Sunday, August 8, 2010

(not) aging well

I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up which is more than a bit challenging as I'm already grown up. And it seems like several of my friends are in the same place. We've done things we've been successful at. We've hit pinnacles, been proud of ourselves, accomplished what we set out to, or maybe got to places we never imagined. I thought, after FLOW, I'd relish being an author and would delve into a new book project with enthusiasm, drive, and excitement.


At the moment, I have no desire to do another book. The problem is, I don't know what to do next.

I've recently thought/blamed the meds I'm on but I don't think that's fair. Yes, anxiety has been a driving force in my life but it's not everything. I think, perhaps, I'm letting the meds be the fall guy for the fact that I'm not sure what my direction is.

So, I'm floating. For the first time ever. Playing with the puppy. Knitting the summer wrap that won't be finished until fall. Meeting friends for coffee and dinner and hanging out far more than I usually do. Practicing yoga and riding my bike. Being more in the moment and trying not to stress over what's not happening.

So far, I'm relatively ok. Anxiety dreams are cropping up here and there. The spin in my head is getting a bit more intense. I'm looking for drama when I should be running in the other direction. But it's all manageable.

I'm grateful that at 46 I have a little time and space and flexibility to let what's next evolve instead of beating it against the wall.

Not everyone I know is in the same boat. I'm watching people I know implode, hit walls, fall apart, desperate to make something happen, often things that have passed their time/prime. The thing about now, about being in our 40s, about moving forward and being here instead of looking back scrambling to be back there is acceptance of who and where we are.

I know that's not easy.

I pulled a muscle in my back last night and couldn't sleep, pain shooting through my side every time I moved. That's age. So is the changing vision, the greying hair, the wrinkling skin. The saggy knees, the chronic sinus issues, the constantly shiny face.

The memory lapses as I grasp blindly at a name that's nowhere to be found. Watching the relatives who struggle with illness. The friends who are now valiantly fighting them too.

But I wouldn't go back. Not for a second. The wisdom and comfort and acceptance I've found at 46 far outweighs any of the inconveniences. I don't know that I'm actively embracing my 70s, but I'm glad to be here.


Luna said...

well said my friend :~)
age is just numbers to me
inside I am still 12 somedays 21 just incase I want a drink or some company LOL
but mostly I like 12 and more than that I act it too LOL

would I go back ? NOPE! I think it is better to be here with what I know, and just act 12 when I want to :~)

CGHill said...

Perhaps it's easier to function when we have a specific schedule. Then again, planning too much might be worse than not planning enough.

Last decade, when I did lots of really long road trips, I tried to keep my itinerary at least slightly inchoate: no more than 48 hours in advance if possible. A bit of slop in the schedule turned out to be good for my sense of well-being.

It may be simply that you're not used to cutting yourself any slack, and the old guilt reflex is kicking in.