I was at a workshop this weekend (yah, you know, the kind that privileged middle-aged-middle-class women attend to re-energize their lives). Our warm-up was to introduce ourselves one-on-one and tell the other person what our dream was.
For a split second I faltered. What was my dream? I knew what it was, but would that sound foolish???
Yah, that was my saboteur talking, so I gave her the finger and a shove, and repeated myself over and over until everyone in the room knew what my dream was, and I believed it could happen. Worth the money and the time, thank you very much.
Although we were focussing on realigning our lives, there was a lot of misery in the room. I supposed that’s why we all went – to banish it to the realm of 80’s hairspray and baby oil sun-tanning.
My mother, whom I relied on to teach me how not to be in the world, imparted two solid pieces of wisdom upon me;
- Time goes by faster as you get older.
- There will always be assholes.
She was right about both of those things.
What I also learned from observing her was that misery loves company. And what I’m learning at this ripe old age of mid-forty-something is that not only does it love company, it absolutely requires it to survive.
There seems to be something entirely blasé about this time in life for most people. Whether they are in the throes of child-rearing, stale marriages, or realizing that their prowess now gives up the occasional purr rather than a ferocious growl, people in general connect via the lack in their lives rather than the abundance and joy. Cool has become the preferred carnival mask of middle age.
I’m too old for cool.
I’m middle aged,(don’t argue with me about what middle-aged is, I’m a mortician, and mid-forties is way past middle aged for most of us, so get with the program), I want to be cool about nothing. I want to be passionately engaged about what gets me excited, and dismiss what drains my energy.
Misery invites company, it’s a seducer. It loves to lock it’s lips on our sexy, positive energy and suck the last breath from it. Leaving it limp and impotent.
Misery is easy. Being miserable means you don’t have to invest or commit to anything. And that’s so fucking easy to get away with. Misery sucks the life out of everything around it, in order to stay above water.
Joy, unlike misery is so busy smelling the flowers and investing in more joyful interactions that it generates enough energy to keep itself afloat.
If you are lonely go out join something. If you are bored at work, take a class and learn something new. If you’re fat, go for a walk. If you’re sex starved, trust me ladies, it’s out there to be had. If you don’t have enough time to do what you love, set boundaries….You get the picture. Oh, and quit making excuses, that’s misery wrestling you to the ground, and not in the sweaty, sexy, one-garter-came-loose kind of way.
If you were to step into the room that I did on the weekend and were asked to everyone what your dream was, and you don’t know…you absolutely need to know. Misery has kept you company for far too long.