February 18, 2010

Up and Down and All Around

Gosh, it's been kind of a strange week. I don't know why, really, but my mood has been going up and down like a roller coaster. I guess part of it is related to the weather. We haven't had any additional snow since the second blizzard, but everywhere you go there are mountains and mountains of the stuff! I'm sick of trying to weave around piles in parking lots, not being able to see around them when I'm at an intersection waiting for traffic to clear, looking at the "black snow" that's created by the plowing and car exhausts, having events (especially chorus rehearsals) cancel because of the snow. I guess maybe I have a case of the winter doldrums, but that's only part of it.
Maybe it's because my 59th birthday was Saturday. I'm usually pretty positive about birthdays, although I'm not into huge parties or anything like that. Since my father died at the age of 54 and my mom five years later at the age of 56, I figure that every day I live is more than they had and a cause for celebration. And yet, I look at that number -- 59 -- and I know what's coming in just 360 days -- the "big 6-0"! I am already in my 60th year and that seems unreal! I don't feel that old and I certainly don't act that old! I look back at what my mom was like before she died and it seemed like she was much older than her years. I guess a lot of it has to do with my perspective and perceptions; she seemed older because she was my mother. I wonder if my children feel the same way about me? Probably not because I'm a lot more active than my mom was in her later years. After all, I sing, I'm a tour guide, a docent, and I have a fairly busy life. Mom was still recovering from the loss of my dad, her soul mate, even five years later, and I think that took a toll on her. I lost my husband to divorce almost eight years ago and, at the end, we were anything but soul mates. I have moved on with my life and done pretty well on my own.

Still, I've spent a lot of time this week thinking about where I am in my life. My sister and I have talked about it together, too, since she turned 65 last month. It's a very strange feeling to know that the majority of my time on earth is behind me, not ahead of me. It's a perspective that I don't think about too often, but there's nothing like a birthday to put it in your head for a while. I go with my quartet and chorus to sing at a lot of nursing homes, including units for patients with Alzheimer's. I love to see their faces light up when we start to sing, but at the same time, I wonder if that's what lies ahead for me. Will I end up being one of them, waiting for some outsiders to come and entertain me? It's a frightening thought!

I've also been spending a lot of time alone during the past few weeks, what with the blizzards and all. It's been a year since Paul moved out, so I'm glad to say I've made it through my first year of solo living! Most of the time, it's good. I don't have to worry about anyone's schedule but mine. I come and go as I please, eat when I'm hungry, cook if I feel like it (not too often, unfortunately), watch whatever TV shows I want, etc. But just about every night, there comes a time when the loneliness becomes almost overwhelming. I'll be sitting at the computer visiting Facebook or playing games and realize it's midnight or 1:00 am...and then I recognize that the reason I'm still at the computer is because I don't want to go to bed. I'm tired and sleepy, but going to bed alone only emphasizes my loneliness. I'm not talking about sex; I'm talking about the comfort of snuggling up to someone you love or having a person to talk to about your day. When I get into bed, pull up the covers and turn off the lights, it's just me and the TV. (Oh, yeah, I talk to the TV...but it doesn't answer back.) I don't even have a dog any more to get in bed with me and give me comfort. These are the hardest hours of the day and sometimes, when I'm having a bout of insomnia (like I did one night this week), they seem to go on forever. Eventually I fall asleep and, with no place special to be in the morning, I sleep in as late as I want. The mood has usually cleared by morning, but this week, it seems to be lingering on.

Now, before my wonderful nieces, sons and friends decide they are going to make me their "project" and start looking for a match for me, let me make it perfectly clear: don't bother! Most of the time, I'm fine with being alone. I'm just going through a rough spell right now and I'm sure it will pass. I'm not interested in dating and, as I've said many times, if it's in the cards for me to meet someone, it will happen without anyone else's help. I have the most wonderful support system in the world! I have a great, close, loving family, a large circle of friends who go out of their way to keep me involved and active, and my work to keep me busy...at least, it will once the tour season kicks in again next month. Just allow me my little bit of time to wallow in self-pity and then I'll be my cheerful self again.

Life is a roller coaster. This week I'm at the bottom of the hill. Who knows what next week will bring? I'll just have to wait and see.

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