Today, I officially become the age where I now round up to half a century. How crazy is that? It sounds so old. I don’t feel old. I still feel so clueless, so much of the time.
Yet here I am, muddling through.
The physical signs are wild enough. I am starting to get a few grey hairs, which in equal parts horrifies and fascinates me. (My pigment is dying. Dying!) My eyes are now struggling a bit to read up close, but I have not bought the drugstore readers my eye doctor has mentioned now, four years running.
Sometimes, I am too short with my children, which I immediately regret. I don’t always want to play the game. I wish that I had the energy and more patience. I do, however, find us little adventures that sometimes keep us out a little too late, making important memories, routine be damned.
I don’t have the time for mom-drama and I am, thankfully, mostly oblivious to it. My energy is spent in so many other directions. I want to build women up, not gossip. I am disappointed that I do not make much time for community service, which was such a big part of my previous life. I have to prioritize and I do not always get it right.
No matter how much I can accomplish, something always seems to fall through the cracks. It gets hard to focus on the now, as I am bogged down by so many things that need to get done. They gym is the only place where I block out the rest of my world (because I have to). Thank goodness for the gym.
I feel guilty when work often becomes my last priority. I feel blessed that I can, mostly, leave work at work. I feel conflicted that I do not focus on advancing in my career, as long as I do my job well. Or, sometimes, well enough.
I have nothing close to frequent contact with anyone other than my brother and father, and yet, somehow my amazing girlfriends have not tossed me aside. I appreciate Facebook, a form of social media that this technological dinosaur can mostly navigate. It keeps me in touch with people from my distant past who would otherwise not be known to me as adults. What a better world it is, with all of them in it.
On a good night, I am in bed by 9:30pm. I am a morning person and I just get so tired. I am terrible at sending thank you notes or bereavement cards, although I so appreciate receiving them. I want to make plans to visit the far-away loved ones, but it is so hard to get away.
I cannot stay on top of my house. There is always so much to do and I get so overwhelmed. Unlike my impressively organized girlfriends, I find no joy in getting a little bit done at a time. Lately, I have been dreaming of a month-long sabbatical, focused on attacking every cluttered nook. Mid-life dreams, sigh.
As I age and gather more life experience, I work on holding my loved ones close, making sure they know how important they are to me, how proud I am of them. I thankfully have shied far away from the belief that I am the center of the universe. I recognize that there is no way to know what someone else is experiencing, and I try to choose compassion and always respect. I have not walked wearing her shoes and I try not to judge, wearing mine.
I still feel like a kid. It felt like my parents knew everything long before 45. Nobody tells you that so much of this parenting gig involves faking it.
I have so much left to learn. We only get one shot at this imperfect journey. I choose to embrace it all.