Oh hi. It’s been two months and five days since my last confession. I haven’t had a lot to say. Or, rather, I’ve had a lot to say but just haven’t felt like saying it. The new world order is scaring me. I marched in January and called and wrote and emailed and joined in and filled out surveys and bit my nails (metaphorically – I’m not a nail biter) and just had a pro-ACA sign put up outside my house which I need to adjust tomorrow because the neighbor can’t see oncoming traffic from her driveway. But after feeling like I was burying myself in worry, I decided to do what I did last fall: give up the things I can’t do and focus on the things I can. Prioritize. So, it’s not that I don’t care but I just can’t spend every waking moment trying to save us all from imminent disaster. I hope that’s okay.
There is no heaven so I’m not worried about not making the cut. If there’s hell, I think we might be in it. I’m not sure. That’s not really not what I wanted to talk about.
On the cusp of stupid new temporary time, I’ve been working on what I can and can’t do and letting go of any residual guilt attached. This is actually getting easier the more often I practice the art of TCB, taking care of business.
What I’ve been doing lately: reading, getting enough sleep (generally), walking (a lot), beginning some upper body exercise to eradicate the grandma flesh flaps that have sprung up with menopause weight. I’ve decided I can only do so much about the weight but the turkey wings – that is fully within my control. So, I’m doing that. I’m doing my utmost to walk 7,500 steps or more a day. Which, considering I work a desk job and drive to and from work, is a challenge. I mostly meet my goal. I sometimes excede it. Some days, I come close but no cigar. I’m working on not beating myself up about it. That’s mostly what I’m doing these days: not beating myself up about what I don’t do and continuing to work towards a goal. Baby steps.
I’m reading a lot these days, slowly, but I’m having difficulty reading The Lonely City by Olivia Laing because I’m having trouble with the whole idea of “loneliness”. I used to be lonely, when I was married. I’m not lonely any more. I’ve finally hit a place of contentment. Not so content that I don’t continue to work towards new goals or try new things. But content enough that I don’t really need to search for that other person to fulfill what’s missing. Because what’s missing isn’t something I can get from another person. I’m okay exactly as-is. Yes, I’m fatter and saggier than I used to be but whatever. If if bothers you, I’m sorry. I’ve now reached that sweet spot: the invisible older woman. People FINALLY don’t see me! I no longer have to worry about what I wear and if I’m hip (I am not; never was, never will be) or cool (ditto) or frumpy. This used to concern me. It no longer does. If you don’t like what you see, look the other way. I’m not looking for a boyfriend or a lover. I don’t owe anything to anyone. I’m just doing my thing now, a thing that is really none of your business.
I’m not writing except for 10 minutes every morning and sometimes a little longer. Still feeling bad about this but only a little bad. I’m making art when I feel like it. I’m cleaning my house when the urge strikes. I’m letting Dusty drive us to school so she can get her practice in and I’m less nervous about it. We’re beginning to look at colleges and I’m not sad. Why should I be sad? The whole end game in parenting is to raise my children up and send them on their way. I’m happy for her and excited and I’ll miss her when she’s gone but I have lots of things to keep me occupied in her absense. Plus, I’ll have Red a few more years after that and she fills up a room like nobody’s business. So, lonely? Not a chance.
I have plans for the after life, after children, assuming the country isn’t completely destroyed and I don’t end up with a medical condition I can’t afford. Let’s hope the picture is rosier in 10 years.
Short term, the park job starts back up in a couple weeks and as exhausting as it can be, I’m looking forward to getting back to it. The extra money is nice and getting paid to get exercise and do a number of basic chores I’m fully competent to do is a good thing. There are so many worse ways to spend 8 hours a day, let me tell you.
I haven’t taken any trips to photograph abandoned structures this winter. My car isn’t up to it and I’ve spent that time doing other things. I re did my bathroom. I watched movies. I read books. I made art. I got political. I quietly lived my life. I am letting go of the guilt I feel for not doing ALL THE THINGS that others are doing to turn the tide and right wrongs. But I’m doing what I can do. I’m not looking for a companion. My friends are enough these days. It’s good to have friends. I’m busy raising my daughters. This is a fairly big job when you are doing it mostly alone.
Alone but not lonely. I’m not lonely. I’m not bored or sad. Not any longer. It’s okay that I have to contemplate spending money on a new roof rather than a month in Italy but I could be in a position where I couldn’t replace the roof. Where it could continue to leak and slowly destroy the house and I’d be living in Grey Gardens without the benefit of living in Grey Gardens by the ocean and being cousins to the First Lady. Some people have all the luck. I just have this life. And it’s not a bad one, all things being equal. Which they aren’t. Things aren’t equal but they can still be good.
Things are generally good so I haven’t bothered to write about them because what is there to say? Nobody wants to hear about good anymore than they want to see an old lady with flabby arms walk down the street in frumpy clothes. Sucks to be nobody.