The other day when I was attempting to turn left off a main drag, I was in an unusually jovial mood, apparently. Instead of being offended by having to wait until an approaching Speedy Gonzales passed, driving at least twice the posted speed limit, I chuckled to myself that he was a man on a mission. After pausing briefly to speculate as to what it might be, it dawned on me that each of us has a daily theme or goal, whether or not we're aware of it.
Lately, my mission has been to make it through the day- to get from point A (May 19) to point B (May 20). That's it. The theme? Survival.
OK, is that the way I really want to live my life? (Granted, I'm usually driving well within the speed limit given such a mundane mission. I pose no threat to society from behind the wheel!)
How do Joseph Campbell's bliss followers go about their days? Do they groan and grumble when the alarm goes off in the morning?
Today the child and I had a mission, at least in the morning. I awakened very early, without an alarm, and noticed with surprise that the child was still sound asleep. On the days when school is his resented agenda, he is outrageously difficult to remove from bed, but today is Saturday! So I whispered the words "yard sale" and he sat bolt upright in bed, smiling from ear to ear.
Less than five minutes later we were in the car, on our way to an annual neighborhood-wide yard sale in a very hip part of town. Treasures would surely abound, and I drove with a sense of purpose, barely lawful.
Now we're back home after a successful shopping spree (I got shoe organizers for $.50 total and he got a pair of really nice brand new speakers for his iPod for $2.00) and now I am searching for a mission for the remainder of the day.
My neighbor just came over, bursting at the seams with news. He had warded off two juvenile delinquents last night who ran through my property, upsetting the trash can, yard waste containers and everything else in their path. He actually shot at them with a BB gun.
Since I must not have seemed impressed enough with that story, he went on to tell me that once he had fatally shot a squirrel in the head with the same BB gun. This particular man, I must admit, does have an agenda, one which remains constant from one day to the next. He is a God-fearing, gun-wielding man who believes in controlling his environment to the point of killing wildlife. He is forever mowing grass, hacking branches, spraying insecticides, fertilizing, clipping, weed-wacking, you name it. He is never at rest.
So I guess I do have a mission: to live and let live. I would never kill a squirrel; I hand feed them peanuts. I will continue to appall people like my neighbor with my overgrown jungle-like landscaping which provides habitat for the very animals he wants to shoot. And every so often I'll throw in a yard sale for extra kick.