Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Don't worry, be happy
Age 59 is interesting. To my mind it is far more interesting than age 58 which, by the way, I loved. Attending age 59 is an uneasy sense or urgency that allegedly we are supposed to feel every day of our lives, to live fully now.
What is living fully? I could argue that I always have done so, depending on how you define "full." Last night a friend wanted to hear some stories. Once I started it seemed as if I couldn't stop telling story after story from my early adult lifetime: the breakup of my parents while I was still in high school, the deaths of my parents, the heinously ill-conceived affair with the painting professor, the subsequent death of his angry wife, oh my god ... the unfortunate timing of the night my boss raped me. Nervous breakdown, life for awhile in a volkswagon bus, enslavement to the drugs that gave me temporary relief, and many many many instances in which I made the worst possible decisions. Bloody hell it goes on and on.
I had to laugh on the way home. No wonder I love getting older! Youth was a bitch. I do not look back fondly on most of that time. It was full, though, oh definitely. My thirties were much better than my twenties even though I was in a horrible marriage, at least I was in San Francisco, zipping around on my scooter. My forties were far finer than my thirties as I got the hell out of that marriage, learned officially the art of shamanism, became more assertive and mindful. Yeah.
Fast forward - thank GOD - to age 59. I live in a beautiful house on a beautiful street in a beautiful city surrounded by friends, neighbors, clients. The sun is shining brightly this morning; temps later today will reach the mid-60s. I'll throw myself on the mercy of the Sufi acupuncturist this morning, work a little bit this afternoon, cook a nice, nutritious meal for myself this evening. All this fits a whole hell of a lot better than any situation in which I found myself during the decade of my 20s. Good lord.
So what am I worried about? Every decade in my very fortunate and very full life, I've found ways to become more comfortable with who I am, what I am and am not capable of. Maybe I don't have to stress out about the things that don't really fit because these days, they fall away. Once upon a time I would have kept tilting at all the things that didn't fit, but no more.
As of this second, I am going to practice not feeling so urgent about this last year of my fifties. Perspective is everything. Shalom.