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Saturday, April 23, 2011

What's Left? at Fifty?


what's left? at Fifty?

You think you've done the right thing all these years for you, for him, for your children.  Taking care to make him look in the eyes of his children.  Ensuring he does the right thing by his kids.  You want your child to have the love of a father, you want him to be close to his off spring.  So build on their relationship, because you love them both.  And you don't know what the future holds, if something happens to me, at least my child will have her/his dad.  Afteral, the future is uncertain.
So you work it.  Keep them together, knitting them close, nurturing all the time.

Then one day, you wake up to find you're old.  You have reached that first marker of old age, the big 50.  And suddenly, everything seems just that little bit different, you actually saw it coming a few years earlier, but you refused to attention it, you thought of it as minor and that it will not be an issue, afteral you spent years of your life on this marriage.  No one is going to throw your efforts out so carelessly.

Are they?  The doubts gently niggle at you, eating away at your self-esteem, at your abilities, at your faith in the one you love.
These doubts make you look in the mirror more often, making you examine your body more, making you question your whole life and the way you chose to live it.
Have you made a mistake?  have you misjudged? Have you been too trusting?  Have you been too reliant on that one certain person more than you should have?  

You begin to fear for yourself.  It is a genuine fear.  It scares you right to the pit of your stomach.  Questioning your decisions, your moves, questioning, thinking, constantly confusing yourself more and more.  You find it harder to breathe with all this self-doubt, your head hurts so much and it gets worst everyday.
All this happening that is in your mind, all  the time, all by yourself.  You become more observant of what is going on around you, particularly observing him, how he's treating you, how he is with you as against his behaviour with other people.  And you start to worry even more because what you see is ugly.  

As the days go by, one at a time, you begin to feel less and less attractive. And you don't even want to feel attractive anymore.  Do I want to look good for me or for him? Questions, questions, questions.

You try to spend time, building up your own ego, to make yourself feel better, afterall, you have read everything there is on positive thinking, the power of thoughts and the magic of the mind. of course you can make yourself feel good about yourself, and you certainly don't need anyone else to make you feel good about yourself.  Fight fight fight.  Fight with yourself.  

The illusion of growing old together happily, has now melted, like dirty, day old snow, cowering, black and grungy on the lower crease of the lane, hiding by the curb.   That's growing old together.  it's not what you had in mind, but that's what it has become.  Luke warm, full of dirty contempt, soiled from the dirt collected over the years as you moved to one side of the lane, to allow fresh snow to fall.  

You always thought yours was a more solid relationship based on love, respect and good healthy egos.   Reality is that the sun is hiding behind the clouds, but you always pretended it was sunny just because it wasn't raining.   And you had to wait to lose some years to realise this. 
It's not sad, it's laughable. its hysterical.  How do I prepare my child for this awakening that comes to us at some point in our lives.   Then I think, that maybe her reality will not be the same as mine, after all, she is a different person.  
She does not suffer self-delusion that her parents suffer from.

Could I have done things differently?  Could I have been a better person?  Could I have managed my life better?  Could I?  or Was it you?  Maybe it isn't always me!  But maybe its my fault, after all, I said yes to you.  

Is this my lot in life?  Is this my faith?  Am I, was I so desperate, so afraid of being alone?  

Now, I look at my unmarried and divorced friends, and think of them as being lucky.  No more do I feel sorry for them.  They respect themselves and love themselves better than I do. They chose to do something about their lives.  Well done ladies.

Here I stand;  I'm 50, I am angry, not content, not at peace, just angry.  Plain and simple anger, it doesn't rage like a storm inside me, no more, it's not passionate.  The anger I feel is tediously muddy and sluggish, like me, swirling in slow motion, getting murkier, getting more dense with time.  I can't release it out anymore.  It can no longer be dispelled as in the past, it is no longer that a hot fiery dusty tornado churning in me.  The raging tornado can't be expelled in  a wild outblast from my lips anymore.  Time has caused it to transform.  And that actually frightens me.  When did this happen?  Shouting off my mouth has become such an effort.  Instead, my new weapon of  choice is Silence.  Silently, accounting it all in my heart.  I have become a fastidious accountant, careful and recording every minute detail, so as in the event of auditing, little is left to chance and everything can be explained.  To what end, I don't know.  All I know is that It is easier than releasing the tornado within, less destruction, less effort.  
No passion.  

Turning 50, makes you physically and emotionally tired.  Fifty is the time, to release the unworkable elements in your life, time to spring clean, to get rid of that which you have no use for any more.  To give away those elements that don't work, never have worked, but which you hung on to, for sentimental reasons, or didn't have the heart to throw out in the past.  Getting to fifty, makes you wonder, why you did certain things the way you did.   Optimism, is not as energised at fifty as when you were thirty or forty.  Its not that you are no longer optimistic, its just that your optimism is more grounded and leveled.  Your optimism is no longer marked with confetti and pyrotechnics.  There is no festive blast at the end of it.  

I have done a review of my first year of being in my fifties and now I have decided to spring clean and live in peace, to live for me.  He can take his dirty laundry, his bottle of cheap scotch,  and his bags out and find his own peace.  My life is going to be for me now.  Henceforth, I plan to value me above all others.  
My old age ideal is :  To sit under the shade of  a lush tree, eating a juicy plum, and not worry that it has dribbled down my hands, my chin and stained my top.  To smile at the hot gleaming sun as it burns my dry wrinkled skin.  To read my poetry in the quiet of evening.  To play my loud rock music till my head hurts.  To dance like a silly old hag and laugh at myself in the mirror.  To have a drink with friends and not care that I don't get up in the morning.  To work for 24 hours a day if I so wish, because I feel inspired.  To turn down the television volume so as I can think.  To sleep the sleep of the dead and not worry about you waking in the night.  To lay in my bed all day and not feel a pang of guilt.  To eat what I want.  To watch my ridiculous tv programmes and relish every moment.  To go shopping and not be rushed.  To go for a walk, alone.  To play on the computer for hours on end, and not feel that I have neglected you.  To do things in my own time, not be rushed around like a headless chicken.   To appreciate what I want to appreciate at anytime and love it.  To sit at a coffee shop drinking coffee for hours on end if I want to.  To go window shopping, just because I want to, for no reason what so ever.  To Not worry if you would like doing what I want to do.  To pay someone else for doing those jobs that you pooh pahhed and postponed.  To not worry that you are bored and to have to think of something for you to do.  To worry that you are feeling 'useless' and have to come up with ways to make you feel better about yourself.   To not listen to your self pitying claims when you're drunk, that make me feel guilty.  To stop you from making me so guilty about you and your life.  I don,t want the burden of you anymore.  I need to stop feeling bad about you not having a job; afterall, it was your choice not to work, to go into semi retirement.  I don't want to be the bread winner in this family; a breadwinner who is not respected or appreciated at all. 
I want to sing off key, so loudly to my favourite songs and not have you tell me to stop, or to look at me funny. 

Ahhhh, I should have never married.  

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