I’ve decided, in honor of being six months away from 50 years old, to keep only one Resolution for this year and it is this:
It just occurred to me this winter that I am an old woman now. Actually, it didn’t occur to me. I was told, gently and with great care, by another woman. No, it’s okay, she was kind. This has been happening for a few years, and I dismissed it. I’ve felt young because I have a young child, I was reasonably fit, my mind is sharp, my hair is not grey, I’m not too wrinkled…. But now, hearing it live from someone I care about, well, it was time to face the facts.
I am growing old. I am almost half way to the “I’m Gonna Live To Be One Hundred” promises of my twenties. I accept this, supposing this is an acceptance that any kind of midlife crisis having person should have, but this one is personal because, well, it’s my life I’m talking about. Please note, I didn’t say irrelevant, demented, or stagnant. Just, old.
This world told me in my first half that I’m selfish when I want what I want, even if it does no harm, even if I haven’t even made any kind of announcement. So, I gave away the first half of my life. I gave myself to causes, lovers and loved ones, neighbors and friends. I do not regret this giving, and I believe that all parties are better for it. Only difference for this half is that I’m going to give myself to me, too.
This half is mine. I will expect credit for all my contributions, and will be responsible for my mistakes. I want to be around people that keep me happy and uplifted. I want to eat when I’m hungry and sleep when I’m tired, and laugh. I want to dance – a lot. I plan to smile only when I mean it, which I imagine will be often and cry on the regular, because I’m not holding my tears in for this half.
More than anything, I will be grateful. I learned that in the first half, for sure. The more I’m grateful for, the more grateful I have become. This New Year’s Eve was different though. I dug through my Gratitude jar this year, pissed that I was sick and watching fireworks on TV instead of seeing them for myself, but this happened.
Me: I don’t want to read all these little slips of paper. This year sucked. This next year will suck too if I don’t get better in a hurry.
Jar: It didn’t suck at all! Come see what happened.
I went, despite my cold, and that jar was full of miracles. I found camping trips and more tomatoes than we could eat in my garden, and thriving kids, and a completed script and production offer for a play I wrote, and a pair of jeans that had room for my waist and butt at the same time.
How many miracles can there be?
I have cousins that crack me up and hold me up. There were parties of all kinds, some with costumes! That jar held art and song and good food, and there was love. And that is Enough.
That’s my only focus this year. If it works out, I may continue this way indefinitely. At least until I make one hundred.