Day 244 — Forcing

ForcingThis is the time of year when we force flowers to bloom around us indoors, because we need the comfort and can’t wait for spring.

I look forward to buying paperwhite narcissus bulbs, white stones and some pots. Even with a minimal amount of water and attention you get flowers on your desk or table pretty quickly, as well as the pungent odor that announces their maturity.

I have never liked calling this process “forcing.” Surely, it would be better to call it “coaxing,” or “enticing” or “accelerating.”

Except for perhaps a tiny minority, no one likes to be forced. Do they?

By far, I am happiest when exercising my will through the power of no. If it is not to my liking, I simply refuse to do something. But using that negative force requires that someone, somewhere, initiate something that I can slam my veto stamp down upon or merely walk away from.

Whether a process is fluid, natural and mutual or is a matter of domination depends on free will, which I feel I have precious little of these days.

I don’t want to be forced to take a job that is beneath my talents and salary history, but to pay my bills I have to. I don’t want to have to write and rewrite my resume to the point that it is a challenge to find the actual, verifiable truth in there, but I am forced to by the brutal job market.

I don’t want to go back and contact people in my past in the nearly futile hope one will lead me to a job, but circumstances force me to.

I don’t want to be forced to move out of the house so that my ex husband and I no longer have to share the house, but it is the only plausible step ahead in this agonizing process of splitting up.

This week, the week I’m off kid duty, I decided to spend my time someplace else, which means that I’m not seeing my children as much as before. That will change, however, when I’m back on kid-duty this Sunday. This new arrangement forces clarity on how I spend my precious time with them.

In order to pay the bills, I probably will be forced to rent the apartment I’ve been living in, forcing me to pack and move my belongings.

The narcissus bulb doesn’t know it is being forced, but I do. It just knows it is being brought to life so it can flower. Perhaps, in time, this painful interregnum between households will bring me beauty in sight and scent.

For now, however, all I feel is force.

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