Once in a Lifetime continued

I googled Once in a Lifetime (the song, not my post) and came across this comment on the meaning of it:

I have thought about this in a number of different ways, probably depending on where I was in my own life when I was thinking about it. Today, this is what I think it means:

We (human beings) take the acquisition of material possessions so seriously that it becomes what we work for.  Meanwhile, time continues to pass and, one day, we realize that we have just worked solely to obtain these things and neglected to enjoy our lives.  If we do this, the material things become our definition of who we are.  What happens, then, if these things are lost?  We no longer have the identity that we have blindly created by collecting “things” and we don’t know who we really are.

The water flowing is the passage of time, which is the constant.  We get one chance to make life meaningful so we must be smart about it, examine our choices and decide what will bring us real joy and contentment.  If we continue doing what we think is expected of us in this life, without examining our choices, we may miss the things, people, events that would have really brought our life meaning.

So true, so very true. I admit that sometimes I have a tendency to over-think things and in the process “bleed all over the carpet” as Steve, an old, cantankerous friend of ours, used to say. But I am of the opinion that we should be constantly mindful of how we live our lives; we need to pay attention goddammit! I am aware that there’s a fine line between reflection and navel-gazing but I do need to get this off my chest.

In a nutshell, I think that the Durban house had a part in defining me when I lived there, and now that we are selling the house, I’m confronted by the realisation that I’m not that person anymore. So who am I? Ergo, existential crisis!I found this on Wikipedia and thought it made a lot of sense; I particularly liked the last paragraph:

An existential crisis is often provoked by a significant event in the person’s life — marriage, separation, major loss, the death of a loved one, a life-threatening experience, a new love partner, psychoactive drug use, adult children leaving home, reaching a personally-significant age (turning 20, turning 30, turning 40, etc.), etc. Usually, it provokes the sufferer’s introspection about personal mortality, thus revealing the psychological repression of said awareness.

An existential crisis may resemble anomie (a personal condition resulting from a lack of norms) or a midlife crisis. Sometimes, an existential crisis stems from a person’s new perception of life and existence.

When a person faces the paradox of believing his or her life is important whilst thinking that human existence is meaningless and without purpose, cognitive dissonance occurs, overcoming many innate psychological and cultural defence mechanisms.

Analogously, existentialism posits that a person can and does define the meaning and purpose of their life, and therefore must choose to resolve the crisis of existence.

So, you’ll be relieved to hear that my existential crisis has been averted; or rather I’ve chosen to distract myself from it as well as doing a bit of anchoring, isolating and sublimating.

“What the bloody hell is she on about now?” Let me illuminate, thanks to Wikipedia again:

Peter Wessel Zapffe, a Norwegian philosopher, provided, in his work The Last Messiah, a fourfold route that he believed all self-conscious beings use in order to cope with the inherent indifference and absurdity of existence, comprising Anchoring, Isolation, Distraction, and Sublimation:

  • Anchoring is the “fixation of points within, or construction of walls around, the liquid fray of consciousness”. The anchoring mechanism provides individuals with a value or an ideal that allows them to focus their attentions in a consistent manner. Zapffe also applied the anchoring principle to society, and stated “God, the Church, the State, morality, fate, the laws of life, the people, the future” are all examples of collective primary anchoring firmaments.
  • Isolation is “a fully arbitrary dismissal from consciousness of all disturbing and destructive thought and feeling”.
  • Distraction is when “one limits attention to the critical bounds by constantly enthralling it with impressions”. Distraction focuses all of one’s energy on a task or idea to prevent the mind from turning in on itself.
  • Sublimation is the refocusing of energy away from negative outlets, toward positive ones. The individual distances him / herself and looks at their existence from an aesthetic point of view (e.g. writers, poets, painters).

Well, I has a PRO-JEK! I have thrown caution to the wind and bought a wooden cottage for Kho, the chap who works for me on the farm. It will be my cottage but for his use while he is an employee of mine. At the moment he is staying on my neighbour’s property. There will be lots to do over the coming months, I have to get water and electricity / solar energy to the cottage, furnish and decorate it, plan a garden around it – I’m so excited. No time to dwell on the “liquid fray of consciousness” I’m afraid.

It doesn’t mean, however, that I shan’t be mindful of this beautiful place that I find myself in or the fact that I’m no longer a Musgrave Mummy.

Moving on:

Why did the ducks cross the road? To get to the other side!

Seen on the way to Nottingham Road. Why did the ducks cross the road? To get to the other side!

my very first crop of apples

my very first crop of apples

His Nibs, cheeky little bugger, seeing off a weaver

His Nibs, cheeky little bugger, seeing off a weaver





This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Once in a Lifetime continued

  1. Lex says:

    Memories are the only thing of value that we have in our lives.Even the bad times are good. Sounds like a song from way back.
    Think about wind power.

    • Cathy says:

      yes, we have a lot of wind here – am going to try and make this cottage as eco-friendly as possible without compromising Kho’s living conditons – unfortunatley eco-friendly = lotsa money!

  2. John Brewer says:

    Every ending is a new beginning, every closed door has a knob to open another…..or something like that. Probably Bob Dylan said it.
    Off to Sri Lanka tomorrow for 10 days with work…pass on my best wishes to Peter

  3. Marl Muggeridge says:

    Cathy, am moved by your courage and honesty, keep it up – big love to you and your new life. And those photos are excellent – making the most of your new camera.
    Best wishes x

    • Cathy says:

      I find it so reassuring when I see your name next to a comment. Thank you for all your encouragement. How is your new life going? Is your profile pic a self portrait – I love it. Keep the creative juices flowing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s