Thursday, April 11, 2019
What A Girl Wants
I went back to White House Road for my walk today and honestly, it's a most beautiful road. The trees, the farmland, the wildflowers that grow in the ditches. I walked far enough to see the friendly cracker cows that hang out in a field. Right after I took that picture the one in the back laid his chin over the neck of the spotted one and rubbed gently. It looked like love to me.
I've been in a funk of despair the last few days. Hard to explain, even to myself, but I've just felt so worthless. So pointless. So useless. All of those -less words.
Perhaps the real problem is that I feel less than I used to in some way. My husband asked me last night what the matter was and I ended up saying, "Here I am, almost sixty-five years old and I'm a housewife and not even a very good one!"
This is quite true.
And I have always felt a bit of unworthiness at just being a housewife. Of course I've had other jobs in my life. I mean, real jobs. Where they pay you. Which is what our society bases worth on, right? And in my heart I've always felt that being a housewife and a mother is absolutely a worthy occupation but there was always part of me that felt that if I went out and got a well-paying job (say, as a nurse which I was educated to be), my husband would not have to work so hard.
But I could not figure out how to be a good wife, a good mother and an income earner all at the same time. And I knew and I KNOW that many women can do this but I just never could. And thankfully wasn't forced into it.
But all of that is behind me and I am actually at an age where many people retire from their "real" jobs and even my husband is choosing the hours he wants to work and he is doing things that make his soul happy and he would gladly support me in every way to do things that make my soul happy and he does.
But when it comes to figuring out what I would like to do in that vein, I can never figure it out. Toss in my neurosis about leaving behind what is comfortable to me (am I agoraphobic or do I really just like my house a lot?) and it's hard. And now I've reached the age where I get mail every day that reminds me that I am about to qualify for Medicare, I feel time breathing down my neck. There is also the mirror for a reminder and the almost constant pain in my joints is absolutely another.
And it all boils down to...WHAT THE FUCK DO I WANT?
And then I feel guilty for even having those thoughts because I am one of the luckiest women on earth and have far more than I ever could have dreamed, especially when it comes to love and family.
But you know, I'm human.
There are some dreams that I've had that I'll never get my hands on. Some of them because I haven't made the effort to achieve them, some because they are the sort of dreams that would require the absolute participation in and shared enthusiasm of my husband and that simply doesn't always happen.
He's probably never going to get his thousand acres on a lake, either. Or is it a hundred? Either way, probably not although if I died tomorrow I think that within a year he'd be figuring it out.
And of course our fleeting plan to move to either Mexico or Costa Rica for our retirement ended the second Owen was born. I mean...we are just not the twice-a-year-visits sort of grandparents.
And so all of this has been weighing on me and yesterday I scrubbed all of the toilets for the ten thousandth time of my life and that somehow just nailed it for me- I will always be scrubbing toilets. And when I die, someone else will do it and life will go on and so WHAT THE FUCK?
Or something like that.
So I took my walk this morning and I've been to Publix and I've done some ironing and it occurs to me that what I might really want is a swimming pool. Cheaper than a beach house. We've discussed this before and Mr. Moon is not as enthusiastic about the idea as I am although it would be good for both of us in so many ways. And where I'd like to put it is right where eight Bradford pears are growing and they need to be taken out.
Maybe it's not a swimming pool I really want. Maybe what I really want is to be able to kneel and get up without having to think about it and gather my forces before I attempt it. Maybe what I want is the impossible- to be young again.
Or at the very least, not in pain again.
To dance again without knowing that I look like an old person dancing.
To be able to put on lipstick and see a me in the mirror that's pretty cute.
To be able to spell words that I used to be able to spell without a thought. To be able to remember words that I can't remember now.
And I'm not stuck on all of this. I accept and I cherish being a grandmother.
But somehow I'm just not finished wanting what I want. Whatever that is.
I am so grateful to still be able to move my body even if it does hurt. I am so grateful that I can still grow food and shop for food and cook food.
I am so grateful that my grandbabies like me and probably even love me.
But that's not all of it.
And dammit, since I have lived this long which is far longer than I ever thought I'd live, I don't want the last years of this life to be one compromise after another. Some of that is inevitable.
I still want to be a little wild sometimes.
I still want to be amazed sometimes.
I still want to be Mary.
I want to not be done living until I actually die.
And isn't that okay?
Meanwhile, I need to get off my mental ass and figure out a few things that I want to do and then just do them.
Easier said than done.
But I really want to try.
And now I'm going to go cook a giant mustard green leaf. And a few other things.
God. Supper's going to be late again. My poor husband.