Somehow, being in the middle of the road of life sounds a lot better than being middle aged to me~probably because the latter term makes me cringe a little and brings images to my mind of a creepy, old guy with an identity crisis driving a convertible with a young blonde by his side.
I'm pretty sure I’m nothing like that middle aged guy, and I don't think I'm like that young girl either.
I’m a grown up woman who has been a lot of things~ a student and a teacher, a traveler and a homebody, a wife and an ex wife, a partner, an artist, a writer, a friend and companion, a goat herding/ crazy-chicken-lady, a stay-at-home / homeschooling mom, a working, primary-breadwinning, single mom, a bonus mom-like person, along with a random assortment of career titles and jobs.
But none of that life experience makes me feel middle aged~ a phrase that just has a sad tone to it to me.
And I don’t feel sad about where I’m at in my life the least.
In fact, I actually feel pretty wonderful about a lot of things in my life.
When I look in the mirror, I do see a lot of evidence of a life well enjoyed up to this point. There are laugh lines and scowl lines and fresh out of the shower, I can attest to the fact that gravity is a force, and not a very pretty one.
But I still don’t really see a what I think of as middle aged woman looking back at me. I just see me.
Thankfully, I feel like I've at least acquired a smidgen of wisdom to go with these silver highlights sticking out of my head.
And what I've learned is this:
No matter how many days you get to live, life is way too short to deal with unnecessary negativity, drama or BS.
In one of those weird ways of the universe, drama is both horribly unpleasant and at the same time, addictive. It's easy to get caught up in and then it's really hard to shake once you're in it.
Negative energy spreads like a plague, and I’m far from immune. I can only be around small amounts before I start absorbing it and just like that, my joy is gone.
So, while some may think it sounds snooty, for the last few years, I’ve been trying to be as intentional as possible with who I spend time with and what I spend it doing.
Sometimes, I still find myself feeling bummed or stressed about situations that really aren’t my problem and grinding my teeth, losing sleep and deepening my forehead wrinkles because I’m wanting to fix things that don’t even belong to me.
But, I'm working on it.
I suppose it will always be hard to watch people be miserable over things that look solvable or to see them lose out on good opportunities. But really, I know that I could probably do myself and the world a lot more good if I just focus on my own stuff.
Along the same lines, I’d say the next best thing I’ve learned in life is:
Point towards your happy as often as you can.
Really, a good deal of the time, the things that stress us out and ruin our happiness are things we make up in our own heads, or that are spewed upon or seeped out at us by the people we’re surrounded by.
You know how there are some people who are just really kind of hard? I don't mean hard like they've been in prison, but it's just not an easy relationship....
Some are actually unpleasant and leave you with a feeling of “blech” and with others, you just don’t ever feel like smiling when you’re around them. Maybe it’s an awkward and forced relationship that you’re “supposed” to be a part of by default of some sort?
There are also sometimes people who you like a little, but for the most part, it’s just a lot of work and you end up doing all of it?
If you’re spending your time and energy on relationships like this, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate?
I’m not saying that you should run out and dump everyone in your life who isn't easy. People are human, so obviously there’s gonna be some degree of work involved in dealing with them.
Life happens, and almost everyone will annoy you on occasion. But if your heart usually feels happy and at home when you connect with them, they're your people.
On the other hand, if it’s all or even mostly work and no smiles, what's the point? Prolonged misery?
It also goes for foods, events, and pretty much most of the things that take up the minutes and hours of life.
If it doesn’t make you happy or provide some benefit, maybe you could put your energy into things that you actually enjoy and come easily rather than continually struggling to improve or make yourself happy with things that don’t fit?
I’m sure most people have hung onto a pair of pants or a dress that didn’t fit well for waaaaaay too long, in some vain hope that if we waited long enough, somehow it would magically look good and we wouldn’t have wasted our money and time on a bad choice.
Just let that mess go already and accept the fact that it isn’t a match. Hopefully someone else will like it better, and the opening it leaves in your metaphorical closet will free up some space for something that looks and feels naturally great on you.
I can’t even begin to imagine how much time I’ve wasted on trying and worrying and stressing and trying some more. Time I’ll never get back.
And these days, time feels like one of the most precious commodities I have. You can probably make more money in life, but you can’t make more time.
And that’s probably the biggest life lesson of all.
Time is meant to be enjoyed and spent on endeavors that make our hearts smile.
You can spend your time scrolling screens or talking smack, or you can spend it making art, food, love and memories.
Every one of us will probably do a little of both, but as for me, I’m shooting for more of the latter.
On that note, I’m happy to say that for the last 2 years, I spent my birthday in pretty much the exact way I wanted and needed to~ with people I enjoy in beautiful places and of course, with amazing food.
And by some crazy fluke of manifesting awesomeness, I managed to get lobster and margaritas on my actual birthday two years in a row!
Since I like to celebrate, I plan to continue for the rest of the month, albeit in small and mellow ways to match my current state of being.
And I plan to pay attention to my own wisdom from the middle of the road of life.
Wherever you are along the road of life, I encourage you to do the same.
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