Another year has been lived and the calendar is swiftly approaching that date that many people dread. A birth date. It is comforting to know the focus is on Prince George Alexander Louis, of Cambridge. This will hopefully overshadow any expectations I need to live up to, which in my case are getting up in the morning and to accomplish anything for that day. I must admit, with much help from my family and new medication, life is looking much more positive.
I will just say it. I am about to turn… I am going to turn 52. No matter how much I dislike this nor how hard I kick and scream, It IS going to happen! It is hard to imagine, because in my heart and mind I still do not feel like an adult most days. I worry about what my outlook will be and if my ambitions will include any kind of energy this coming year or will they remain wishes, thoughts and dreams. Will I smile and laugh more? When I need help, will I finally reach out to other people and ask? Will I complete what I finish or be satisfied with “To Be Completed”?
I was very surprised when I turned 50. Although there was no Pomp & Circumstance (which I will admit was a tad disappointing), turning 50 did not affect me like I thought it would. As a matter of fact, quite the opposite. I looked at turning 50 as “I am now living the second half of my century”! Quite an accomplishment for someone heavily affected by trauma throughout the first half of her life. I was positive and anticipating a better future. Prayerfully, I would be saying goodbye to a not so kind acquaintance, Menopause. I had lost 60 pounds and quit smoking my 49th year, so I was anticipating better overall health. Turning 50 was “no sweat”. A piece of cake!
Then 51 hit… and I do mean hit. Wow. I was not prepared for the negative outlook that turning 51 mentally brought. I do not know nor understand why, but there was difficulty in accepting the new number that came with life. I thought it would be just another day, followed by just another year. But it was not. Everything felt out of sync. I did not feel as healthy as I did when I turned 50, and I had illnesses the latter part of that year including the removal of my gallbladder. It is a comfort to believe that it was the effects of menopause which caused this gloom. Instead of leaving, I believe it grasped tighter… A spiteful acquaintance!
This past year brought an unexpected loss as well. Loosing my best friend and former partner, Gwen, has been very difficult. There was many things to take care of the first 7 weeks or so. I felt guilt and anger, and resentment toward certain persons; but I did not make time to grieve. I did not want to. Accepting the reality of no more late night talks or phone calls. No more I love yous or someone to take care of nor someone that needed and wanted me for who I am. My person who never judged me nor was ashamed of who I am. I stayed busy until I could not do any more. Now I have been rather undecided about what to do next, feeling less guilt but the anger remains if not grows.
52…. What will happen on that day? How should I feel? What expectations will I place on myself for this year? Because I do not finish what I start I usually do not expect much from myself except failure. There is much Pomp & Circumstance when I do finish anything. Will I be able to change my thought pattern and realize that what I am doing or making does not have to be perfect? Can I accept that? Will I begin to grieve and move on with my life, without Gwen. What will I expect from others? Will I finally be able to say how I truly feel…. or continue to protect those I love and live behind my mask?
I know I have had more energy the past few weeks, even leaving the house and going outside. Walking Lindsey, my dog, down the street as opposed to just in front of the yard…. I’ve only canceled one appointment in the past two weeks. I did start a project; and although I hired a friend and neighbor, it was finally finished. I am throwing myself a birth date cookout this Saturday. I am going to take the smoker I bought several years ago, out of its box and use it to smoke some type of meat. Corn on the cob, veggies and grapes, salads and my daughter-in-law is baking me a cake. Family and some friends, not a large crowd. Although I would like to have more people, reality is I cannot handle that yet.
While 51 started on such a low note, it seems to be ending on positive notes. With all that said, I will look to improve my quality of life during my 52nd year; and try to, no, I WILL be more positive and place this one expectation on myself: I will start and finish a number of things. I WILL be more positive and upbeat about my future. I will feel as the song goes, “….the futures so bright, I gotta wear shades!”
Here’s to a year of good health, happiness and much personal growth…..