Who has 30 minutes to prepare nutritious meals these days?
As we get older, as our lives become more complicated and layered with friends, family, children, work, homes, it becomes easier and easier to stop telling the truth. Many of us turn to blogging in order to find and express our true selves in a way we are too afraid to venture in real life. The smiles and weather-discussing and mama-shop-talk are no substitute for deeper relating, even with our spouses, those we are supposed to be closest to in the whole world.
And that’s the crux of the issue: As we grow older, as I’ve gotten older, my list of ways I’m supposed to be seem farther and farther away from what I truly am. This disconnect, between the inner and outer person grows into a dead zone, a covering up of the passionate heart, the filming over of dreams and zest for life. Is this what a midlife crisis feels like?
For some, the moment of truth – the realization that one’s life is becoming an out-of-body experience – comes during the 23rd hour of work on the 7th day of the week. For others, when they realize their family is not their family after all, but a poor substitute… something less than they deserve. Still others, fight the inner fight truly and deeply and face inexplicable sorrows along the way.
When other bloggers are honest about their struggles and self-doubts, it always strikes me as so beautiful, so courageous, so heartening. But isn’t it funny how we can pour out love on others and leave only a small pittance for ourselves? Deep breath. Here goes:
1. I focus on my children so that I don’t have to focus on my faltering marriage and on my less than super-mental health.
2. I sometimes drink too much in order to vault myself to another space — one less rife with self-doubts and haunting questions about love and fidelity.
3. I neglect self-care in order to make sure I work hard enough so that my children will have what they need. I’m an outspoken advocate for my women friends getting what they need, but often do absolutely nothing to care for myself.
5. I am loved deeply and needed by many people, but I do not have a significant relationship in which I feel truly understood and in which I feel free to speak my mind.
6. I dream of having a happier lust-filled primary relationship and I’m petrified I might not be able to get there from here.
If buying a camaro, growing a mullet, and getting a young girlfriend is a male version of a midlife crisis (cartoonish but still), what is a woman’s version? Angst and 1pm glasses of wine? Seems like a rip-off to me. I’m going to have to do something about that…
Books are our friends. A small sign with this adage hung over the blackboard in my favorite class (College Prep English. High school) and saw me through the usual suspects (To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye) as well as extracurricular reading (Kristen Lavransdatter, Les Miserables). School was a safe haven of order and schedule and relatively easy success. As with so many other kids in my situation, books and school and for awhile religion, were a triumvirate of powerful support that carried me away from all the present troubles.
As we make ready for Talky and Tempest to enter Kindergarten next week, I’m reminded (over and over and over) that my love of reading, of school, of pencils and papers and lunchboxes and chalkboards is the religion I hope they carry with them as they grow older.
We visited their Kindergarten a few days ago and met the other kids and the teacher (for the second time). Seeing the little desks and sweet decorations and reading corner was like gazing into a secret hobby hole, where my first babies will be kept safe and learn to read and write. And gratitude and excitement don’t even begin to cover it…
My daughters are starting Kindergarten in a little over a week and I admit that in addition to the thrills of seeing them enter school (school!!), the prospect of meeting new people and possibly making new friends is exciting as well.
Since my daughters were born I’ve always worked outside the home. I’ve never joined Mommy & Me classes, never attended playdates, never EVER went to Gymboree. I *did* go to a new mother’s group for 2 weeks until my sleep deprivation (and potty mouth) decided it was time to depart for edgier climes. I don’t feel like I fit in to the usual mommy groups… Hence, the joy of meeting and making sweet lady friends on-line… (all of whom are even better in person)
So the possibility that I might actually make a REAL LIFE mommy friend has me endlessly excited and terminally crossing my fingers that somewhere in this school I’ll meet a kindred soul. Maybe someone as cool and funny as her, or her, or even her.
Here is a picture of my dream girl:
4. Talks about sex
5. Wears cute shoes
6. Whip Smart
7. Sassy, edgy, big-brained, and big hearted.
And my imaginary friend will hardly *ever* talk solely about her kids. Oh and? She would love to sit and giggle over an intimate glass of wine.
And I have a funny feeling she isn’t the type of gal to wear this:
More fodder for the breast-feeders to hate me today at Babble