Midlife musings

I cannot believe it has been two years since I’ve written, but it’s been a rather rough two years, mentally and emotionally. As I’m preparing for another birthday closer to 50 than 40, I enjoyed (or not) a couple of hours of menopausal reflections last night in the wee hours.

I do not mind birthdays. I accept aging. I wish that my body parts weren’t breaking down – in fact, it was likely my knee that woke me, twinging a bit with the bad weather. This makes me feel like Grandma, who always said she could feel a storm coming in with her joints. Now I understand, Granny Sue.

A lot has happened in the last couple of years, with the kids undergoing major life transitions for both the adults and the youngers. The trip to Europe was a life-changing event for me, leading me to question the types of relationships I want to have in my life, and how I want to engage with others on a deeper level. Miles and Ruthie are ‘needing’ me less and less, and when Nathan travels for work, it’s quiet around here. Hannah the Basset provides affection, but I’m not sure I want the measure of my fulfillment to come from a dog.

The cows, although satisfying for Nathan, don’t respond well when I schlep down to chore singing and chatting to them. I found myself watching birds for almost an hour yesterday, wondering about their friendships and conflicts and who was going to get the prime real estate of the birdhouse. Then I resolved dominance will likely prevail, as it does in our society, which sent me along a sad path lamenting the trajectory of humans. Interactions with animals are amusing enough but I’m no Disney princess for that to meet my social needs.

I need more to do. Let’s call it a side quest. Having substituted for the local school (the “last case” call), I’ve determined that interactions with other children are not what’s missing. In fact, that’s more of a source of frustration, as I’ve established through the kids’ various extra-curricular functions. I am not a fan of today’s parenting ideologies or children’s technological dependencies. Plus, kids are still vulnerable, so I can’t respond honestly when they’re annoying, and they’re frequently annoying. At least I am self-aware. I have wonderful girlfriends, but they’re busy with their lives.

In short, I need more peopling in my life. I’m not ready for the commitment of tackling my learning bucket-list tasks such as “learn a martial art” or “enroll in a cooking class.” Travel isn’t feasible with the current financial circumstances. I’ve considered a part-time job outside of the home, just to have the stimulation. I’m not certain that responding, “I need to interact with real humans” to a job interview question of “Why do you want this job” would garner me positive results. I’m also not sure where I could find something for my niche of behavioral science. I have so many passions I could explore (meant in the innocuous, safe-for-work sense). I would still want something to utilize my skill sets, which are modesty aside, considerable.

This is the current head space. James Joyce wrote, “Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.” Gearing up to celebrate another birthday, I am thinking I will refuse to wither.

Hopefully, the Universe will bring what I need to my doorstep in 2023.