Here’s my end of summer reading…..
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.”
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.