Thursday, February 7, 2013

kind of a wreck

I've been feeling dumb, self indulgent and immature about the strong emotions I'm experiencing, emotions linked directly to my upcoming 60th birthday. When I admit how difficult this is for me, people laugh, or they try to reassure me by telling me I look great for my age, or that I'm the "youngest 60 year old" they have ever met. I wonder what that means?

I know these people are trying to help, or maybe the message they're conveying is, "Please stop talking about this." I can't blame them. It's boring - even to me! In an entirely rational world, I would be feeling nothing but gratitude to have made it this far in life. I would celebrate my skin which is not yet wrinkly, or my silvery hair, my physical strength and the tiny increments of wisdom I have accumulated over time. I would celebrate and appreciate the fact that as a Boomer, I grew up in an America that really was #1, came of age during the 60s, moved through early adulthood at a time when it wasn't that hard to get a job, when most people had health insurance. I followed the call of shamanism and became a healer in mid-life, in San Francisco when the Goddess was alive and magic was afoot. Now I live in a beautiful apartment on a beautiful street in a beautiful city, in a neighborhood I adore, surrounded by people I love and people I like.

It's not as if I'm unaware of all that. And believe me - I am grateful, I am. However, my world view is not entirely rational, and may I say, neither is yours. No matter what I do to talk myself out of having these emotions, it isn't working. I tell myself I'm fine, I'm good. I can almost convince myself. But my body is exhibiting every symptom of distress, from skin disruptions to allergy attacks to headaches to digestive problems. My jaw is so tightly clenched I'm surprised I can even speak. My dreams are disturbing or frightening. I'm having such a hard time settling down during meditation.

From now until next Wednesday, my birthday, I'm focusing on self soothing, 24/7. Included in that mode is listening to Krishna Das around the clock, and repeating endlessly my mantra, "I have a Saturn trine." Roughly translated, that means I have endurance, I can go the course.

Even if chanting isn't your thing, it's worth watching the first few seconds, just to see the tree they're sitting at the foot of. Wow. And I love his plaid shirt.

It's ironic, at moments like this, to remember that I spent many years learning to tune in to my sensitivity. I've paid attention to the subtle energies carefully and consistently for decades. I hoped I could avoid this crazy roller coaster of emotions. What in the world would make me think I could ignore this big rite of passage?

I'm very glad I'm not in Paris. It would be so lonely there. Good lord.


ellen abbott said...

I think maybe the angst of turning 60 is rooted in our childhoods when 60 was old. People died on a regular basis in their 60s. Now, most of us I think can still look forward to a couple more decades but it's hard to shake that early conditioning. My mother, when she turned 60 decided that she was old and either couldn't do anything or didn't have to. So she sat on the couch and became old and then she truly couldn't do anything. For her though, I think her subconscious purpose was to be waited on hand and foot which in her mind was her natural due, being the queen she thought she was.

The Pollinatrix said...

I have been in a very similar spot, dealing with turning 45 in a coupla weeks (I'll be closer to 50 than to 40), facing becoming a grandmother, and also trying to accept that I'm never going to have more children and raise them in a nice nuclear family with a loving partner, which is what I have wanted and dreamed of most in my life.

And like you, I keep feeling "dumb, self indulgent and immature." I mean - lots of people deal with this kind of stuff all the time; why I am being such a baby about it? I should be grateful, blah blah blah.

Then, at the same time, I want to be able to just indulge and go with all these feelings and grieve without people telling me to suck it up, or that it's all part of the lessons of life, or that having a grandchild is a blessing. Geez, I KNOW all that stuff, but can I just let it all suck for a minute here???

That kinda stuff. So I guess the point is - I hear you.

tut-tut said...

Don't apologize and don't try to push your feelings aside. Can you go somewhere and really let out a powerful yell?

The Bug said...

Well, I plan to be a complete basket case next year when I turn 50 (frankly, it's already started) so I understand (somewhat) how you're feeling. I say somewhat because I'm a natural drama queen so my feelings about turning 50 are not unexpected. You on the other hand tend to cleanse the drama away (a skill I wish I possessed!) & this is just too big for that. IMHO anyway :)

Pam said...

Arrived at the destination today Reya. I think the lead up is worse than the event. Everyone keeps telling me it's just fine, even fun- so let's prove them right!
Ellen (first comment) is so right - things aren't what they used to be, and this generation of ours is feisty and so much fun - you're in good company. Can't wait for you to join us - hahaha! Can say that now!!!

Karen Puente said...

Enjoyed Krishna Das. Amongst my stress over my mother's cancer recurrence, it somehow provided a lil' relief. Thank you for sharing.

Steve Reed said...

Maybe this is one of those situations where the DREAD of something will turn out to be much worse than the thing itself. I bet when you wake up the day after your birthday, you'll think, "THIS is what I was upset about?"

Having said that, I can see how this would be quite a rite of passage. And you wouldn't have been lonely in Paris, because we'd have been there together! :)

Reya Mellicker said...

Steve you are so right about Paris. When I go - because I AM going, it will be so much fun to walk around with you!

As for the birthday, what I hear is that it's a tight spot, but afterwards things settle down. I look forward to that!

Reya Mellicker said...

Beth what a GREAT idea! (the big shout)

And Susan - yes of course you're experiencing those feelings. The mid-40s are tough!