Tuesday, November 27, 2018

A Midlife Crisis



A Midlife Crisis. *ominous music* 

Ironically, most read those words and think of a middle aged man buying a fast car and dating a woman half his age but what few people discuss is that women have to hurdle middle age too. Disappointingly, there's not a ton of helpful articles for women on this topic and I know because I've needed them. This year, at age 44, I've been going through mine! You may wonder, "How did you first realize this was happening?" My friend, I could almost peg the exact month I realized this had hit me full force. (April 2018) You may then question, "Does everyone go through the same things?" No, but don't let that fool you. Just as it's hard to convince a teen of the brevity of life, it's hard to acknowledge that we might not soar through midlife like an eagle but I'm sharing because I don't want you to hit the mountain with a hard thud of confusion when you get here. "Maybe I will be the one completely prepared and unaffected," you say? Best of luck with that.

I'll go ahead and be a woman who will admit that middle age is tough. I have to do this for my daughter. She just walked in, saw what I was typing and said, "You are going through a midlife crisis?" I hugged her with a chuckle and said, "Yes, you didn't realize?" Actually, that makes sense because thinking back no one ever sat me down to prepare me that in my forties I'd come to the realization that I've probably lived over half my life. So what are the "symptoms"? Well, so far: My body aches in the morning, my memory slips more, I've made rash (horrible) decisions and I've felt rather blah except during those times, if you'll pardon my language, that I'm extremely pissed off (which is quite often and completely different from just feeling anger). I crave deep intelligent conversations but can't find anyone to have them with so I end up watching the same shows over, and over, and over again that inspire me. Honestly, I can barely get a date with a guy in their late 30's to 40's but this year twenty year old's are hitting on me like crazy!! (Which is tempting and stupid.) What are some others? Well I did find one list:

Article written by an author named Sherry:
  • Looking into the mirror and no longer recognize yourself.
  • Desiring to quit a good job.
  • Unexplained bouts of depression when doing tasks that used to make you happy.
  • Changing or investigating new religions, churches or new age philosophy.
  • Change of habits. Activities which used to bring pleasure now are boring.
  • Unable to complete or concentrate on tasks which used to be easy.
  • Wanting to run away from everything.
  • Irritability or unexpected anger.
  • Desire for physical movement (Running, Biking, Dance, Fast red sports cars, Sky diving, etc).
  • Sudden desire to learn how to play an instrument.
  • Sudden interest in drawing, painting, writing books or poetry.
  • Shifting sleep patterns (Typically to less).
  • Thinking about death, wondering about the nature of death.
  • Excessively buying new clothes and taking more time to look good.
  • Hair changes. (Natural changes in thickness, luster, color and desire to look younger)
  • A desire to surround yourself with different settings.
  • Hanging out with a different generation as their energy and ideas stimulate you.
  • Restarting things, which you dropped 20 years earlier.
  • Upset at where society is going. Experience a desire to change the world for the better.
  • Feeling trapped or tied down by fiscal responsibilities.
  • Leaving (Mentally or Physically) family or feeling trapped in current family relationships.
  • Desiring a simple life.
  • Excessively looking back to one’s childhood.
  • Keep re-asking yourself: “Where am I going with my life?”
  • Getting fixated on new “wonder” solutions to problems.
  • Doing things that get you into trouble when it surprises everyone as being out of character.
  • Someone unexpectedly exclaims: “You are going through a midlife crisis!”
  • Experiencing extreme stress: Changing Jobs, Divorce, Death of someone close

  • Life is weird at middle age so I've had to ask myself how am I going to deal with it and move through it? Time for a huge pep talk? Ugh, no. Time for acknowledging some honest feelings while hanging in there with much patience and self forgiveness. Recently, I came across this poem I shared before by David Walcott called Love after Love which encourages those things in me. These words remind me to love myself, be kind and patient with my middle-aged self, and know that this is NOT an unusual place to be...it's just that most people don't talk about it. But the time will come when you will experience the depths of this thing called midlife and then...

    The time will come when, 
    with elation 
    you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, 
    in your own mirror 
    and each will smile at the other's welcome, and say, sit here. Eat.
    You will love again the stranger who was your self.
    Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart 
    to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, 
    whom you ignored for another, 
    who knows you by heart. 
     
    Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
    the photographs, the desperate notes, 
    peel your own image from the mirror. 
    Sit. Feast on your life.
    - Love After Love
     

    -----------------------------------------------
    If you like poetry and contemplative works, I highly recommend David Whyte's, Midlife and the Great Unknown: Finding Courage and Clarity Through Poetry. His deep, calm voice uses bits of poetry and personal story which has inspired me and comforted.

    Tuesday, July 31, 2018

    The Resistance

    I wanted to share this blog post by John Pavlovitz titled, "If You Still Think The Resistance is About Politics - You're Not Listening." Below are some key paragraphs I pulled which speak to many of the reasons I've been to marches, write postcards, call congress and am so politically active. Enjoy.


    "This resistance isn’t about a political party.
    It’s not about blue state or red state.
    It’s not about Democrat or Republican.

    It’s not about a politician or a preacher.
    It’s not about religion or the rejection of it.
    It’s not about Coastal Elites or Bible Belters.
    It’s nothing even remotely that small or insignificant.
    It’s about the common good.


    This resistance is not a rebellion against nation or an act of treason—but a declaration of the deepest patriotism.
    We resist because we believe that the America we aspire to is big enough for all who wish to be here,
    because we believe that its beauty is in the richness of its diversity,
    because we remember it was born out of people seeking refugee from 
    tyranny,
    because it is not a birthright to be guarded but an undeserved blessing to be shared.
    We are for every life, which means that we are for you too.
    We don’t advocate for healthcare for our families alone, but for yours.
    We demand well-funded public schools, not just for our children, but yours.
    We fight for the rights of all women to have autonomy over their bodies, not only those who vote Democrat.
    We are insisting on pristine air and water not just for our future generations, but yours as well. 
    We understand that poverty knows no color, creed, or nationality,
    that illness and injury are not partisan intrusions,
    that age and vulnerability befall us all, whatever our orientation or distinction. 

    We believe that every family is worth protecting.
    We believe that every child deserves defense.
    We believe that every marriage is equally sacred.

    We profess all humanity as fully deserving of dignity.
    We’ll keep resisting because those we resist for are worth it..."

    Tuesday, May 8, 2018

    Self Care Gift Box - Introverts Retreat

    I've decided to help my self care by purchasing monthly gift boxes with self care items. I highly recommend it since you can subscribe and then the just pop up at your door. Personally, I love the Introverts Retreat. Just thought I'd share my favorite.

    Introverts Retreat - "Making a little alone-time retreat is one of the best ways for introverted women to turn away from a busy world filled with too much human interaction. After a long day, week, or weekend of people-ing, sometimes the best thing ever is just sitting down with a new book and filling your time some good ol’ pampering. If this sounds like the perfect retreat, then we are the box for you! Every month, we personally curate our boxes with introverted women in mind, and we are constantly looking for new items to help bring on the peace and quiet."

    Sample of one I received