Dear god, it has been a day.
I don't know what it's the anniversary of but I can just about guarantee you that my body and subconscious are remembering something that was not in the least pleasant. I have a few ideas of what it might have been and just thinking about those things is enough to kick me into tears which is where I've been on and off all damn day long. I woke up from dreams that were filled with undoable tasks and letting people down and disappointing people and knowing I was entirely incapable of doing what needed doing. I am sure that part of this is seeing some of my children dealing with things that are not easy and knowing that I cannot change that. I cannot kiss the boo-boos and make them better. Not that that ever worked. I remember one of my kids saying, "You know, Mommy, that doesn't really help."
"It helps me," I said.
I actually went back to bed today which is something I never, ever do. I read for awhile and then slept, woke up and wished I could sleep through the entire day. But of course I could not.
I cleaned the hen house, I picked more peppers. And some of the last zinnias. And a few peas. I will make as much pepper jam as I can out of whatever peppers we still get. Today's basket will be a start.
The generator guy has been back today. This job is a side hustle for him, I am seeing now, and he has been fitting us in when he can. Since the job began, we've been without power several times when it would have been quite handy and convenient to have it hooked up. But I can hardly complain. I KNOW what the people in New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana are going through and it's hard as hell. Days and days of heat and no light and no hot water and no functional stove or refrigerator can wear your soul out. Not even having a fan to stir the hot, humid air as you try to sleep on sweat-mugged sheets. No ability to do laundry, no way to keep food fresh, no ice to cool drinks. People with wells and electric pumps to run them have no running water. Forget wifi and internet. And very likely there is damage to the house. Holes in roofs, windows blown out. Flood damage. Mold and mildew taking hold with gleeful abandon. Yes, people used to live like that and yes, people still do but most of us are not acclimated to such deprivations and that's all there is to it.
Losing power for a few hours is no fun but losing power for days and even weeks to a hurricane is a slog through a sort of hell. And of course you never have an actual date to look forward to when you know that your power will be restored. It will happen when it happens and until then, you tuck your chin, pull up your socks, and bear it.
As I wrote this, our generator got entirely connected. Austin, our guy, did a test run and by golly, the thing ran the entire house including air conditioner and lights and fans and router. Everything. And if the power goes out- it clicks on. And it's not deafeningly loud like the portable generators. It runs on a car engine and sounds...like a car engine.
And I am so grateful. I will be even more grateful if the rest of the hurricane season passes without us being hit but if it does, we'll be okay. At least, power-wise.
And I guess I'm feeling better. I mostly quit crying (I'm such an emotional thing) when I went outside and did a little work and got sweaty. I know I have got to start walking again. This lack of exercising outside is exacerbating my depression and anxiety and that's all there is to it. I feel so old and so much weaker and less able when I don't exercise and it's hard enough when I do. When I was reading a New Yorker magazine on the bed I glanced at my arm holding up the magazine to see the skin dripping off of it in that way the skin will do when it has shot its elasticity, it's ability to cling and stretch with grace and with determination, and I teared up again.
It's all part of the same thing. The knowledge that time is passing, that not all of a life has been satisfying or successful, that mistakes have been made and continue to be made, that tasks have gone undone, that loved ones have been disappointed and let down in ways that cannot be undone now.
Regrets...I've had a few.
And haven't we all.
Regrets for sins of both omission and commission, for dreams that were never fulfilled, for dreams that were never even fully dreamed because of fear or of lack of belief or simply because they seemed impossible to imagine.
All of this. Even as I know that I've had dreams come true that I did not dare to dream so there is certainly that.
We go on. We go on and we tell ourselves that we have done and are doing the best we can, no matter what those sleeping dreams tell us.
And then...we do the best we can, again and again and again.
May all of our dreams, our sleeping-dreams, be sweet tonight and not leave us in despair tomorrow.
My dear Mary Moon ... you have described exactly how so many of us over 50 feels and, yes, some of us also tear up over flappy skin and knowing we will never be the young, sexy, thin girl with taut skin ever again! Brown spots and flappy skin ... Bah humbug!ReplyDelete
Oh my Mary, you are not alone. When I look at the skin on my arms it makes me despair. When I see my wrinkles I could weep. My face is falling down. I try to consider it as a sign of a life well-lived but it can be so depressing. I know we are legion, those of us who have lived and loved and bear the marks of age, but I really do resent it. Society does not treat age marks as noble. I pull my face back with my fingers and think 'oh, shit,' what the hell happened to me. I'm not real rah-rah tonight either. We can feel sorry for our old selves sometimes...it's okay, isn't it? I want to think it's okay to feel shitty about it all every so often. And then I want to wake up to a new day and be grateful that I'm here and living and loving and all that stuff. But tonight, I just want to wallow in sorrow and self-pity. I think I am entitled to do that once in a while.ReplyDelete
One of my colleagues, a therapist said she sometimes told her patients it's okay to just lie on the sofa if that's what you need to do.ReplyDelete
I'm a good bit older than you and do I hear you about the arms! I try not to look if I'm not up for it. When I was younger I didn't realize older women minded about losing their lovely skin and shape. I thought there was an age when it didn't matter. If there is, I haven't reached it.
Non, rien de rienReplyDelete
Non, je ne regrette rien
I am just an old sloppy bag and I do appreciate the freedom of that. I am invisible- I have always wanted that super power and now I have it!
Glad you have your house up and running as it should do. When our power goes out and it is dark and cold and the house feel like a tomb, cold and lifeless, I would rather go camping than stay in a dead zone- and i hate camping!
When we were driving home from holidays the big guy mentioned something about it would be cool to have a winery, or to grow grapes. I said, it's strange being this age, there are just so many things off the table because we're just too old to start over and he agreed. We wouldn't leave Katie and Jack anyway, but it's nice to dream sometimes.ReplyDelete
There are still things I want to do and I feel like I have time and if I don't, there's not much I can do about it.
I understand the body getting older thing. My body is drying out and getting older by the day. I still hope to get back to some good exercise when I retire but who knows. I miss feeling fit.
I hope you have a good sleep too. Sending hugs and love.
Hugs and a fond wish that you enjoy a sweet sleep.ReplyDelete
I had a night of " anxiety" dreams last night. The only bit I remember is trying to find my lost dog. I could see him a long way down the street and was calling but he didn't come back! I often dream that I have lost the dog.....one of my most precious " things".ReplyDelete
As for the skin thing.....I am older than you and I hate seeing my arms " crinkling". However, I have never been a sun worshipper and I find recently that some of my much younger friends have deep facial wrinkles,and I don't... Hooray for me!
I understand some of what you are going through, Mary. We are the same age and I think I am having the same regrets and questions for myself. It is difficult to look back. And the arms,oh my. I am invisible now.ReplyDelete
Yes, all this and yet we are here! Even with the saggy face and boobs and stomach and arms and legs, let alone the neck. We are still here.ReplyDelete
oh, old skin. yoga in the summer with short pants on I try not to look but down dog and my thighs look like those sandstone canyons in Utah. and it's not the saggy skin under my arm so much as the age and scaly spots all over my arms and legs. ugh.ReplyDelete
you know, I am just not remembering my dreams these days. don't know if that's good or bad.
Sending you a virtual hug. The sad state of affairs in our world weighs heavy on our already burdened shoulders. We carry on because we have to. On days when it seems unbearable lean on your family, your friends and your faith.ReplyDelete
I love this. You cannot know how encouraging it is to me to hear someone else say outloud that they've done things wrong along with the things that they've done right. I see only my errors. I also tend to see myself as the only one in the world who has screwed up.ReplyDelete
We need Cher to come along and tell us to "Snap outta it!" Of course, that is easier said than done. But we do it, don't we? And we are the lucky ones... then I start to feel worse because I have it better than so many others.ReplyDelete
Whatever will be, will be...
It probably takes a massive storm or a hurricane to make us appreciate exactly what we take for granted doesn't it. But I'm glad you've got your generator hooked up and can feel safer in that regard. And I know what you mean about need the exercise to lift your spirits. I hope you get out there soon and start to feel better!ReplyDelete
God, the arm thing. I thought the same the other day. So much brings tears to the eyes. I get it. I love you.ReplyDelete
It can be shocking to see yourself in a mirror or look at some part of your body and suddenly connect with the REALITY of time passing. In our mind's eye, I think we all see ourselves basically as we always were, and it can give us a jolt when we realize we're not that person anymore -- physically, anyway.ReplyDelete
You're probably right about the exercising, though I know it's still hot there. It makes a huge difference in my mental health when I'm able to get out of the house.
Glad the generator is working. I can't imagine what those people in Louisiana and elsewhere are going through, with no power or water. If I were in that situation I think I'd just lock the house and leave.
I read this a couple nights ago and was so moved, but was on my phone, which does not permit me to comment. The feeling I had reading this beautifully painfully honest reflection was of being less alone. Thank you, dear friend. We are in this aging thing together, and yes, it can really suck. But on the other hand, there's you. So.ReplyDelete