Just finished watching the brilliant Hugh Laurie as Dr. House for a couple of hours. It was a rerun, which I have seen part of before. He's in the psych ward, and of course he doesn't want to be there and doesn't think he should have to stay. Problem is, the Dr. in charge thinks Dr. House needs to get better from the ailments he chooses to ignore, and won't sign the dotted line to let House go back to practicing medicine unless he stays in the ward for treatment. House of course fights this by conniving one twisted plan after another to be surprisingly unbearable, hoping that if he persists in resisting long enough, they'll give up and give in to what he wants. His game is a bargaining game. It's a game of trade-offs and denials. He's pretty terrible - I think I would've given up on him and sent him packing with all the unforgivable stunts he pulled in two hours (between commercial breaks).
The breakthrough moment comes when he stops trying to get out. Things aren't perfectly fixed, but once he figures out that he needs help and takes the action that proves he knows where help comes from, he gets to go home. He goes home when he's not even asking for it. House still has a long way to go, but he's stopped with the dragging of the feet. Once he quits tugging on the leash, he gets to walk with out it.
Boy did I see myself in that fictional television character tonight. I am very rebellious to being tied down. I want to march to the beat of my own impulsive drum. I want to go across the country. I want to do this job or that. I want to go to school for this or for that. I want to fill every waking hour with tasks large and trivial that fill every moment, and then I want to quit it all. Nobody makes me do anything - I do what I want! It looks pretty good sometimes, but all in all I think it feels pretty chaotic from the inside.
I want to embrace the ordinary. It's within a compilation of ordinary moments that the extraordinary happens, and I want to be there to witness it. Extraordinary is always tied to commitment -- days of plodding on and on along the same path with sweat dripping and bloody blisters and maybe some tears or squabbles about whether or not we're following the right directions on the map. Can also mean getting bored and wanting to quit and go back the other way. Might include ignoring nagging doubts that the reward at the end isn't going to make the painstaking climb all worth the while. Embracing the ordinary is acceptance and enjoyment of where we are. Making the most of every opportunity. Even appreciating cliche but true sayings such as, 'Bloom where you're planted.'
I want to give up my silly notions of the extraordinary or remarkable lifestyle that I think I somehow deserve and it must be waiting around the corner if I just angst hard enough. I want to lay it down on the altar and receive the peace of accepting the pleasant places where the lines are drawn for me. But is it really genuine? Because there's always that persistent hope that if I learn to love my leash ... maybe someday I'll be allowed to run without it.
"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."