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.

9 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

The photos are taking over the page of late. They're ... big! Oh well.

ellen abbott said...

I think the 40s is a good decade for women. I think women begin to come into their personal power in the ir 40s. In my 50s I shed all those projects I started and never finished; the beaded moccasins, the embroidered jean jacket, the quilt to name just a few; along with all those parts of me that I thought I should be and just embraced the me I am. I also resolved that I was old enough I no longer had to tolerate mean people. Now in my 60s (62 this year) I think I am settling into my old lady face. But like you, I made many bad decisions in my youth and there is no way I would want to go back for a do over.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ellen you are part of the remembered sisterhood, to be sure!

Reya Mellicker said...

Ellen you are part of the remembered sisterhood, to be sure!

mockingbirdsatmidnight.com said...

With age comes wisdom! I'm only just starting my 50's, but these first few years of my last half-century have brought about some kind of peace with myself, a startling realization that for the first half of my life, I've actually been beautiful (rather than the hideous monster I always considered myself to be), and that I'm still beautiful. I'm useful, talented, and capable of great happiness (giving and recieving). I'm going to enjoy the heck out of this decade!
Thanks for your post
Maggie

Darrell Hare said...
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Kerry said...

You had more turmoil in your twenties than I've had my whole life. After all that look what a good place you're in right now: wow. Golden.

The sixties are the new 40's, so I am told! They've treated me well so far, and I bet they will be good to you as well.

C.M. Jackson said...

great attitude and photos...I aspire to your coolness...

Steve Reed said...

Bravo, Reya. I feel the same way. I think anyone who can look back on their life and see a steady path of progression must be doing pretty well. :)