Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The New Year's Musings of a 21st Century Middle-Aged Woman
Winter days and the coming of the New Year always make me wistful. The bare branches on the trees; another three hundred and sixty five days- days lost in the past; the goodbyes to dear friends; the arrival of new babies, faces unlined, hearts untouched, all cause me to sink into a dearth of melancholy meanderings.
Like Prufrock, I seem to be measuring out my life in coffee spoons; a bit here, a bit there, until now almost fifty years have passed and I don’t know where the years have gone. I should have heaped my life out in gravy ladles, rich and overflowing- taken more chances, ran a bit faster, climbed more trees, loved fiercer. The realizations that come with age are an ironic joke played upon us all sooner or later. Just when we have gained the foresight to apply the lessons we have learned, life is almost over. I look at the young and shake my head in voiceless exasperation. They don’t know, and are too young to know that they don’t know.
I watch twenty-somethings in their daily struggles and know that the stumbling blocks in their paths are mostly ones of their own creations. I see the perplexed furrowing of their brows, hear the confusion in their voices over the occurrences of life, watch them as they become blocked by the debris of their choices, and I am unable to clear the path for any of them. They have to stumble as I did, as human beings have done since before recorded history. Nothing is new under the sun, although we like to think differently. And it goes on and on circling on a merry-go-round.
Of course, I still make poor choices, but the difference from my younger self is that I no longer attempt to rationalize my choices or explain them away. I no longer heap the blame on other’s doorsteps. I have learned that most often, I am to blame. And I don’t waste precious time in dwelling on the mistakes or berating myself too deeply. I simply accept the reality of them, tuck the lessons away, shrug and go on. After all, how many minutes do I have left on this earth? If I am lucky, I have approximately sixteen million minutes, or thirty years left to have the wind touch my face, fall asleep on cool sheets, get lost in the notes of a perfect melody, touch the faces of those I love, and spoon the ice cold creaminess of pistachio ice cream onto my tongue.
In my fifth decade, I listen intently for the song of the mermaids singing each to each..
Posted by Liti