I’m fond of mottos. I find it comforting to think that life’s big lessons can be summarized in ten words or less. “You are what you do consistently.” That’s been a big one with me, lately. “You can have anything, but you can’t have everything.” Ooooo, that’s a good one, it practically drips with insight. But the one that I am clinging to right now is this; “You get bitter or better.” Only five words, but an entire game plan for the rest of my days on this here planet.
It could be so easy at this age to veer into bitterness. I mean, every week has some new, physical humiliation. My first spider vein. The return of acne. And just today I found two long, black hairs growing out of my cheek…my CHEEK! I mean, chin hairs? Fine. I’ve made my peace. But now my body is starting to grow mutton-chops. I cannot tell you how unhappy I am about this. As most women age, they turn into their mothers. I’m turning into John Quincy Adams.
Where was I ? Oh, right. Talking about how NOT bitter I am. And I’m really, truly not. I can honestly say, that, whatever difficulties we are having right now, I am happier with myself and what I’m doing that I have been in a long, long time. I’m forty, damn it. And the good news is that enough successes have started to rack up that I’m starting to lose that feeling I’ve always had, that in all likelihood, whatever I’m attempting in the moment will more than likely fail.
Maybe it’s just the blessed relief of not being a new mother. Oy. Talk about feeling like a failure. YOU tell YOUR mom that her beloved grandbaby just swallowed her second button that week and see if your ego exits that conversation intact. (for the life of me, I can’t remember if that was before or after the precious darling rolled off the bed. Ooops.) You don’t know ANYTHING and what you thought you knew will prove totally incompatible with your child. (They do it on purpose, I know that they do. Rotten, I mean, adorable angels.) But now my kids are older and thankfully sturdy enough so that I’ve been able to take a break from the constant vigilance and accomplish a few things that I have wanted to do. Like running a marathon and losing the baby weight (oh, sure, the baby in question is mere moments away from high school, but it counts) and playing the ukulele and writing. As in this blog. So, no. I’m not bitter. I’m downright thankful for this stage of my life. And adamant to continue to get better…and apparently, hairier.