Okay, so something happened to me around my birthday in September. It is very akin to that early midlife crisis that I had in my thirties that got me off my behind and into a real job that paid me for my time and talents. This time, it is the recognition that if I live, God-willing, to a ripe old age, as I plan to, then my life is half over. This year, I start in on the second half of this life and what will I do to show for it?
The week of my birthday, I got sick (along with Em) with a slight cold that left me feeling weak, exhausted, feverish. I looked forward to the best gift anyone can give me now: time alone. C and Em went over to my sister’s for two nights, and I had time to listen from the inside out.
What I am realizing is that I have been very out of balance for a long time. My body has been screaming for me to listen dishing out chronic upper back pain, acid reflux, sinus infections, and other sporadic symptoms that began showing up in the last few years. There are emotions and physical trauma trapped in places in my back, belly, solar plexus, throat. No one had to tell me this, I can feel it, particularly in my yoga practice. Certain seemingly innocuous poses will make me feel nauseous, break into a cold sweat or burst out crying, and not because they are painful or difficult. If I breath through the pose and go for stillness and not resistance, then I experience a release and great sense of relief on a physical and emotional level.
Maybe I didn’t allow myself to fully heal from the C-section and the emotions I felt during and after that surgery. Maybe I am acknowledging that I repressed “baby blues” the first eight weeks of Em’s life. Maybe I feel guilty because for the FIRST time since I started working at fifteen I am FREE from an employer’s expectations on my time and energy, and yet I struggle with expanding my adventure comfort zone to do stuff I think would be fun. Maybe it is my old habit of shoving down what I really want to do to keep the peace or to cross off any item from my To-Do list.
Regardless, in this quiet period of detox, of unpacking the garbage, of peeling back layers I am uncovering who I am, what I enjoy doing and what I want out of the rest of my life. The picture that I have posted on my mental corkboard is of a passionate, fit, flexible woman who is present for and loving with her family and follows her dreams with a gusto while giving back to the world. No overachieving for ego. No over-committing to protect someone else’s ego. I am living the only life I will have, and I want each day to mean something.