I’ve been struggling with anxiety over the milestone looming on my horizon. It’s taken many forms, and has been mostly low grade, but mounting. I thought for a moment that with such a milestone I should do something memorable or have something memorable to show for it. I don’t know. The last time I bought myself something ridiculously expensive as a milestone memento, it was stolen. Not that that will completely take the wind out of the sails for any future extravagances, but it does leave some tarnish on the idea. Anyway. I have been feeling like I should go somewhere special, or buy something special, or do something special. But I’m at such a loss. I haven’t had any time to make any plans, as far as the notion of a getaway goes. Where would I go, and what would I do? Logistics. God knows I need a break (ummm, I did just take a week and cruise to Mexico with my kids and all told, fifteen family members, and it was so wonderful to spend time with family, and it was so wonderful to feel and breathe warm ocean air and hear the sound of waves lapping against the boat, hour upon hour upon hour, and yes, that was amazing, but of course I will throw in a but… ….but in order to take any time off I have to complete all the work that I would have to do for the week that I’m away, which means, really, no break from work at all… whine, whine, whine) and a rest and I don’t know what. I need something. I’ve been struggling with the changing tides of my work for some time now. There’s little to no respite on the immediate horizon, as far as that goes. Some of the bigger projects will work themselves out in the next few months. Or rather, I have to finish them, and they will be a thing of the past, after which I might be able to steer myself toward a more manageable workload. The immediate forecast is bleak, and there is so much pressure, beyond that which I place upon myself. I am famous for demanding great expectations of myself, so this present workload predicament is taking its toll. Blah, blah, blah. I am so weary of complaints. My own. My kids’. Anybody’s. I have almost no threshold remaining. I’ve been uncharacteristically irritable, off and on. Weary. I know that if I could somehow get enough rest, I’d be FINE.
Anyway. I’m not one for pomp and circumstance. I don’t want a party, and GOD FORBID, a surprise party. I don’t want to be the center of attention. I don’t want lavish gifts. I don’t know what I want for that day. The kids have visitation with their dad that weekend, and they are oblivious to life events, milestones, and things of that nature. I suppose that’s my fault, since I haven’t actually taught them to be aware of such things. I wouldn’t mind doing something special with my sisters, but we are out of time for planning any sort of get together. Logistics again. The sweetest thing I can imagine is having a nice meal with my loved ones. And so it is settled. My friend will prepare a lovely meal, and we will hang out as a sweet circle of three –my friend, my honey,and I–for the evening, in the comfort of my home. Simple. Sweet. Perfect. That is all I want. Bliss.
And as for turning fifty? I am having a hard time wrapping my head around that number. It seems like it’s a number that represents something that I just can’t quite put my finger on. Age? As if I was supposed to have accomplished something remarkable by now? Or I should be at some other, more arrived, state of self by now? Shouldn’t I have life figured out by now? Shouldn’t I know how to handle stress? Shouldn’t I know how to manage my children? Shouldn’t I be cool, calm, and collected? Well, externally I am all of those. Internally? I’m cool, I suppose. Or maybe tepid. I’m calm. I’m collected in a scattered way. I’m just weary. Worn. I went through my list of Facebook friends and pared it down to mostly family. I could have just shut it completely down, but I do like seeing pictures of my family. I am actually pleasantly surprised at the feeling of liberation that this small task accomplished. Inability to keep up with the news feed has been frustrating, and I don’t need any additional source of frustration in my life.
What would I have imagined for myself by this stage of life? Happily married? Kids healthy, grown, and making their own way in life? Comfortably situated in some career? Maybe those are all just projections from my early adulthood. Time has marched on and things are as they are. My life is not all those things, but my life is beautiful!
I don’t feel as though I’m emotionally ready to be fifty. I feel as though I am only just now getting my momentum, only just now settling in to simply living. I feel as though I’m only just now getting started in life. I suppose that realization brings with it a little bit of panic. Fifty years have gone by and I surely don’t have fifty years left. I want to be able to live joyfully, to let all unpleasant things slide from me, never taking hold. I don’t want to allow negative thoughts to crowd my mind. I want to be comfortable in my skin and in my mind. I am a rock, standing firm on the ocean shore, while waves crash around me. They can’t hurt me. I stand solidly, and let them fall at my feet. I feel them and I let them go. I breathe in. I breathe out. I keep on loving. And so I live.
I have this set of selfies in a photo album called “Fifty Shades of… …Sue” that I’m planning to post on my FB wall next Saturday. My suck it fifty declaration. My sense of humor isn’t always evident, but these are the thoughts that have been milling about in my mind in the past weeks and days while I’ve taken those pictures. All this anxiety. So to offset that, a collection of serendipitously lovely images. Hey, there’s another pretty one. Let’s post that. Really, then, it’s an unveiled invitation for others to say, my goodness, you don’t look anywhere near FIFTY! I have no shame.