Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Big Forty-Five

Did you know forty five is a significant birthday?   Me neither. Twenty five was random and my focus was on my baby who would arrive 6 months later.  Thirty five was nothing at all too busy with a 1 year old, 3 year old and hyper 9 year old.  April 9th and a decade later this birthday I celebrate soon soon seems to really count.  I am floating in that pondering reflective stock take vibe.

Maybe its because shortly after my 40th birthday life kicked me in the face pretty hard and as I got up to defend myself it punched me a couple more times too.  So what do we do when life picks a fight with us, we go into fight or flight mode.  I went into fight mode and with every jab I fought back. Five years later and I want out the ring.  I want some light time, some kind time.  I want age 45 to 50 to be a little gentle.  I want life to offer me her hand and pull me up and say its ok, you have learned some lessons and all the shit you thought you knew you now realize you do not.  I want soft people in my life, those who appreciate me and themselves.  Those with humility and gratitude who share in the bruises and the wisdom that only comes when life spits us out the  other side.  I want honest and fair and tolerant and balanced.

Long ago I was extreme in many of my views.  I knew everything.  I confused my unbalanced single perspective with conviction and passion.  I did not know I was an arsehole who thought they knew stuff.  

So what have I done in the past five years?   My midlife if I am fortunate enough to grow old.  I have started studying this degree which has been so all consuming.  Had I known it would take me 6 years I would never have started.  I would have done short courses but I have learned so much and gained a totally different perspective.  I have days when I want to quit.  While everyone else seems to be taking it easy and going on holiday with their family, I am working on assignments or reports whenever I can grab the chance.   My honors will take me 2 years.  I will only graduate at the end of next year.  But...when I go to work and I see the boys there I come alive into the best version of myself that exists.  Their case files are full of the worst stories and its insanely unfair but somehow I can put that aside when I am with them and love them.  It has not even been 2 months and already 4 have gone, 4 who I cared for.  Many more will come and many will go and the ones who turn 18 will need to leave but my heart will cope with that when it needs to.

Triathlete.  Me?  Seriously?  How the fork did that happen?   One seemingly random New Years Eve resolution after my brain op.  I needed a biggie to thank life for renewing my time down here after my brain op.  The goal was one.  And the timeline was before I hit 45.   So instead of one I did 15 triathlons, a few half marathons, a few open water swims and now the 109km CTCT cycle.  Its just weird being so non sporty to becoming an athlete.  A total reinvention of myself into athlete and student after 40.  The classic stereotype I guess.  After my race in June I will do new things.  I do not like being this thin, it makes me look old.

And my critters?   My boy who turns 20 this year and lives in his own place.  I miss him but I know he is living his life figuring it all out knowing everything and nothing at the same time.  His youth is so beautiful yet it will only be seen when it is no longer there.  My Rebeka in her 1st year of high school full of painful teenage angst working out who she is.  I wish she could see herself through my eyes, I wish I could smooth out her path for her.  My Sofielicious turning 12 this year full of her spunk and individuality.  A brave individual who feels no need to conform or follow rules that make no sense.  The next 5 years is the last I have with Rebeka before she too moves out.  What an awesome journey ahead with my 2 girls as I try and help them through the crazy teen time.

Dystonia.  It's why I swear so much now.  I never used to but I have this anger I don't know what to do with, a little bitterness so I swear and it helps. It's pretty awful lately which I think is because of too much stress and fatigue.   Sometimes it makes me want to die.  I know that sounds dramatic but want to die as in I don't know if I can handle the pain forever because that is a crazy long time and if I die then I won't be in pain anymore.  Make sense?  Don't worry though, I won't.  In the early days some of the other meds they gave me made me super suicidal but now I know I just can't take any meds.  It will be 4 years this August.  Why I count who knows but I think it is because it means I do cope, I have coped and I will continue to cope.  I have to.  I love life, my friends and family and training and work.

And Jesus.  Still a big fan of the ultimate person who ever lived.  The essence of love and goodness and what I want to live out every day.  I am finally comfortable with the loss of my church although I will still go occasionally for my kids and to see my friends.  I know it is hard for some people to understand and for so many others, something they fully relate to in their own walk with God.  I would have liked a why from church.  A little acknowledgement of the fact I was there for over a decade and now I am gone and am I ok?  If I ran a church and people left I would not chase them to come back but I would want to know why and if they were ok and if I ever did anything to chase them away?  But its all good.  I am no longer sad about it because I am almost 45 and my desire for light means letting the heavy go.   I open my hands and I let all that I clutch that pulls me down fall away.  Past hurt, disappointment, betrayal, expectations.  It's a new time for me and although hope is the most terrifying emotion, I do feel a sense of hope even in the midst of being far too busy and struggling with my speech and jaw.

So happy birthday to darling me for next month.  Wishing myself much kindness and love and lightness and gentleness and grabbing the hand that is offered to me pulling me up and imparting some strength.