Rediscovering joy

I am a soon to be 50 year old woman, child, wife, mother, grandmother, marketer, poet and dreamer. Lately I feel like I have rediscovered life. Is it the beautiful grandson we have now? Is it just the passing of time and learning of lessons? Is it just a passing phase? Hmmmmm.

I want to share so much of what I am discovering. I am surprised every day by myself and by life around me. So…being a woman, mother, wife, boss, sole financial provider. Wanting everything, willing to give up nothing in my dreams. I want to talk about this explosion of love, gratitude, pride, daring that I have been experiencing. I want to talk about unfolding and all the things I had to learn before I could.

I do still get angry and defensive sometimes. I want to be someone …… good, just, honest and helpful. I don’t want to go through life feeling as if I could do more, be more. I am though mostly. A good person. When I’m not being selfish and self centered. I gave up pretending it’s a trial to be good to myself. But the truth is it’s none of it really a trial. But I do find people, personal life hard. I take time outs – checking out whether it’s in a book or music or tv. I drink too much whenever we go out or have a party. It’s sad and stupid really. And WHY in heavens name do I have that need to go too far?

But there, there is the split personality coming out. There is the totally selfish me unconcerned and untouched and unhinged. Oh how I would have multiple personalities. The excuse to live two lives. The corporate, serious me, bringing home money and family security. And there, there she is that other girl who would run wild, travel in a car across the country. Write poetry. Live on whatever. Hahahaha – as if the control freak that is me could live that way.

The more I work from home the more I feel like I am apart from the world. I live in a virtual bubble. I think I am the perfect example of the disconnected even though I am overly connected. I connect to what I want to see. I do so eyes wide open. I know the world is a chaos of war, destruction, hatred, an ecodisaster…… I know those things. But why should I bask in them? Perhaps probably I am the worst kind of egoist. Sloughing it off so I don’t need to fight to find a way to do things better. Who needs me, how would I change the world?  I am happier doing my best to help one person at a time, day to day. Honestly I would take the world on my shoulders if I could.

I have felt at times that I have been on a kind a mission to help women hear their own voices. So often confidence is the only thing between them and recognition. And so often we underestimate what we can do, how far we can go.  Succeeding in helping a few here and there in such completely different ways is very fulfilling. To have families thank me and know who I am and say what a difference I made. Yes.

The truth is I feel guilty for being so lucky sometimes. And that’s actually a little funny if you think about it. We went through hell and back again over ten years. And I can’t accept in my heart that I deserve to be happy? Bah. Yeah. I do deserve to be happy. I know it when I have to think about it, when I get too scared. Of? Being uncovered as some kind of fraud? Masquerading as someone who actually knows something. Of somehow stealing someone else’s life. Stealing real, true deep love. Stealing pride and awe as I watch my children become adults, spread their wings and fly. Stealing professional respect and recognition.

It’s true though. That is me and I am not dreaming. I do not have to exchange anything. I did it. I raised my children and still managed my career and kept the flame in our marriage. How can I not feel self satisfied. And scared at how much there is to lose. And I suppose that fear is how I not let myself get overwhelmed by the bounty. Knowing that everything is so fragile and must be cared for, always. But this is where I fall down – it is not I, it is we. Oh yes.

I have been thinking about life, stepping stones and how in god’s name did I ever get this far. Whatever happened to that wall I used to have up between me and the world? I thought about taking down the wall brick by brick, and laying a path, laying down stepping stones. I thought about how amazing this place feels.

Not so long ago, my dear husband tattooed a message to me on his forearm – I love you, not only for who you are but also for who I am when we are together. Oh god yes. I was so afraid. So afraid he would stop loving me if I became myself. And yet here we are.

I am so proud I scare myself. Of myself, of our life. Of these children we have raised and being not on the cusp but on the other side of whatever or however I was weighted down by love. Loving so much I can burst.

I love my life. I love our home chaotic with Didier and Terry’s silliness, with Maty’s joy of life, with Valery’s sly sense of humor. I love even missing my beautiful daughter. Empty nesting indeed. I enjoy my job. I am exhausted by my job but I enjoy it.

I have rediscovered joy. There is nothing more to it than that. There is nothing less momentous than that. It’s funny how I feel like I am waking up and sleeping deeply all at the same time. I am slipping back into my life though I never slipped out of it.

And so I want to share this joy, this love of life, the things that I have learned that work for me to chase away the demons and the darkness.  Stay tuned……