The first thing I do in the morning after snoozing my alarm four times when my brain slowly starts coming out of the night’s torpor is to turn my phone on and look at facebook. For all intents and purposes, I’m still asleep, but there I am, squinting at the screen getting in touch with the world through what is possibly one of the worst mediums ever for that purpose. I saw a short video on anxiety this morning, hidden anxiety, and I realized I did every single thing on it. Obviously I have been unable to unearth this video from the bowels of facebook, because facebook has the mysterious and uncanny ability of disappearing anything that might actually be interesting or that you might need, unless you save it, which I never do.
Anyway the signs, I don’t remember them all right now, but as I sit here I noticed that I am actively experiencing several of them. Jumpy legs, tightness around my neck and shoulder muscles, mild headache that never goes away, tightness in the jaw, and inability to concentrate on the task at hand. The task at hand is supposed to be work, whereas I’m writing this blog post. What am I anxious about? No clue, but I’m always like this. Does this mean I’m anxious all the time? My sleep patterns say yes, but reality is that there’s no lion waiting to pounce on me. So why do I feel like this? Is it really hidden anxiety or stress or what have you? Because if so it’s worrying, my life is no more nor less stressful than most people’s, and it’s miles less stressful than it has been in the past. So is this normal? Are we normal? Is this lifestyle we are all living normal? And by normal I also mean healthy. Is there anything that we, or in this case I, can do about it? Should I even be worrying about this?
Questions, questions and no answers.
I’m failing at life today. I’m sitting on my bed right now, crying. I’ve been crying for what feels like forever and I can’t seem to stop.
The reason for my meltdown is a cold shower. The cold shower is due to some electrical work that’s being done, in fits and starts, for the past two years. But the truth is I’m crying for everything else. For this house that has cost me more in terms of money, time and energy than it will ever be worth and I’m still not done, for my dead marriage, for the fact that I’m still in love with the person the Ex used to be, for the fact that I lost my temper and smacked the Boy on his tush harder than I should have, for this life I’m living that isn’t really mine but I don’t know where mine went, for the fact that I recently found out the Girl has a really bad nut allergy and I don’t want to deal with that fear, and I don’t want her to deal with that life, because we’ve been walking on the threshold of death for far too long in this family, for the fact that I’ve got nothing that’s just mine and that makes me happy for no reason and for the fact that I’ve got no one to take care of me and it makes me feel so alone, and for my broken heart, mostly for my broken heart. And that, all of that, is making me sad, just so, so sad, today.
So today I’m failing. Failing at this life I’ve been given, where I smile and act happy, and upbeat, and when the shit hits the fan I paint it gold, and spritz perfume on it so I can sell it as something better than just shitty shitty circumstances, where I justify everything and solve all the problems and sugar coat everything else. Where tomorrow is always better, cause honestly can it be worse? Though it can, it always can, but I close my eyes and stuff my fingers in my ears and pretend that that isn’t true.
I’m failing at this farce of a life, and it doesn’t really make a difference cause failing at it or succeeding at it are two bitterly similar things. Failing just means that tonight I can’t stop crying.
Today is my 41st birthday. Now that I’ve been in my forties for an entire year, I have a few observations to make:
Last week my friend unceremoniously yanked out my very first white hair. It was a bit shocking. Mostly because she stealthily attacked me, like a ninja. I guess I should count myself lucky that I still don’t need to dye my hair, but now I’ve started to wonder how long that will last.
I give a lot fewer shits about most things in general. It’s strange when I notice, probably because it happened so gradually, it’s unsettling. And then when I do give a shit about something, I do so much more intensely but in a less neurotic, haphazard manner.
It’s much harder to date in your forties (this was a given, but it’s different when you’re experiencing it rather than just theorizing). Actually, dating isn’t harder, or I wouldn’t know whether it is or not, what’s harder is all the stuff that happens before dating. Like meeting a person, talking to them, flirting…. Last time I was in this situation I’d go hang out at bars with my friends and we were hyper-aware of our surroundings, of the men around us, smiling and interacting with our body language. Now when I meet my friends in a bar I’m so absorbed by the conversation I forget to look around. Also, I don’t like to wear my glasses (or contacts) so making suggestive eye contact across the room is pretty much not going to happen. And my tolerance for game playing is nonexistent. So you see my problem.
I’m also finally starting to learn to do what I want rather than what’s expected. Worrying about what makes me happy rather than pleasing other people or letting myself feel guilty for everything that goes wrong. I still have to work on being gracious and graceful, but I’ll get there. And then I’ll be perfect.
Overall forty-ish isn’t bad for now and I have the feeling this decade can only get better. So I guess I’m back to being an optimist now.