So…

Here’s my end of summer reading…..

IMG_4593

 

Nice, right?

Oh man, I have been quiet for a long while and I have been IN it! The sloth of despair, as Amy March would say. I have started, discarded, finished posts; none of which I am willing to subject anyone else to.

The jury is still out on this one, warning.

Summer brings me a birthday and that has, for some reason this year, been a particular burden. Well, shit, not “some ” reason, lots of reasons. TONS of reasons. This getting older stuff sucks, and I am not amused. I have a lot of work to do on this issue, and have started (hence the damn book!), but it feels fundamentally, categorically, reprehensibly awful, and I refuse to offer the panacea of “consider the alternative” because you know what? Today, I don’t give a shit about that.  I’m allowed to hate this age thing. I’m allowed to hate the way I catch myself in a mirror and am aghast…who is that? What happened? I’m allowed to be pissed off at all the aches and pains, the worries about my physical self. Yeah, I do a lot of yoga, I’m strong…but why do I bruise so easily? and what the hell is up with the circulation in my legs? And under-eye bags can get bags? No one told me that! Not to mention the need to make peace with what is hanging over the top of my pants and how my butt and boobs both sit substantively lower than they are expected to by any reasonable measure.

And let’s not forget…um, wait.What was I …? Oh, yes…..

And you know what? That’s not even the issue, not really, that stuff just makes it all worse.

There is a ridiculous amount of rumination about the past going on in this head, “what it was like.”

“What happened”

And I hate “what it’s like now”!

(OK, AA qualifications out of the way, though I will add that I am very glad that, on top of this all, I am not getting drunk on the regular. Talk about a real shit-show!)

Here’s a new and interesting thing I’ve started doing : I keep a list of the things that I do accomplish each day. I started that because the noise of what I am not doing was getting pretty loud up in this head and that monologue is brutal.

So I write down things I do and it is helpful. It makes me feel like I am accomplishing something, and also pushes me to do more, so I have more to write. It is not entertaining to me to see “binge watched (insert show)”  or “obsessively read political commentary until I started screaming” day after day.

And, oh, yeah, I cut the cable cord. I have Netflix and may get some other channels  (I’m not a Luddite for god’s sake,)  but that lure is a little less. Of course, over the summer I re-added then cancelled then re-added FB, which I had been off since January of 2015. But I hid everyone so I don’t really have a feed. And I only have a very few friends added. And I re-added and the  quickly (within a week) dropped Candy Crush from my computer and phone. Desperate times, right?

Man, I do not want to feel this way, I do not! And I know I need help, help that I can’t get from all my wonderful, younger friends, or really from my older friends because we are all in it  bit, to different degrees. And it’s bringing back Tom’s death so strongly because this was in no way the look of the future I envisioned. I mean, it is what it is, but….alone?  Really?

Desperate times…I have insurance (not great but I have it), and have begun looking for a therapist. I haven’t been in therapy for over 5 years, but it is time to talk about all of this stuff with a professional. I mean, yoga and meditation, and my “woo-woo” shit helps, but sometimes….

And I understand that I have a lot to be grateful for, and I am. These feelings don’t negate that. But I want to write. And I want to plan. And I want to figure out a lot of stuff that needs figuring out and I am stymied by it all. I have been slowly and steadily moving forward and I feel as if I have hit a wall. And I can’t go back, I know that absolutely. And staying present is a goal, present in my life and in the moment, but in a life that is moving forward, not stagnating. I can sit in my apartment alone, god knows the summer has been a lot about that, but it is so desolate and unsatisfying on every level.

And I have decisions to make about my life moving forward and I cannot do that the way I feel. I feel blanketed in loss, and I’m not even talking about Tom’s death here. There is so much more, so many more changes all around me and right here, in me, my body….it all feels like huge loss, and I know it’s just life. Life being oh-so-MF-lifey, right? How DARE it!!!

I’m gonna publish this because I need to. It’s a semblance of an explanation of why I have been so quiet (and I am going to assume you all care because…ego). And It’s also an affirmation, a saying out loud, that I am through. It’s time to get back on track. That I can wallow all I want but, you know what? I don’t wanna anymore.

I wish some of the circumstances were different. But it is what it is and this is what I have to deal with.

Vacation is over. Nothing says that like Labor day weekend. And I have labored over this weekend, it’s time to give birth to something; something better, something different, something hopeful.

I’m going to leave with this quote from Frank Ostaseski. He led a retreat with Joan Halifax (I admire both of them deeply) and the talk was wonderful, but I keep going back to this quote. It caught me because it was the best, and certainly most relevant definition of trust I have heard for a while. And, oh yeah, remember My Word Of The Year is TRUST, something that I think I really need to do right now.
“This evening Roshi and I engaged the group in an exploration of trust. The unspoken, innate trust that what is optimal will happen, or the sense that whatever happens will ultimately be workable. What seems to makes the difference in dying or other difficult transitions is being able to trust the process. That is what helps our life go more smoothly…like a flow. When we function from trust the desire to know where things are going still arises …but not from a need to control the unfolding, It arises with a curiosity and love of knowing the truth.”

 

‘The sense that what happens will ultimately be workable. ‘  Just  a fantastic definition for me right now. And maybe it will strike a cord for one of you.

Thanks for letting me share.

 

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18 Comments

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  1. So interesting how your Trust Word of the Year is playing out. Hopefully, you feel better now that summer is over, at least according to the school clock. I know lots of people who battle the, summer – out of routine blues. I didn’t realize why I craved fall an new beginnings so much until I read Joyce Rupp. It’s not me, it’s the cycle of life. We must die to new beginnings. If the plants don’t go through a time of rest or dormancy, they can’t rebloom. Maybe, my friend, you are getting ready to rebloom.

  2. So…
    I’m glad you published this – for a whole host of reasons.

    A) I have missed your writing
    B) I always appreciate and learn from your perspective
    C) You just typed several thoughts that perpetually live in my head

    Getting old sucks. I hate it and I feel ungrateful, shallow, and vain for admitting it. I could almost whine, but instead I beat it down with running, and yoga and face creams and sunscreen. Hell! Who am I kidding. I DO whine…everyday. Which is why your post this morning is so perfect and poignant and well timed.

    “Vacation is over. Nothing says that like Labor day weekend. And I have labored over this weekend, it’s time to give birth to something; something better, something different, something hopeful.”

    This is why I adore you. You always seem to find a way to bring me back, ground me in reality and in turn, make my life richer in more ways than you’ll ever know.

    xoxoxox

    PS: Guess who else has decided to go back to therapy? Yup. You guessed it – the whiny, aging chick talking to you this morning.

    • therapy….sigh!
      i had the BEST therapist in the world and she died right after i got sober. I have avoided it since, but this is a new thing and it’s not gonna go away, best deal, no?
      thanks for this comment, i’m so grateful for you too.
      I think it’s hysterical that you and me and christy and amy from soberbia (do you read her? so good!) all just posted for the first time in forever…
      something in the air?
      or maybe that need to “write like a motherfucker” that christy posted down below from cheryl strayed.

      i guess i am grateful that the age thing is just really starting to get to me, i’ve had a good run. but now…oY!!!!!!

  3. So appropriate, thank you for saying all that for me, exactly how I’m feeling and I’m much older than you, big birthday this month too, officially a senior citizen (FUCK). Have recently spent tons of money on makeup and lipstick, who am I kidding! Despair is a great word for the feeling. I know I’m vain too and it’s sooo hard to deal with life’s changes. That said you seem to dealing with lots more than a birthday so I wish you well and hope you can find the right kind of support. And you’re absolutely right, this would be much harder and we’d look much worse if we weren’t sober. There, a little ray of sunshine. Hugs to you.
    Sharon

    • thanks sharon…

      it is a BITCH getting old. And the truth is that it is way less about the vanity and looks, even tho i wrote about that. it is so much deeper, an there’s nothing to be done other than to push through. i am grateful i have tools in meditation and yoga, but sometimes you (I) just need more.
      Thanks for your comment, i so appreciate it, the identification , the “you are not alone-ness” of it is stellar!

      xo

  4. You might be surprised at how often I think of you and wonder what you’re up to. I especially thought of you and Sassy last week when I went to my first ever yoga class and was challenged at every turn, even getting up and down off the floor. The others were kind and gentle and encouraging…..and I brought to mind all that you wrote as you were getting started on that path and it lifted me up. It helped me push through and also rest easy in the fact that at this point, I simply could not do a lot of it. At all. I can’t even sit the way we’re “supposed to” –with knees out and ankles crossed or butterfly-like. I am not strong. I have no balance. But because I remembered what you said, I could at least imagine it and plan to go back. I guess I want to tell you this today, not that it takes away what you’re genuinely and legitimately feeling, but just to remind you how far the ripples go out from these stones you drop in the water. Your life and your writing means much to many and your impact is significant. So……thank you.

    • oh, it’s so good to hear from you .
      thanks for the comment, so helpful to feel heard and to know i am not alone in this mush!

      i wish i could teach you yoga…that would be so perfect. But just let me say:
      there is no “supposed to” in yoga, especially for us,coming at it later in life. We do what we can, slow and easy.
      I make a point of being early to class so that i can find a place near a wall; my balance sucks and it’s hardly better now. I USE the wall, a lot! but it’s a little better, and i feel safer in real life because i know how to compensate for my bad balance.
      and there are poses i simply cannot do too…altho, every once in a while i do them. I have no expectations and so everything is a pleasant surprise to me..
      It’s interesting…i know so many yogis that are bemoaning all the things they can’t do “anymore”, as they age…for me, and for you if you can adopt this mindset…it’s all gravy! I could never do any of it before, so every little thing has been a victory.
      And i am stronger…that will come as a natural outgrowth of our practice. as will flexibility..i promise. you just have to show up.

      thank you, thank you Katherine…it is always so lovely to hear from you. I hope life is treating you well and better than well

      xoxo

  5. Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes.

    We write what we have to write. Not always what we want to write. But sometimes it helps us. Or can help others.

    Sounds like this helped a few folks…me included. It’s been a rough few months for me too. And I’ve tried about every eye cream out there to help me battle my dark under eye circles from insomnia and chronic sinus infections and I hate it. I hate looking older. Geez talk about ego…I have it in boatloads over here. And that summertime sadness…. Ugh. I’ve had that in boatloads too. And the not writing. And the and the and the.

    Maybe the new season coming up will bring change.

    Thank you for sharing. ❤️❤️❤️

  6. Found this quote by Cheryl Strayed in an old RoS post:

    “The unifying theme is resilience and faith. The unifying theme is being a warrior and a motherfucker. It is not fragility. It’s strength. It’s nerve. And “if your Nerve, deny you—,” as Emily Dickinson wrote, “go above your Nerve.” Writing is hard for every last one of us—straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig. You need to do the same, dear sweet arrogant beautiful crazy talented tortured rising star glowbug. That you’re so bound up about writing tells me that writing is what you’re here to do. And when people are here to do that, they almost always tell us something we need to hear. I want to know what you have inside you. I want to see the contours of your second beating heart. So write, Elissa Bassist. Not like a girl. Not like a boy. Write like a motherfucker.”

    • that is a fucking great quote!
      that’s the attitude i’m going to have to have if i attempt some “fiction”…
      i have an idea at least!

      “the unifying theme is resilience and faith”
      that is so good…..

      xo

  7. Trust is such an important word.
    As I get older, and both my hubs and I have more health issues, wrinkles, and lots more, I would be wise to keep this quote close.
    It’s hard, though.
    I am 63, and looking at the final years of my life!
    Yikes!
    Now I am scaring myself!
    LOL
    xo
    Wendy

  8. Somehow I missed this!
    I’m glad to hear from you. I’m sorry you are sad. Fall brings a lot of melancholy. Change, endings,quietness.

    I am a big believer in therapy, if only to speak my thoughts out loud. Sometimes that action puts things into perspective and I see what I was really thinking….

    I hope you find someone to help you do just that.

    Otherwise, keep writing. You have such a beautiful perspective.

    Love you, my friend
    Anne

    • love to you too Anne…
      still on the hunt, but i am a huge procrastinator, hence the writing down of things i accomplish, a reminder that I do and am able to, accomplish things,,,,
      moving forward

  9. I so love that quote at the end but I also love your own words, “And I have decisions to make about my life moving forward and I cannot do that the way I feel.” That is the kind of self-awareness that makes moving forward possible and it’s inspiring to me. xxoo

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