Getting Better … & Older

… it’s the way things go, isn’t it? I turned 41 several weeks ago. It was a rough week leading up to my birthday; one of those weeks where I had to monitor my emotions and reactions closely because I was easily triggered, those weeks that each day was more frustrating than the one before and my only, constant prayer was “give us a break. please.” It was the week that I faced one of my biggest fears – letting down my person in a major way – and confronted a big fuck up that I had made that negatively affected my family. But it was also one of those weeks that grace and love carried us through; a week that silent communication through our love bond was profound. It was a blessed week. As my life has been.

3.11.1

I’ve enjoyed getting older. I’ve never had a crisis due to age. I haven’t felt that my birthdays are curses. But, this one. This birthday has me unexpectedly introspective.

I’m in a season of transition; I’m starting to think that I’m always in a season of transition. But, really, I am. I’ve been taking classes in pursuit of my teaching certificate after a 12-year career in student affairs. I have not had a comfort zone since August 2014, when I left my last job. I am substitute teaching – which means I am often in different classrooms on different days during different weeks with students of different grades. I am taking classes with students that are half my age. Literally. Half my age. Some of them have called me “Aunty” (a sign of respect in Hawaii, as most of us call our elders “Aunty” or “Uncle”) YES. Elders. I’m an elder. Apparently. One of my classmates even started calling me “Mom”. Sweet, but a bit unnerving – especially when you’re already a bit uncertain about making such a massive career change in the first place.

3.11.3Being so far out of my comfort zone has made me seek out what I believe I know. The list isn’t long. It’s not revelatory or profound. But, right now, at 41, sitting on my couch in our home in Kaimuki, this is what I know and believe …

  • there is a difference between what is “right” and what is “perfect.” i much prefer right. but right does not mean easy
  • i have an unhealthy and complex relationship with food
  • becoming is more vital than being
  • sleep is elusive. appreciate it when you have it
  • affection and intimacy needs to be cultivated. sometimes that means you have to actually make an appointment with your person. sometimes the most difficult thing is to keep that appointment. but do so. affection and intimacy are necessary in the relationship
  • i’m a learning nerd. seriously – TED talks and NPR. i’m an info junky
  • “Done is better than good.” (Elizabeth Gilbert’s mama)
  • there is no muse. there’s work. sometimes work will open the door to good stuff. sometimes you just need to get a lot of crap on the page and try to find a way to piece together something good out of all the crap
  • libraries and reading are and will be part of my everyday life
  • i’m a terrified – petrified – writer
  • “… follow your curiosity …” (Elizabeth Gilbert) vs. your passion. it’s less intimidating and more realistic for those of us who are unsure about what our passions are
  • reading glasses in every room and every bag is a must
  • i will cuddle with our boy at night whenever he asks me to because the day is quickly coming when he won’t ask me to again
  • being a stay-at-home-mama is tough … maintaining partnership equality when one partner is a SAHM is difficult because earning money matters
  • climbing the stupid hill is a requisite for me to maintain a minimum level of physical comfort
  • BLACK coffee. always
  • being an introvert means that quiet time is non-negotiable. and making sure i have quiet, alone time is vital
  • i need dates and romance in life
  • more time with art is good for the soul ($25 annual membership at the Honolulu Art Museum  the best deal in town)
  • i’m addicted to social media – and that isn’t a good thing
  • i don’t like to be drunk – i do like to enjoy a drink with friends and my love
  • i don’t miss higher ed
  • i’m not skilled at following through with goals i set for myself
  • clutter will always be a part of my life and our home
  • as i get older, my parents’ offenses are less important than having a relationship with them
  • forgiveness is not the same as moving beyond
  • making our bed makes me feel better about the day

3.11.2

my days close with this … lucky me …

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