I will make my way out of this dark place. I will start again tomorrow. I will feel triumphant and fresh and new. I will make the bed, make a breakfast. I will play with my 2 year old and feel total peace and happiness and wonderment at the life we have created. The miracle that grew in my belly. The gift I was given. I ill exercise and write and clean and organize. I will do all of this. And I will do it with the calm peace that I have learned through 40 years of life on this amazing planet. All the lessons I have learned will be incorporated into each day of life I am allowed to wake up healthy and full of gratitude. I am thrilled with this idea. This seemingly simple and correct idea. But I don’t. I wake up ok. I enjoy my coffee. I snuggle with my baby. I watch SpongeBob and then get dressed, kind of. I give him a cold poptart and settle into the couch. I watch the clock calculating how many minutes I have till my older boys get off the bus. I think about writing . About that damn dinner I’ve been wanting to cook for a month since I broke my leg. I sigh and search through the dvr for shows I can watch when I get minute of my own. My own second to exhale. I realize my life is literally more than half over. My childhood is still fresh..yet I am seeing my face sag in to an older woman. The reflection I see is a reflection of someone I never thought I would be. I research facelifts and and botox. I watch my sweet boy play. I think “what is wrong with you”??? You have life and friends and health and family and a mind that can think all of these thoughts. Where is the excitement? Or where is the motivation? Where are the actions that follow these great ,perfect and correct thoughts? They are hidden in a gross complicated(or maybe not) disgusting place called selfishness.
When I was little I imagined I would live in New York. I also imagined I would have a pet unicorn. In my 40th year, I am still in our tiny starter home. I am married to my high school sweetheart. I live five minutes from my childhood home . I don’t even speak to my sister. My identical twin died at birth for no reason other than the fault of the doctor. That is always going to be a hard one to make peace with. I am still dreaming of writing in new York, and all the dreams I had are still present, just tilt shifted to a new focus. Survival of my own family. A purpose after the kids leave. A marriage that I can be proud of, and kids that will be proud of me in all of my selfishness and inadequacies. A comfortable spot to curl up in when my parents are gone.
I forgive myself everyday. Maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I should force myself out of my anxiety ridden comfort zone. Isn’t that what grownups do? Keep pushing past the misery of depression ,inadequacy, and past hurts? See the amazing blessings laid at my feet, take comfort in my self knowledge that no one is perfect? But February..ohh February with your tease of spring, the freezing rain, the broken ankle, the solitude and the meanness of virus and grey nothingness; you have wrapped me in your blanket of 40th birthday introspection, selfishness and cold. I am lingering in a purgatory of before and after.
But this morning, I made a playdough snake with Sam. He kept saying” I make one for you, mommy! For you.” And he did. I got out of my head just long enough to see what I have. Who he is. What I am shaping.
Yes, this winter is especially hard. Breaking a bone is no small thing. Its very limiting, It limits your movements, your freedom and your ability to grow physically. It is so daunting to not be able to do all the things you were capable of just yesterday ,and to see how your handicap affects your family. but let me tell you this. Our mind is the largest handicap we will ever confront .(Cliché) The over expectations that cripple us. The binding weakness of not seeing past our own weaknesses. The viruses that invade our mind when we are not paying attention. The blanket of doubt we cover ourselves up in..that is the thing that keeps us from being. Just being. I catch myself forgetting who I am a million times a day ,broken bones or not.
But looking around this tiny starter house I share with with my highschool sweetheart and our three beautiful kids, five minutes from my mom and dad..I see limitless movement. I see everything a person could ever want. I see peace and happiness. I see the absence of grey,and the colors of a two year olds imagination. I see a future of learning, understanding,growth and honesty. I see a brilliant burst of spring intermingled with shades of awareness that only a seasoned mind could know. I see a way out of this dark place called February, called the” aging woman in the mirror”. I feel the warmth of the hands I grew in my belly, holding my hand as I held theirs in their infancy, blanketing my self doubt I fight everyday in this thing called” growing up”. We are a reckoning everyday. We begin again , everyday. We are loved everyday. We may forget in the middle of it. We may forgive where we think forgiveness should not be allowed. I’ll be damned if that forgiveness ,tiny, or enormous, doesn’t bring us closer to the end of that dark hallway. A little bit closer to that freshly made bed, that dinner on the table and the face in the mirror looking more beautiful, than sagging, more wise, than aging, and content as the spring draws near.