Confession: I’ve been feeling sorry for myself because I’ve mostly been home alone for days while my family was at the Fort Worth International PGA Golf Tournament, what we always referred to casually as “the Colonial.”
Several rational thoughts indicate I should not feel sorry for myself. In truth, I got out for supper one night, the grocery store with a good friend another day, and had company last night. If the kids weren’t at the golf tournament, I probably wouldn’t see much more of them than I am right now---just knowing they’re out of pocket makes a psychological difference. I have projects to keep me busy at home—first edits on a manuscript that I’m slowly working through, a book I’m enjoying, blogs to write, all that cooking I did. And, were I offered a chance to go to the tournament, I’d decline in a flash—sun and heat are not my friends, and I’ve never seen much point to golf, though my mother loved it, both of my sons have played at one time or another.
So this morning, I took a long hard look at myself and came to a conclusion. It has to do with aging. Jordan and Christian and my other children are in the midst of life—in their forties, they’re in the midst of careers (and career change for some), an active social life, the joy of children. And I’m on the edges of life.
Don’t get me wrong. My kids, as regular readers of this blog know, are unbelievably good to me. Jordan always goes out of her way to include me in things. For a few summers, they used to have Friday night potluck open house, and I was always invited. Their friends were (and are) my friends; one even said to a stranger who queried my attending these parties, “Are you kidding? She’s the star.” An exaggeration, but it made me feel good. But that was then—they lived about 20 minutes away, and I drove my car out there, could drive myself home whenever. All that has changed.
Maybe, I said to myself, I’m not accepting aging gracefully. But another part of my mind countered with the thought that if you don’t stay in the mid-stream of life, you wither and waste away. I could become a little old lady in a rocking chair—well, I hope not.
There’s got to be a middle ground, and some days I think I’ve found it; others, like this weekend, I indulge in a bit of self-pity. Maybe my mind is just unstable. And maybe I need to shut up and count my blessings, which are many.
Sometimes it’s risky to share moments of honesty with your grown children. You never know what the reaction will be. But this morning, when Jordan came out to say good morning (see what a good girl she is), I told her that I was feeling lonely and I thought maybe I was jealous. She asked for an explanation, and I told her the conclusion I’d reached.
Her response took me by surprise. “But you’ve done all that,” she said. Perhaps she thinks I should live on memories, of which I have many. But that’s not enough. I still want to be in the middle of life. Maybe that’s the eternal dilemma of aging.
Which brings me back to my car. Somehow, I think when I get it, fully repaired, and I am cleared to drive, I can plunge right back into the mainstream of life, even on a walker. May it be true.