Saturday, October 30, 2010

46 versus 45

45 was a particularly banner year. My dream book was published. Whoopi Goldberg and Dr. Oz both thanked me for what we put out into the world. I was on national TV, did countless interviews, successfully navigated social media, had an amazing book launch party, was written about in the New Yorker. I  did my first film projects, built websites and blogs, had thoughts and words flowing through me all the time.

46? My brother is struggling with dialysis. My sister's struggling with a bipolar diagnosis and getting the right meds to get her back to comfortable. Almost 2 months out I'm still struggling with injuries from my bike fall. It's shocking how slowly I'm healing. I can't practice yoga anymore. I've lost almost all my design clients. I've been dealing with school issues and growing up issues and more family stuff than I thought I could handle. I started taking meds when I couldn't cope anymore.

My creativity's gone missing.

The things I've identified myself as for so long have disappeared, been taken away, are on hiatus.

What's basically impossible to comprehend is that I'm happier now. More grounded. Better able to handle all that's thrown at me.

I got a puppy who's changed all of us. I'm a PTA president and, with the most amazing people, have accomplished great things just since September.

I'm a more open friend. I'm a more involved parent. I'm a better partner.

Most of all, I'm nicer to myself.

I'm accepting where I am instead of beating myself up about where I'm not. I gave up exercising in pain and am giving my body time to heal. I've learned to recognize when it all gets to be too much and not to push past that.

I take naps when I need to.

I stare off into space when I'm too exhausted to do anything else.

I eat chocolate (organic dark) when I have the urge.

I got my hair cut off, my nose pierced. I'm thinking about tattoos.

I'm indulging in retail therapy. Apparently this is the fall of grey and ruffles, both things I've never even considered before.

I'm changing. I'm growing. I'm learning to let go and find strength in weakness.

The wisdom that comes with getting older is priceless. I wouldn't trade it for anything.


@zaneology said...

I hear you Sister. :D

I'll be exploring the joys of 45 in December and I've started to be more me than ever in the last year...and realize some parts of my life were very NOT ME and I had no idea it had happened.


Alicia said...

Ah, what a lovely post, Elissa!

I appreciate your insights from the past two years. The Coming of Age process seems to never end, until it does...whenever that may be for us. :)

As I gently approach my 49th year I realize that the past three years have been the toughest, yet the most savored because of the wisdom learnings that were/are available to me.

Out of chaos can come a deep personal exploration, an acceptance of our reality versus a struggle or resistance to it. One can then experience a sense of peace, and an increased sense of well-being gained by our clear-seeing and wisdom. Keeping our hearts open during this process, which I like to think of as a beautiful awakening, is key.

Thank you for sharing what you notice and what you've learned with all of us. Life holds so much for us to learn from...from both our challenges and our celebrations.

With admiration,

Amy Oscar said...

:) amazing how the more we field, the more strong and alive we feel. I had this sort of year at 49 when my son entered college the same year my mom sold the house and my dad went into his first nursing home, fell completely apart and went into his second.

I wrote a memoir about it - and now that it's behind me, every time I sit down to edit it into publishable form, I get sick - literally. It's got to be the vibe of that time, the person I was then.

So, I hear you and I know, I think, how you feel. Blessings - and I'm glad you're eating that chocolate when you have the urge.

Elissa Stein said...

Thank you ladies, for your words and thoughts. What's so sad and amazing at the same time is how little this wisdom and growth is appreciated in our society. I think we need to go out into the world and shake things up a bit.