I’ve been working on myself lately. And I can’t say that I’ve done as well as I would like. Sharing this is a little self-indulgent on my part so if you get easily irritated by “whining” you may want to skip reading this particular post.
Recenty, I’ve found myself throwing fits, cursing like a sailor and going on crying benders. I can’t say that this has been the norm for me over most years in my life…well, except maybe during the first two years of our marriage…yeah, those felt a lot like this, but I digress, as this has little to do with my marriage, though it does affect it. I’m not proud of myself, either. I know this is not how I want to live.
Throughout most of my life, I’ve been pretty optimistic, ready to face any challenge that has come my way with a “Pollyana” attitude and a “let’s make this happen” fortitude, and I “bounced.” I “bounced” well when thrown against the hard surfaces of life. When my husband had cancer…when we lost everything in California and moved across the country because of job loss…when my father had a heart attack and my kids struggled with migraines and asthma…I was able to keep it together for the most part. We got through those issues, settled into a new house we love…David is working on our new business, finishing his Masters…and we are four…count ‘em “1,2,3,4” chapters away from finishing our book! Woo hoo! Things are going better for us than they have in a while…and well…to put it bluntly, I’m not “bouncing” any more…not even a dribble. It’s more like a thud, actually. And I should be celebrating and enjoying that we are progressing, but I’m not… hence the deep and thoughtful soul-searching that you see in this post. Something is wrong with me…and I don’t know exactly what it is.
Last week, I took some time from work to try and see what I could make of this. David and I thought that slowing down and spending some time together would help me crystalize (that’s a pretty neat word, huh?) my emotions and thoughts in a way that would help me find some “key” to what’s going on inside myself and why I seem to be struggling so hard. Well, I didn’t find the “key”…apparently it’s still lost somewhere in this labrynth of chaos going on in my mind. I did, however, get the opportunity to panic, cry, rant and to build more trust with David by letting him love me through it…something I’ve been having a hard time with over the last few months as I’ve sunk deeper into my “pit”. I’ve been leaning on him pretty heavily to help keep me from just melting into a heap on the floor after I get home…and he’s been there for me.
I’ve had lots of different voices going on in my head. Everything from, “you need to trust the Lord and have faith” to “oh honey, you’re just starting to go through the change…you know that peri-menopausal stuff.” One friend I confided in on Saturday actually said it well… “Sounds like you’re going through a mid-life crisis”…and by golly if she isn’t right! I’m in my mid-life (assuming I live to 88) and I’m having a crisis! So what does that mean? Heck if I know, but maybe there’s something to that…let’s explore this a little.
When I was young and 18, I believed that I could save the world…not by my own “might” so to speak…but I really and truly believed that I could do great things and help others. My faith was very strong and I thought all of the answers were pretty black and white. I thought I was special…I thought I was destined to achieve important things. As I grew older, I discovered that there’s a heck of a lot of color in this world…and it should be appreciated…and that there is a lot in life, that takes you in directions you never expected to go. I was okay with learning those lessons. I still am.
So why am I having a crisis? Maybe it’s because in the last year, I’ve actuallly heard myself say “I’m not special”…maybe some of my angst has to do with feeling like I haven’t achieved many of the goals I set out to achieve in the professional, spiritual and personal areas of my life. Does this mean I’m a failure? No. But it does seem to me that I have failed in many things. I can list them all…and the list doesn’t end after a few short statements.
Failure doesn’t sit well with me. It zaps my joy, confuses me and then pisses me off. I don’t like to fail…and I do everything in my power to make sure I don’t. So imagine my surprise when I started looking at where I am at 44 and realized that I’ve failed in some areas of my life. By the same token, one might say I’ve been very successful in some areas of my life, but that isn’t what is demanding my attention…and therein lies my issue.
I can’t seem to balance out what I’ve not done well, with what I have done well. I’m not sure why this is an issue for me now and I find I need more “pep” talks than I ever have in my life. Maybe I’m afraid that I’m running out of time. Maybe I’m depressed because I’ve not achieved what I thought I should by now…that I haven’t given enough, been there enough, loved enough, showed enough patience, cared enough, or done everything everyone asked of me “enough”. Maybe somehow, I need to make peace with myself and allow what I am to just be “enough”. I think I’ll work on that tomorrow.
If you made it this far into my musings, thanks for putting up with my “whining”. I’m obviously, a work in progress here…more to come as I figure this stuff out.