One day last week, my activities had a clear purpose for a while. I had lost an old photo that I knew had been sitting around the kitchen. I had looked for it enough that I was trying to tell myself it was ok and I could stop looking. I'm not really good at the "stop looking" part though; I kept looking and found it.
While it was nice to have the photo back, finding it was a bit of a letdown. When I am searching for something, I know what my mission is. I will look for that item, think through various places it could be and, at times, get very upset about its lost status and/or the lack of organization that led to that lost status. I do, however, have a clear goal in mind. I like that.
When I find the missing item, when the small cosmos of that crisis dissolves, I am again at sea in the great unknown universe of life. It's easier to look for a picture. It's easier, I suppose, to become focused on a lot of things than to deal with the larger questions. I know that it can be somewhat painful to lose and look for something. I also know that it's very hard to feel like one's floating and has no direction.
I wonder what it would be like to have defined goals and to pursue them with the same determination I have when looking for a lost item. I know I'm not the only person who wishes she simply knew what she was supposed to do. It can be kind of overwhelming to try to figure it out.
We all go through our days, years, lives doing, well, stuff. I wonder how much of that "stuff" is undertaken with purpose and how much is undertaken to keep busy, to avoid the larger questions or because that's what we've always done. Life is complicated. Keeping busy is relatively easy. There is always something we can find to do.
I guess we can try to set up some small goals in life and work towards them. As we accomplish them, we can move on and set new ones. Maybe we don't have to figure out the whole meaning of life at one time. We can do our best, we can be kind. Hopefully we won't have to hide out in our busyness, our obsessions, seeking to shield ourselves from larger questions. Rather we can try to live into the answers, whatever they turn out to be.