Do you remember that movie from the '90s about the short kid who wanted to play football for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish? Well, if I were going to belong to any particular religion, it would be one lead by that guy.
And no, I'm not trying to make fun of other people's beliefs. I'm simply trying to find my own place in this world. Call it being conceived by two flower children on one very magical New Year's Eve, or whatever. I also think that the streetlight outside my house is possessed, so that may tell you something.
Besides, isn't it typical for people my age -- those of us in mid-life whose bodies are slowly deflating -- to start contemplating the big questions in life? Why are we here? What purpose do we serve? And what happens to us when we die? I wonder this because those are the types of things that have been inundating my brain lately.
You hit 40/45, and your mortality suddenly becomes an issue. It even says so in the "Diagnosis Dictionary" on Psychology Today: "Mortality and the idea that time is running out can leave a middle-aged person feeling discontented and restless. Often, a 40- to 60-year-old may have a need to reassess life and its meaning."
Then you have a recurring nightmare of being trapped inside a box with someone tapping on the outside whispering, "It's dark in there, huh? And you ain't never getting out..." which then causes you to start losing your damn mind.
I know it's normal because I'm not the only one. It's happening to my husband as well. He has become obsessed with watching documentaries about the universe on the Discovery Channel. Like a typical man though, he enjoys the ones that are a little more on the "be prepared, the Earth is going to explode at any second" side, and it drives me nuts.
So I say to him, "Do we have to watch things that are so violent and disturbing? I'm not sure I'm ready to be vaporized just yet." When he ignores me, I simply go upstairs and turn on "House Hunters International" instead. It's nice to know that some things never change. You can't get a one-bedroom apartment in Paris for under a million dollars, and if you move to Croatia, you'll be living like a king -- until they have an earthquake, and your house falls down. I saw those cracks in the foundation.
Life is crazy. For instance, I was in the car the other day and the guy on the radio was talking about the Church of the Jedi. Have you heard about this? I must be living under a rock, because I hadn't. No matter, I googled it when I got home.
The followers of the Church of the Jedi believe that there is one, all-powerful force that binds everything in the universe together, as in "may the force be with you," as in Star Wars, as in "haven't we heard that premise somewhere before?"
So then I thought, well shoot, if anybody can make up a religion, why can't I? So I did. It's in the title of this article -- the Church of Rudy -- and it's going to be based on the same principles that we see exhibited by the main character in the movie -- self-assurance, determination, perseverance and the propensity to work hard.
"Oh, is that right?" you say. "Well, no one's going to be part of your stupid church. It's lame." That's OK. Think what you want. As far as I'm concerned, I'm the only person that matters anyway. We all die alone. My only wish: to have my cats on my lap as I take my last breath. I won't count on it though. Cats do what cats wanna do.
When it comes down to it, I believe that I am who I am because of my attitude, my actions and my relationships with other people and creatures on this planet, that's it. I won the "Best Recycler Award" back in grade seven because I collected a crapload of newspapers with this girl named Diane. That was before they picked them up at the curb. And yeah, our hands did get really, really dirty.
Also, I take responsibility for my mistakes. Like when I accidentally backed into my neighbour's car last week while pulling out of my driveway, I told them that it was my husband who did it. It's our money that paid to fix it, so what's the difference?
When I contemplate what is yet to come -- you know, when I think about the "afterlife" -- well...I try not to. The next 40 to 50 years are going to be tough enough. As simple as I am, I can barely think and drive in tandem. Hell, I can barely think -- perimenopause.
For me, it's one moment, one day, one conscious effort, one good deed, one kind word, one sink full of dishes and one R. Kelly song at a time. Hey, I know the guy's a bit of a slime ball, but his music can get a person through almost anything -- bad sex. Don't ask me how I know that. I just do.