways in this economy a proffered job is a bird in the hand that I would be foolish to let go.
Meanwhile all the other manifestations of abundance that came into being in 2008 and in prior years are still novel to me: being engaged to someone so remarkable and kind and fun to hang out with, living in a home that is everything I want in a home, living in an area that is a phenomenal balance of rural and citified, landing in a career that makes me look forward to working.
In traditional Chinese medicine, all emotions taken to an extreme are pathological. It's easy to see how things like anger, grief, and anxiety can harm a person. But even joy is pathological when there is too much of it, when there is constant joy and no moments apart from it for quiet contemplation; joy as opposed to contentment, say, without a break from it, is not much to complain about but does overstimulate, exhaust. It is said to slow down the qi--a good example is the person who's constantly partying or seeking the next party, who however tends not to provide the most focused or logical conversation.
Again, it is not much to complain about, and I am not complaining. But in the last couple of years I've gone from a lot of despair to a lot of bliss , and there is a definite and necessary adjustment period. Adjusting to happiness is a very, very good situation to be in, even if it means I haven't slept well since getting my pass notice and have been all scatterbrained and underfocused. I am almost certain that this state of insomniac spaced-out-ness is a symptom of the deep, hard-to-reconcile contrast between my past and my present--the way that when you manage to stop a vehicle hurtling towards certain destruction, you get whiplash, but your gratitude at being alive at all makes the temporary ache so entirely bearable.