March 28, 2013

Middle Age and All That Stuff

Here’s the thing, the thing I’ve been pondering the last couple weeks.  Maybe it’s more like one thousand twenty-two things I’ve been pondering.  I am a mess with ideas and concepts and philosophies and trying to make sense of this feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I wonder if it’s because I am a mom with kids who are doing more and more on their own.  I thought I had already gotten used to that.  But I now realize the rest of my life will be a road of my children more and more on their own, needing me less, me needing them more, even though I want more of myself too. 


You know, they, the people behind the curtain, say that artists who reinvent themselves succeed.  I always wondered if that was well, stupid, and now I wonder if it’s more of a key to success in life.  Maybe we should all don a new hairstyle every few years, when we get too used to styling it that we don’t even remember what it looks like. 


Maybe we should change our job, buy new underwear and live in a different income bracket.  Maybe we would be so much less ignorant of the world around us.  Maybe we would see ourselves differently and so would other people.  And maybe we would know at the end of the day exactly what remained, what was at our very core and couldn’t be changed about us, who we really are. 


Maybe we just want to run away from things to find we are at a different beginning, that looks exactly the same as the last new beginning.


Yep, I’m swimming in all this, and I’ve had fun things happen in the last few weeks, but I haven’t been able to really enjoy them.  I don’t usually mull over things to the extent that they make me sad or cry.  But I feel this place in my life is the same.  I need a change, but it’s different because all the characters are new.  My kids are bigger versions of themselves, full of ideas they never had before.  They can verbalize things I had to guess at before.  They are my friends sometimes.  And then they are immature the next minute.  It’s confusing.  I feel myself running towards 40.  It’s imminent, and I feel like it’s a chance to make something better of myself.  Maybe to sleep better.  I haven’t slept well since I had kids or maybe it was since I got married.  Maybe it’s just time to sleep. 


I see now my husband has gotten older too.  He doesn’t look older to me much, but I sometimes think about his age and wonder how we got here.  Weren’t we just young and meeting for the first time? 


A whole lifetime has filled up the years between then and now with friends that have come and gone and stayed in touch, different cities, different countries, good years, hard years, famine, feast, all that.  It’s been said before, but it’s happened to me now.  I’m starting to look at the next years of my life and wonder what they’ll be like.  My 30’s were full of necessity.  Every movement was purposeful and urgent.  There were very few simple or relaxing moments.  They were all full of appointments, nights awake, worry about this or that, finishing grad school, getting into the workforce again, moving to a new state, making new friends, making this life, a long gradual process, moving up, moving out, moving on, being with my kids, doing with my kids, understanding my kids. 


So what does all that mean?  It means you were crazy enough to read it all.  So thanks for that.  But it also means I don’t know.  I’ve been buried under it all.  I imagine other moms must feel that way sometimes too.  And if not, then just call me bat shit crazy.  But if you can relate, here’s a cheers to you and me today. 


Here’s to the moment you realize your life is almost half-lived.  All the things you’ve been racing towards and struggling through and laughing at are now half your life.  It’s weird.  It’s ominous and it’s really cool too.  It’s here.  Today, the life half finished, the distance still to go.  Cheers to you and yours, to your journey, to mine, and to knowing there is always someone going through something you might be too. 


With love,