Have you ever had one of those weeks, months, years, oh well, hell……just lifetimes, where you just feel numb? I mean, where life has whacked you upside the head with a 2×4 and even though life, as you know it, keeps trucking, you are in a fog? Come on, unless you live in a bubble, you know. I have been foolish enough to have gone through difficult situations and thought “Okay, that sucked. I have now paid my dues and now I’m going to find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that is about to appear…because after the storm, a rainbow appears.” RIGHT???? And then the Lucky Charm’s Leprechaun shows me where to pick up my pot of gold as a parting contestant in the sucky game of life…and it’s Pyrite, AKA, Fool’s Gold.
That seems to be when the freaking tornado comes and then levels any hope of “easier” I had. Seriously, who ever penned the phrase “It’s always darkest before the dawn” probably didn’t have children, or parents, or a life. It’s more like “Oh, crap. It’s coming down…and it’s going to get even worse so pull out your Hunters Wellies.”
I’m not going to publicize my family’s issues. Every family has issues/problems/losses. Every family has their “real life”. Behind every “I live the dream life. I am a size 00 and have a full time maid. I live in Dreamville with Ken and my 2.5 perfect offspring at my side with my entire family.”, there is the actual realistic story of “I feel like I am barely hanging on. I photoshop my face/body/mean 11’s in photos, so suck it. I clean the section of the room that a photo is taken in so you don’t know that my house actually looks like one of the houses in Hoarders. This is not the life I dreamed about and Lorena Bobbitt might actually be my idol. I’m not sure why my kids hate me but yet they still demand things from me while treating me like garbage. My father figure just died so I am barely hanging on.” OR, maybe this is just me, but I doubt it.
I am finding that our 40’s are supposed to be terrifically liberating and way better than our 20’s or 30’s because Buzzfeed, HuffPo and other websites keep putting out lists about why being in your 40’s rock. We are supposed to know more now. We are supposed to be wiser. We are supposed to be able to let things just roll off us and not care anymore, because- hey, we are in our 40’s…so, pass the Gray Poupon.
EXCEPT, this is the time of our lives when some of our kids are leaving us for the real world. Sorry, folks, but if you live under the delusion that once your kids leave the nest, you are done and that life gets easier….stop watching Jack Nicholson/Diane Keaton movies on Netflix, ASAP. The truth is, your kids might end up divorced, unemployed after college, have no education at all and need support, have legal problems, become alcoholics, get addicted to substances,have legal issues, be in abusive relationships and the list goes on and on and on. When they leave, the worries don’t lessen, they become more “adult-ish”. Guess what?? Those worries suck a LOT more than if Timmy is going to do well on his high school math test.
SO, on top of the fact that we STILL have all the “I Need to be the Parent” drama with our grown up kids and our little kids, now we get to deal with the sad fact that our parents/aunts/uncles/etc. are getting older. I mean, OLDER. The kind of “older” that makes us actually THINK, “WTH? My mom/dad/aunt/uncle can’t be THAT sick. They are THE adults!! They run this family.” The sad truth is that, when we are in our 40’s and 50’s, WE are now THAT adult. OUR parents and/or family members that we “remember” being that same age, they are no longer the people we have SET up in our minds. Even when our parents reach the same age as our grandparents were when they passed away, it will seem WAY too soon. They are/were WAY too young. Death becomes a very unwelcome reality with which we suddenly we have to deal.
The worry, the stress, the pain, the rejection….Buzzfeed and HuffPo, etc, lied to me. Being in my 40’s is NOT easier. Yep, I care a lot less about what the mom’s in the carpool line think when they see me singing Carrie Underwood at the top of my lungs with Lucy. They don’t know that I am trying to build confidence in my kid. I don’t care if I can cook/bake better than other women. I can order out better than anyone I know, so suck it. I don’t care if I am popular/do the right thing anymore, because I have witnessed that life is shorter than you think and other people’s opinions really don’t matter. Here is what matters, family and friends. Not fake friends, or fren’amies, but the “I’ll bury the body if you need to take out some aggression” bff’s. I have been overwhelmingly blessed with these type of friends and I would walk on coals to be there for them. You know who you are.
This household has been under a great deal of strain as of late. Unfortunately, because of many circumstances, I don’t foresee a change soon. However, Life is awesome! Life is wonderful! But let’s not fool ourselves or our kids. Life can suck, and it can suck HARD. There is happiness and beauty even in tragedy, hardship and sadness. Today, I witnessed three siblings who lost their hero, their father, yet they chose to focus on the good things in life, the happiness, the comedy that IS life. My husband and his two sisters have shown me that even in the darkest of times, you CAN laugh. You can find the humor in situations. You can choose to focus on love, laughter and life.
Thanks for the best description of what to do in life, Dori.
Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming..