Today I emerged from the shadows of boredom into sunlight so bright it burned my eyes. Out of the blue a new attitude had sneaked in during the night. What is this? Did the good fairy visit while I slept and sprinkle me with magic dust?
I felt a twinge of excitement welling up from deep inside and I cannot imagine why my spirit seemed to be trying to get back on top of the rut to which I had resigned myself. Could it be I have found an escape hatch from the “Terrible Toos”?
The “Terrible Toos” typically set in with our children during the second year of life, but when someone over the age of 50 contracts the condition it’s usually caused by TOO much sitting, TOO little exercise, TOO much sugary gooey foods, TOO little contact with other human beings, TOO much guilt about past actions, and TOO much fear of the future. Inertia was inevitable.
I googled “How to get out of a rut” and my new friend, Dave, came to the rescue. Writer Dave is a transplanted American in Great Britain and he is a kindred spirit (www.writerdave.com) whose blog got me thinking in a whole new direction.
Could it be that I’ve stopped enjoying life because most of my days are consumed with unappealing, unfulfilling tasks to satisfy society’s expectations and putting the activities I love last on the list. That means I never get around to doing them and I retire at the end of the day with the empty feeling of failure.
Dave’s message is a challenge to get back in the game and make the activities we love our absolute priorities. But first, I had to get to know myself and reconnect with the one person who will be with me throughout your life – myself.
In my case, I had no idea who I was. I spent my life trying to be someone else – someone who looked like a cross between Martha Stewart and Margaret Thatcher with a little Andrey Hepburn thrown in for a touch of class. I was none of these people and probably the exact opposite of all three.
So recommendation Number 1 was to get to know this new person who has been living in my body for two weeks shy of 70 years. The one I thought nothing of flogging to the point of death for all her stupid mistakes. I made a list of my good qualities and realized I was no worse or better than another other “girl” in my age category. Heck fire! I made the decision to DEFY my age by doing whatever I please. I may put on a red dress, carry my boom box and go dance on the front porch during rush hour. \
Instead I took myself for a walk and found a stone in the street in the perfect shape of a heart. I took it as a sign that rather than despise myself for all my shortcomings I will love myself just the way I am. I’d been waiting to lose those pesky five pounds I put on during the most miserable winter of my life before shopping for a new wardrobe. Forget it. I’m fine the way I am and who knows, if I begin enjoying my life they may just disappear because I’m out there doing what I love instead of watching Mad Men on Netflix for the third time.
Ugly aging is never attractive so just for today I’m going to keep an open mind to what my toddling spirit moves me to do.