Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Montage


At what age do you intend to grow up?

This question, posed Sunday afternoon by my aunt made my cousin holler "Mother!"

Nah, I said. It's okay. I know what she means.  When was I going to stop making a hash of my life? When was I going to become serious about things and stop wasting my alleged potential?

I smiled at her as I played over the montage of the day before in my head.  It was pretty much the typical post-divorce free at last! reel of all the pleasures one can have with their clothes on. 

Without hesitation I responded.  After being married for twenty-five years and helping raise three kids and working full time and making and killing a career and taking care of a household and rarely having the time, energy or money to have fun, that answer is easy.

Never. I already did that.

If by being grown up she means continuing my life of have to and not taking an impromptu wine tasting tour through scenic hills and not having drinks with friends and not dancing to loud music in bars with other mid-lifers living out their crises and not standing on the riverbank watching the water flow and not going to antique fairs and learning how to let go and enjoy without worrying about every damn thing, then the answer is most assuredly never.

This freedom has its downside, of course.  My retirement plan is an early death. I am happily taking care of my obligations and barely scraping by. Were it not for my good friend The Electrician, I wouldn't have a roof over my head. My children are, at best, ambivalent about me. MathMan and I remain friends, but I struggle with how much I hurt him.  My parents have given up hope and only wish me happiness while praying that I don't end up homeless, selling my kidney for cat food money. My siblings probably think I've lost my mind and, as my aunt said, it looks like I've lost my way, if it ever existed in the first place.

And yet?

Not to go all Oprah on you here, but maybe by losing changing everything, I've finally gotten what I needed.

Of course, were I Oprah, losing everything would mean I'd have to fucking kill myself because that is a lot to lose.  But you get my point.


10 comments:

  1. A YouGoGirl!! Moment!

    Hold fast to your fun (I could wish that women-discovering-themselves-at-midlife movies were thicker on the ground; Under the Tuscan Sun kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, what with the poofy dresses and the fake romantic subplot)!

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  2. It sounds to me like you're exactly where you should be. It's a transition time. If you're doing it right, life should contain many of those. Ignore what everyone tells you and trust your instincts. Trust me. I'm an old fart. I've been there. Focus on what you want in life and let the Universe take care of the how. That's how the magic happens. It has never let me down. Faith, grasshopper. :)

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  3. Pretty much nailed it. Do what makes you happy and the rest of the stuff will fall into place. If I hadn't went through all my stupidity, I'd have never landed with Donna, so I'm grateful for all the retarded'ness I went through. The problem today is too many of us grow up!

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  4. As Oscar Wilde once quipped, 'My experience is that as soon as people are old enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.'

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  5. I'm in a similar place in life, and I love it. I did grow up, and I did adulthood well while I was raising my kids. Now I can play on many playgrounds, and yet I'm still responsible and caring and wise. I've got the best of it all. Your aunt needs to try growing past "up."

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  6. "My retirement plan is an early death."

    You and me both, sister. And yet I'm has happy as anyone else, living large in my small way. We don't need much more than freedom in life. The rest is just gravy.

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  7. You knew something was wrong and you made your best call, that seems like a very grown up thing to do. Whether it complies with someone else's world view of what being a grown up is all about is really about that person and not about you. I think you're kind of amazing!

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  8. I can relate - you did what you needed to do. Pretty much the same thing I am now doing - I didn't have to leave my marriage to do it but I did have to leave my career. Couldn't stand it anymore and it was the best thing I ever did.

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