Beginning to take stock…

…or at least make soup.

First, let’s be clear: I have a good life. I have family and friends who love and cherish me. I have vocations and passions that inspire me. I live in a beautiful place. I’m healthy. I have enough to eat and to wear. I have a kind heart and a good head on my shoulders. I’m very thankful to be me.

That being said, though — there has got to be a better way. Maybe even several better ways. At least, I certainly hope so.

I’m halfway through my forties now. If the decades of my life have had themes, I would summarize them in this way:
0-10 — the years of beginning to learn who I am
10-20 — the years of learning how to be a friend and a partner
20-30 — the years of learning how to do the kind of work I want to do
30-40 — the years of learning how to be a parent, mentor, and guide
40- — ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

So far, my forties have been the years in which everything I thought I knew has received a good, hard shake. I mean, seriously. The year I turned 40, a dear friend became a second life mate, and our family of three became a family of four. The year I turned 41, we moved from suburban New Jersey to far more rural West Virginia, with only a few weeks to get used to the idea before we uprooted ourselves. Now, here I am, self-employed yet not feeling the autonomy I want to feel, working on my PhD yet continually struggling to stay in the flow and connected in my studies. Who am I kidding? Finding myself out of flow, again and again, swimming upstream and trying not to drown.

Choices and choices and choices and choices, all making sense at the time — and here I am. And where am I?

I feel the need to re-emphasize: I have a good life. I love my partners and my daughter so much, and I know they love me. I am very lucky to have creative outlets that fill my spirit and light me up, inside and out.

So why am I so confused? Why am I so often stressed? Why do I feel so much more fragmented and fragile than I did ten years ago? Why do I so often catch myself in the act of feeling unhappy?

I am not settling for this. There has got to be a better way.

3 responses to “Beginning to take stock…

  1. I’ve been meaning to write, but often read from my phone and am not technically adept enough to comment from there, too. Your posts have been so wonderful. Keep going. Really. I’m listening and cheering for you.

    And don’t worry, we’re all confused, stressed, fragmented and fragile. Those who are brave enough are the ones who admit it. Hang in there.

  2. Thank you, Liz! Thank you so much. That means a lot.

  3. Well, I can only speak from my own experience, but I’ve noticed that in times of re-creation, you can get kind of jangly because you are in that Land of the New, Strange, & Unknown.

    Things seem to calm down a bit as one passes through that land, and begins to understand the lie of it.

    Also, I’ve noticed that sometimes being in a place of making changes leads to requests from the peanut gallery as it were. Different facets of my life start piping up, going ‘Ya know, we’d like some changes on this topic too, while you’re in the mood.’

    And it’s, again for me at least, a time when I’m beginning to really be aware of the full Cycle of Life. My own, family, friends. It’s pretty big.

    Whatever your reasons may be, the very best of Fortune to you in discovering them, and turning them to your best use! 🙂

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