I used to think that old people in their forties and fifties and sixties had it all figured out. They knew how to do Life, because they’d lived so much of it already, that certainly they were the experts.
And then one day I woke up and I was one of those old people who was supposed to have all the answers, and had lived responsibly and owned a home and had a serious bank account and a super-clean-all-the-time house with matching things or things that were designed to match unmatchingly. Someone who knew what she was good at and had a thriving career and a balanced bank account and was leaving the world a better place.
I spent the morning applying for jobs. Jobs with words I hated, like “ability to perform hard work” and “jump to reach high-hanging fruit” and “high intensity and long hours.” And I didn’t want to apply to any of those jobs.
As I was stirring together my peanut butter layer for a batch of decadent brownies I was making, I just really started to question myself and what are my actual abilities and do I even have any any longer?
I don’t know, Reader. I don’t have any of Life’s Important Things together.
I don’t have a successful 30-year marriage to lean back on.
I don’t have a pack of children to be proud of.
Don’t even ask about my bank account, unless you’re asking me how much money I’d like you to put into it. Unemployment comes at a cost, Reader.
My three cats are cute, but mostly ill-behaved.
I don’t have any answers to life’s hard questions. All I do is what I can each day and hope for the best. And sometimes that doesn’t work out like I hope. Many times, actually.
I don’t know what I’m good at any more.
I’m a mediocre cook who puts more effort into it than the return warrants.
I’m a mediocre blogger who writes sometimes. I have ideas that don’t always make it to the execution phase for one reason or another. And no, I don’t need you to guilt me about it, I already know.
What I’ve learned is that I muddle through on most days, hoping some things turn out okay. I just thought that by the time I was in my fifties, I’d have this shit figured out and I’d know where I was going in life and have one house paid for and would be vacationing in my second home six months a year.
I don’t have any of that.
The only thing I have on a regular basis is unprompted aches and pains. Yesterday I was walking around just fine, doing some yard work, and then out of the blue, my foot just started aching so hard I could barely stand on it. I mean, to the point where I had to figure out just how badly I needed to go pee, and by the time it wasn’t optional, I had waited too long and I may or may not have peed my pajama pants a little.
That’s not having life by the horns, Reader. I mean, if that had actually happened.
I guess the point of this is that I just don’t know. And I feel like I’m alone in this, and that everyone else KNOWS how to do life very successfully and well, and am I ever going to figure it out?
I don’t know.
I find it somewhat frightening that some people look to me to help them get their own lives straightened out. I’m the brains that is supposed to help them fix their life because they think I have some magic answer. I don’t. I’m no example. I’m not. I am not a model of success. I struggle against the current that is trying to sweep me under almost every single day.
I guess I’ll try again in the morning.
And maybe that’s all that everyone is doing. Getting up and trying again, and sometimes it works out well and it looks like you’ve got it all together. At least for a minute.
2 thoughts on “It Looked Different on the Model”
I’m in agreement with all that you wrote. I’m older then you, but we do have lots in common (no marriage, kids, money, etc.) And those points of measurement is what WE AS A SOCIETY use to measure. But we have to change that! LIFE is not just those old outdated measurements of a life.
A real LIFE MEASUREMENT is so much more!
1. First, how much joy/fun have you had? (You and Kenny have done such COOL vacations and foods/drinks! and your love of travel has touched so many people when you have shared your travels – THAT COUNTS!)
3. How much joy/fun/happiness have you brought to others?
2. Measure your Friendships/relationships, have you been a good friend to people? Even if those relationships only were for a short time? (longevity doesn’t NOT always mean successful- many friendships were only meant for an important moment in time.)
3. Measure your HEART action- meaning how opened hearted have you been? (You have a such a big lover of cats and you accept/enjoy them as individuals. )
The list can go on and on. Our lives have been so worth it! You MATTER and the impact your life has had on the whole is what is important- but YOU TOO are part of that whole- have you enjoyed the life you created? THAT’S WHAT REALLY COUNTS!
Well Ms Tracye, don’t look to far, I’m in the same boat with no oars. I’m 73 been married twice, have owned a few homes none now tho. I’ve had good times and bad times. I think the only thing we can hope for is our families to be ok and we have resonably good health. Without that we wouldn’t try anymore. Keep reaching you will succeed. Write that book, you are witty enough and have been around, your smart put it to good use.
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