I think I am having a mid life crisis, except that I am not really mid anything. I am just in crisis.
I worry about saying that too loud. I am not sure how you confirm the diagnosis. Do you poll your friends and family? What if you don’t have any friends? I have this image in my head of people jumping out from behind all the bushes and pointing at me and saying they have always known and thank God I finally woke up to the fact. I can see my mother there in full battle armour with her “I Told You So” Flag leading the charge.
I just know that everything in my life suddenly tumbled upside down and downside up and all over the place, like laundry thrown down a steep hill. I can see my best undies caught in some bushes way down past the rocks and know that I should climb down there and retrieve them but I am suddenly unable to move my feet.
I know tossed laundry is nothing in the giant scheme of things but they were the straw, and the camel just doesn’t have a broken back . . . it is dead.
I asked my husband, “what if I am insane, or a really bad person, and I am the only one who doesn’t see it?”
He laughed at me.
He told me the fact I would even ask myself that question proves I am fine. He told me that really bad people, even a lot of people, never ever worry about what they do. They don’t ever lay awake at night worrying about whether something they did was bad. That made me feel better because I know that he loves me and he would never lie to me. Sometimes it is a darn good thing to have someone in your life that you trust who can tell you that everything is ok even when you are standing naked at the top of a steep hill with your laundry tumbled all down below you and your feet no longer work.
But my crisis was just getting started and it became this kind of global, daily happening where you would just get comfortable with a certain level of dysfunction and then another whole cyclone would blow in and suddenly not only was the laundry gone, the mountain you were standing on had become a desert valley, void of any signs of life …. even your own breathing was sus.
I can kick and cry with the best of them.
I just tend to do it alone, in the privacy of the hole I dig for myself.
And then eventually, usually after a few weeks of realizing no-one was coming to rescue me, no manna was about to fall from the heavens, no magical being was going to show up to take me home, and that things not only could get worse, they did … on a daily basis, I stopped fighting. Even people who aren’t in the forest can hear the proverbial tree fall, they just don’t care that it has fallen, mainly because it is just one freaking tree in an entire forest. I had to come to terms with the fact I was just one tree. I was definitely not a princess.
I just sat with the bomb what had gone off in my life and allowed myself to feel,picking up one piece of shrapnel and being mad, dropping it, getting another and feeling sad, and then sitting and feeling nothing. I swore at a lot of shrapnel. It is easier to blame the bullets sometimes.
I got nothing.
No answers, no plan, not even a shiny rock to distract me momentarily.
I was fighting to find a reason to speak, a reason to breathe, a reason to even be here.
It is awe inspiring to see the people that gather round to take a kick at you when you are down. There are those who are whipped into a frenzy by your vulnerability and inability to defend yourself and then there are those who are in your life who notice nothing unusual, say and do nothing and even laugh and have a good time. Laughing can cut and make you bleed . . . a lot. And you realize there really isn’t any team Aria out there who you can rely on.
And for awhile that just made me incredibly sad. Except that I am a loner, I don’t like groups and crowds. My whole life’s work has been about empowering people to know they are strong enough to do whatever they need to do in their lives. I encourage people to leave me. It’s a gift. I taught my children not to need their mom. And they don’t. So it is kind of insincere of me to now sit and complain about it and feel sorry for myself. Even though I do it well.
So my crisis is not about anyone else, it is about me. And my job is to understand it and work with it, and let it sort itself out. That means letting go of what I think I know and being willing to learn what I need to know. It could mean I am growing and ready for more. It could mean that I have really taken a U turn and need to go back and do something over. I am not attaching any expectation to outcome. I am just going to sit with my shrapnel and tossed underwear for a bit.
I got sick enough to put me flat on my back, in bed, sleeping almost non stop for 2 weeks. Sometimes I am a very reluctant student and I think God gets desperate trying to get my attention. Or, it could be He got tired of hearing me whine. I am tired of hearing me whine.
So I am sitting alone and listening to my heart.
My husband came and got me one day when I was crying, after hours of coughing and hurting. He took me by the hand and walked me out to the pool and the lounge in the sun. He set me down, he put my hat on my head and moved the chair into recline. He told me he wanted me to just sit there for a bit. He didn’t touch me or coddle me or talk to me. I cried and he left me and eventually the sun was warm and I could hear the birds and my coughing started to lessen and I was focused on breathing in and out and I could hear my heart beating.
I sat there for over an hour.
I had no plan for the next day except for time outside in the morning and in the afternoon.
It is all I can do right now.
I am not solving anything. I am not thinking. I am just being. I feel pretty raw, and I fluctuate between being disappointed in myself and wanting my mommy. I am tired of feeling like I am the only one worrying about taking the higher road and being kind and thinking of others. Part of me thinks maybe the people who club seals are much happier than I will ever be.
This is just one of the low points and I know I will get up and take care of everyone probably sometime next week but I am just a human being and today, not a very effective one. The only thing I know for sure is that I think God sent my hubby. He is either an angel in disguise or he really screwed up and I am his punishment. Either way, when you have someone who still loves you even when you are being a whiney sick baby, and who not only fetches your tossed laundry, he washes it all and puts it away for you . . . that has to be a gift. Life can’t completely suck when you have someone like that in your life.
(oh, and no canaries were harmed in the making of this blog post. There was a party, they all had a good time, and some of them got a little drunk. We had canary AA, PETA and the SPCC standing by, ready to intervene if needed.)