Turning 60 is Bittersweet
As my 60th birthday draws nearer and my daughter’s celebratory plans become more of a reality, I suddenly find myself growing sad over random things. It’s not that I have any negative feelings about turning 60. It certainly doesn’t mean I have to start acting my age or anything crazy like that. It really doesn’t have much to do with me at all.
In less than a month, I will have achieved something my mom missed by less than three months, and the fact that she chose not to seems to be weighing heavily on me right now, to the point that I’ll find myself near tears over the strangest things. Today, I napped after my meditation, and when I awoke, it was from a dream about having a man in my life who supported, encouraged and hugged me for all of those crazy little things in life. He wasn’t changing my life at all, simply making it richer for his presence and his caring.
When I walked into my office to check email and such, I saw several pictures of friends having a great time with their significant other and it just made me sad. Sad, because I am still alone and don’t have anyone to share things with. Sad because I avoid a lot of places because I don’t want to go alone. Places like the Strawberry Festival or Oakheart…it just isn’t fun for me to hang out in a crowded place all by myself. I love my girl friends and am very happy that they have men who love them, but at the same time, I have moments when I’m envious as hell, not of who they have but of what they have.
There are leaps of faith I’m just not ready or able to take
I’ve made some sweeping changes in my life over the years, jumped off the deep end with no clue where I’d land. But when it comes to meeting someone and allowing them into my life; that’s a leap I just can’t seem to take. That’s one area where my usual confidence takes a nose-dive. Tonight, I heard the oft-repeated “It’ll happen when you least expect it.” to which I replied, “I’ve been least expecting it for years.” What I didn’t add, though I definitely thought it was “That ship has sailed.”
I have no illusions on this subject. I believe I learned to live alone and make my own way for a reason. I believe that if there is someone out there for me, he’s hiding really well, and I’m not inclined to engage in a game of hide ‘n seek at this point in my life. Let’s be honest. Looks wise, I’m average. Not unpleasant, but overweight. I’m not the life of the party as I prefer watching and making up stories about people in my head to drawing attention to myself. I am probably the worst housekeeper in the world, though I’m a decent cook. I’m fiercely independent, strong and determined.
So I live alone with my cats, venturing out to run errands, go dancing or visit my daughter. Sure, I’ll occasionally strike up a conversation with strangers when I’m out, and the clerks in the stores I frequent recognize me after years of shopping in the same places.
But I digress. Turning 60 is bittersweet because I’m choosing to get there when my mom chose not to. The years I’ve spent writing this blog have brought me a certain amount of understanding, and yet, right now, I’m sad. And do you know what? It’s OK for me to be sad. It’s OK if I shed some tears between now and when my daughter makes a big deal of my day. It just means that underneath all of the conflict and frustration which surrounded the relationship I had with my mother, I really did care, maybe even more now that I get why she did the things she did. And I’m sad that she missed so many milestones in my life, but I accept that she had good reasons for the choice she made.
Even Endings Which Signal Beginnings Can Be Sad
Last night I finally reached the end of my latest novel. I need to finish the epilogue, but over six months worth of writing, fretting, procrastinating, late night writing and assuring myself that this one, too, is a pile of crap is coming to a close. I’ll move on to the next step, but I’ll never be in the first draft phase of A Dubious Gift again. So in a way I’m sad.
While I’m on the subject of endings, did you ever think about the fact that a birthday is an ending? When you celebrate your birthday, you’re not celebrating the beginning of the year, but the end. We make a big deal of our children’s first birthdays, but it’s really the end of their first year and the beginning of their second. Yet we celebrate the one that’s over. Why is that? So when I celebrate my 60th with family and friends, we will celebrate the end of my 60th year in this particular human form. I guess I should have paid more attention and spread the celebration out over the entire year, huh? But it’s still almost a month away, so I can always start the celebration now, right? I’m still in my 60th year for a few more weeks!
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I have choices and right now, I choose to make the most out of my life.
2. I am grateful that I have people who care, and though I rarely show them when I’m sad, they are quick to show their understanding and support.
3. I am grateful for my feelings. Some may be weird and inconsistent, but they’re mine and they make me a complete person rather than just a shadow.
4. I am grateful for my daughter who knows when silliness is called for, and delivers it in mass quantities.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, peace, harmony, wisdom, laughter, health, happiness, prosperity and philanthropy.