Saturday, September 22, 2012

On Mid-Life Crisis

I hadn't really thought about mid-life crisis until the past month. I googled it, read a bit and laughed and cried and realized that I was indeed in the throes of it.

I don't have profound comments, witty jokes or significant answers that cannot already be found if you just google it yourself, but I have my story.

My mid-life crisis snuck up on me. I was tired of having to battle some thing all the time... Really. Having a large family, having a blended family, having a divorce in my past, watching children hurt and fall and get up, working through court issues where I've been attacked as a permissive parent who is incapable of raising successful children, being lied about (hey, at least I know who is telling the lie and it becomes predictable)... So, part of why I haven't blogged over the summer is simply because I turned rebellious. I was tired of being stoic... strong... and stepped out of that zone.

I've never cared about having birthdays and growing older. You cannot avoid it unless you die young and I've been far too busy for that, so I just accepted it without a blink. But, this year, I suddenly hated the wrinkles near my eyes. My smile lines aren't looking so happy. I've become more aware of if I look like I am in my 40's. Most of my life I have not been one to wear make-up regularly. I tell you, the mascara has been going on this lady most days... I dropped 25 pounds because I desperately needed to feel better about myself and felt like that would help. I had lost the value of my own life...

It's not like society was telling me that I wasn't good enough... that I didn't have a solid career and had chosen to stay home and raise my children, so I wasn't as valuable... Oh, no! Society doesn't send us moms that message, right? Yeah. But, I was working two jobs all summer, struggling to pay bills. So, I should have felt good enough. After all, I am an elder care giver by day and a fast, fun and friendly cashier by night.

So, that's where I was a good bit of the summer. We had get-togethers and family activities and I really enjoyed a good bit of it. But, honestly, all the while my mind was distracted and I felt dissatisfied. I was unhappy.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with a friend while looking up "mid life crisis" web sites and declared to her that I was having one. She was awesome. She could relate to a lot of what I was saying. She helped me see that I could choose to make some changes and she challenged me.

It hasn't been easy. I made a Dr. appointment and got a check up and talked about some "sensitive issues" and ended up beginning to wear estrogen patches. TOTALLY FUNNY HERE! I had been lacking hormones for so long and had not realized how hardened I had become. How insensitive to others (as well as to myself) and had seen "things" so black and white, with little emotion. Then come the estrogen patches. I have feelings again! My boys are all singing the hallelujah chorus... their nurturing mom is back. But, don't worry, the no-nonsense gal is just a heartbeat away... I can count on her. I have never liked crying and try at all costs to not allow myself to cry. Good grief, that doesn't work with this estrogen. I cry now. Shoot.

I had stepped away from hobbies and habits that had held me for years. But, they are there for me again. They have just been a choice. Since I am a "list person" by nature, I made myself some lists... I have a "Blog about this" list (writing about my mid-life crisis was 2nd to the top). I have goals for my education and future. I have a list for activities that I can pick from that I've missed out on because I've been out of sorts. Rebekah gives me photography challenges (she is taking photo-journalism at the University, after all).

And I stepped away from God. I remember thinking, "Why does everything have to be SO DIFFICULT?" And I have felt let down by God. I've battled that question and that feeling over the years because a lot of things that meant so much to me were ripped apart over the years. It's easy to be on the outside and hear that and correct the person saying that. If I were on the outside and heard myself say that I would say to myself, "Betty, you had choices all along. God didn't let you down." This has been a difficult year and I remember times this summer where I felt rebellious in my spirit... I never said it, but I felt it and this is what I felt, "Fine. If everything is so difficult, I am done!" And I stopped praying. That is changing, too. Because I do have choices. I can choose to look at how difficult certain parts of life have been, or I can choose to look at all the blessings. What about the joy of having a child get through recovery and make progress? Yes, events that led up to that were incredibly stressful and difficult. But, it is worth all the effort and work to have my child text me "I love you. You mean the world to me."

Each day is new. It IS hard. Honestly, it's easy to write about it and it seems like I am saying, "Hey, I was messed up with mid-life crisis and TA-DA! I am all better now!" I am choosing, though, to be open about it and surround myself with friends and family. That helps. I am taking this "new day" theme and running with it. I am renewing parts of the home... that gives me a happy, satisfied new joy. I am renewing my heart. And I got a new hair cut!

So, here's to overcoming! Here's to letting go of hurts. Here's to letting go of rebellious acts and attitudes. Here's to loving... caring... nurturing... forgiving. Here's to hair mousse and mascara...


(My new hair cut)

1 comment:

Savannah said...

Woman, you never fail to amaze me with your honesty and gentle delivery. I am with you in this journey. I've started the hormone therapy and this is not an easy trip we are on. Take care, crochet and show me the results, blog and know that I am here. We are in the same boat.