Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My most reliable form of transportation

I feel full of thoughts.  I will try hard to lay these words down in a logical way. Where to begin?

I feel like this is the year of waking. I have a three year old. He makes himself naked. He uses the potty and he understands you get more sweetness with honey than vinegar. Each day is full of some small wonder from this little person. But there is a big person trying to find herself again. The last three years have been filled with, at first, a total giving of myself to another person after many years of rediscovering that self from my first journey through motherhood. Each day passed by so quickly. Each developmental step that the wee one accomplished was one more step back to center. And, here I am.

But this time around, I am older. 

Turning 40 was a strange year for me. It seemed like, suddenly, I was aware of a mortality that I had only heard about through myth.  Each day, I would look in the mirror and take inventory of each new sag, wrinkle and gray hair. That was youth passing on to something else and I wasn't sure I was ready for it. By the time I reached 41,  I had a mantra, " Is this the life you want to live?" For a while, it worked for me. I made sure that each day I was asking myself this question, I did not spend too much time doing something that was  not true to the person I knew I was.  All the while, the world was falling apart and I was working hard on this experiment in self-sufficiency.  In the end, the self got fogged out a bit by the canner and the rising price of oil.  I think it is almost primordial to worry that your children may not have enough to eat.

And now, I am 42! Gasp! The horror!

No, not really.

But this is what I know is true for me.  I have a vision of how I want to live my life. Much of that vision has to do with my health, both physical and creative. Often,  I think I would like to be physically fit and eating a healthy diet 98% of the time.  I have yet to loose the baby weight. Not a huge deal. It is not that much weight but I never had to worry about it before. When I reach the age of my mother, I don't want to struggle with the family curse of diabetes,high blood pressure and osteoporosis. I watched my grandmother fail.  One broken hip, then one broken leg and she gave up. Everything else caught up with her. 

Don't get me wrong, I KNOW 42 is not old. In fact, I am still in the prime of my life. But how I live now determines how I live later. In terms of feeling like I am living a genuine life and not just running through the paces,  I need to take enough time for myself to connect with that other person that is not just mother and wife.

So I gotta keep moving. The weather has been great for walking. I take the wee one for walks all the time; but,  walking by myself gets the cogs moving in ways that a conversation about squirrels and trucks does not. The teen is going to watch the wee one so I can take this little quiet time each day.  Walking is not a routine the way it was when I lived in Portland, Maine; a very walkable city. 

I need to take more time to just be. There used to be a time when I would sit on  rock and look out over the ocean and breath salt air. No angst, just sunshine, the ring of a far off bell and the occasional squawk of a seagull.  

I am not a religious person. I go to a Unitarian church for community and some spiritual fulfillment.  I like the message.  And the message I try to derive from every day lately is, be true to yourself. 


Wendy said...

Sounds like you and I are have reached a very similar realization. I remember a few years ago, when I first met my mother-in-law, she was *my* age - forty-two ... your age ;). She seemed to have the answer to a lot of the questions I had, and I tried to listen to her, but I don't think I really "got it" until I got here ... and it's a good place, in spite of the wrinkles and gray hair ... or maybe because of the wrinkles and gray hair.

My goal is to live my life completely drug-free, and when my body decides it's gone on long enough to be able to simply let go ... and fly. I hope it's a very long time from now, though, because I really want to see what happens :). I've never been one to be able to leave the theatre before the movie is over - no matter how bad it is ;).

Anonymous said...

I'm 66 years old and after reading what you said it got me to thinking about myself.. I can truthfully say that age has never bothered me.. for me, age is just a number.. of course we do slow down as we get older but other then that I don't feel any different then I did when I was young.. I eat and drink whatever I want and so far been blessed with no health problems.
Now my brother is a different story.. he is constantly worried about his age.. he spends a fortune on herb remedies.. takes a ton of vitamins each day.. wears a rug to cover his bald head.. and crys that he looks old.
He told me the other day that I should stay home and keep the door locked because I might catch the swine flu.. said he and his wife are refusing to go anywhere unless necessary... I can only shake my head at him because he's missing life in more ways then one.. he should leave it in God's hands and enjoy life.
Am I wrong to think that way?

English Animist said...

I love your mantra. I will use it if I may. I think it's something that happens around our 40's - we stop taking time for granted and want to make the most out of every day. I still need to work on this but I am slowly getting there.