Monday, July 25, 2011

some musings on getting older

I turned 49 this weekend. I know I'm not supposed to tell my age, but I just can't see why it's a big deal. It's how old I am. I like being 49. I liked being 48. I am guessing I will like 50 too. Not liking my age would be like not liking my big toe. It's just part of who I am.

The other day, we were having a conversation with our waiter. Our son had turned 17, and our waiter wanted desperately to be 17 again. I thought about it. You couldn't pay me enough to go back to being a teenager. All that anxiety, and uncertainty. Trying to be cool. Trying to fit in. So much fear about the future. No thanks.

While I had a blast in my twenties, I wouldn't go back to that either. Such a manic time. Really high highs, and really low lows. Still not sure who I was, or what I wanted, and scared I wouldn't get it, even though I didn't know what "it" was.

I infinitely prefer the more "mature" me. I know who I am. I know what I want, and what I don't. I have built a life that makes me happy. I am as successful as I am ever going to get, and I am content. I don't need anything, or really want for anything either. My life is full of good friends, much love, and good times.

There are prices to aging. My knees hurt. My hair is turning white. I struggle with my weight. I don't see as well as I did. I can't stay up all night, at least not if I have to get up the next day. I sometimes forget things I want to remember. Perimenopause has been no fun at all. I have to get up at night to pee.

Still and all, I'll take it. All of it is as it should be. A sign that I've been here a while, and have a few miles (and the memories to go with them) on me. At 49, I can say it's all good.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

another step on the road

Our son turned 17 yesterday. It's another step on the road to...away. He is job hunting, working on getting his license, looking at colleges. It's all as it should be. On the one hand, I am proud. He's everything I wanted in a child, and he's turned into a good man. On the other hand, I'm a mom. What am I when he leaves home? Intellectually, I know that I'm still me. I know that I will always be his mother. But the day to day part I play in his life will largely be a thing of the past, and relatively soon. And what I know in my mind has yet to reach my heart.

I hope I can manage to approach this year with grace, and with a greatful heart.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

wanting what I haven't got

I don't think money is the root of all evil; I think wanting is. It seems to me that when I am unhappy, when I feel discontented, it is almost always because I want something I haven't got. I chafe at my older model car, because I see all the shiny new ones. There is nothing wrong with my car. Nothing. I just suddenly value it less, judge it more harshly, because I want a new one. I see someone's vacation pictures, and suddenly feel stifled by my job. I want a book or a CD or a new movie. I start resenting the money I have to spend on the dog.

Wanting what you haven't got, you become a judge, weighing what you have against what others have. You become resentful, because you are so deserving, and others, who deserve less, have more. You become selfish, because when you focus on your own wants, you have no room for others.

This kind of want, that doesn't stem from true need, is destructive, seductive, powerful, but ultimately, unfillable.