Crone? Is that something I ever want to be? Am I really that old? Is it time to start thinking "Old?"
Lisa Wilson presented her one-woman play at the Nightingale Theatre last night and sure enough, she is four years younger than I am and there were the issues. Madness? Mid-life crisis? Menopause? Family? It was a personal journal that hit home for me and for my husband as well.
We left the theatre with insight and insecurity. Were all these problems just around the corner for us as well and truly unavoidable? Yes. I continue to think through these issues today after seeing the play and confess I have actually been thinking about this all these heavy issues all this week anyway, waiting for my cortisone shot in my arm to save me.
Lisa deals with her drug-ridden, bi-polar sister, her needy and independent Mother who gets remarried at 71 and has a terrific 17-year marriage. Her Mother dies from congestive heart failure, brought on by the stress of Lisa's younger sister. The doctor tells her she has about a month or so live and the Mom so graciously asks the doctor if she can just give him a great big hug in her oh-so-Tennessee way.
The play is a personal journal. I am sure writing it was a therapeutic release for Lisa and I appreciate her willingness to be so open making herself quite vulnerable to the imperfections we all fear.
This morning I heard an appropriate quote on NPR. Can't remember who said it but it went something like, "Everyone my age is so much older than I am." Ever since I turned about 35 I have not been able to tell how old anyone is. I can tell when people are too old for their age and act stuffy and presumptuous. And now I cannot stand to see adults trying to make their kids grow up fast and be more mature than their friends and relatives. It all happens too fast anyway. You know. the old sex, drugs, and rock and roll stuff and throw in the Britany Spears influence and pre-mature sexuality. Lord, lord, I must be getting old to write and think this way!
So how about those issues? I have always been able to do pretty much whatever I please. Physically I could achieve what I want except for that little girl kind of boy body. Not in the genes. Those old German farm ladies give me the strength to do what I need most of the time. The arm is a bit whimpy but will soon, most likey be repaired.
Family issues are never resolved. I am the one who moved away and grew away from family traditions the most. I love my family but it can be hard to relate some times. My interests fell far from the family tree. I got distracted by the big wide world. My spirit is hard to catch.
And there is the losing friends to cancer thing. Oh, I have so been there. However, Lisa told a hilarious story about being stuck with a dear friends ashes that were the "overflow" from the urn. She carried the friend's extra ashes around for a couple of years in her trunk unable to find the right time to tell his young wife that he did not "fit" in the vase. He was rather large and she was looking for a convenient time to explain to the grieving wife. It was too ridiculous to be made up. Cancer sucks and it threatens us all.
Menopause was no big deal. There we rely on those good old German genes again. My body stayed youthful for a long time. I began to fear getting pregnant in my 50's. I was glad to finally end the "red plague."
Success in life? What does that really mean? Am I happy? Have I accomplished enough? Should I try harder to be a famous artist now that the kids are out of the house? Is kicking back and not working myself to death OK now? What about all those projects? What about relating to all the changes in my neighborhood business world? Are you going to finish the book? Are you going mad? Do you exercise enough? Are you going to gain the 15 pounds back? Should you color your hair? Does anybody care? Do I need more balance? Am I taking advantage of my strengths? Should I try harder to make more money? Yikes. Maybe I should not have seen the play after all. It made me a little neurotic. It hit close to home.
Step one, put on exercise clothes. Step two, know you are dressed for the event. Step three, go for a walk. Step four, be greatful for everything that makes your life so wonderful.