There used to be a show on television called, This is Your Life that surprised unsuspecting guests by running through their life with the help of friends and family. This is how I have felt lately, like I am a guest on that show. Does every mother who has just shipped off their last child to adulthood feel this way? It is like this strange in-between time. Like the time between dusk and evening, waiting for the next phase. Or waiting for the next shoe to drop. Maybe this is what post-living through a pandemic does to people’s mental state.
This newfound freedom has left me standing with a vast amount of open space, and I am surprised by what this openness has done to my brain.
It got me thinking about what aging has been to me and what it is becoming now. I don’t mean makeup or lotions and potions. I mean inside aging. Not the cosmetic aging (though I will say that the lines and the sagging have become extraordinary as of late) I mean just getting older and having less busyness take up time and brain space. The inner compass that feels a little lost in time.
Maybe because the rug was pulled out from under me in my fifties, having to have a double mastectomy. I would say that despite the positive outcome of this shitty experience, it continues to play a simmering role as a regular guest in my thinking. It sort of prepared me for a pragmatism about living and life itself that has aged me in the mental aspect of my actual age. I feel older than my late fifties. Not in the health aspect. But in my mind.
Now what? This is what comes up for me. Now what? We work really hard at achieving this in the early decades. It is an upward climb toward achievement. But headed fast towards sixty, it feels more downward. I often say, Downhill is the fun part; I just feel like I am headed downhill and haven’t come to where I am supposed to land yet.
My internal beauty clock is ticking. What else will sag, go, move, change, wrinkle, forget, break, twist? Like I am in a perpetual state of lying in wait, like a lioness calmly watching and waiting for just the right moment to pounce on her prey. Waiting. This is a strange place for me.