So this is one thing I’ve realized as of late…
It’s next to impossible to be present to a mid-life crisis when there is no spaciousness in my life..
Ah ha! After nearly a year of working an insane number of hours trying to string together two part time jobs (one of which was more than part time), I’ve come to realize that without any time for reflection or simply stopping doing for a while, that there is no way I can get to a deeper understanding of what is going on in my life – all I can do is burn myself out.
You can’t suck blood from a stone…
What I HAVE realized this past year is the following:
1. MY BODY DOESN’T LIE. whether it is feeling icky about an office space, aches and pains that are leading me to greater truths about my situation, or sheer exhaustion – all of these are signs of the greater picture of my life.
2. REST IS NOT A LUXURY – it is simply put, a necessity. For far too long I’ve prided myself on all that I could accomplish in one day. That has left me depleted and bitter. As I move through this transition in my life my thinking has shifted and I feel much less drive to “do” – and am slowly starting to become comfortable with “be”.
(Don’t get me wrong – I’ve still got a long ways to go in this realm and there are still strong feelings of guilt as I’m just sitting there “being“… ;-}
However, these days I am taking several naps a week – rest is a necessity and the longer I go without it the more I will need to catch up. My dear friend Deb put it aptly – “Kathleen, you’ve lived your entire life at roadrunner speed; you need to rest, let your body do it.”
Right now there is simply no blood to suck from this stone…
3. IT’S OK TO ASK FOR (AND RECEIVE) HELP – oh this one has taken me a long time to embrace. I’ve made it my mantra for the past couple months and think I’ll carry it into 2015. I’ve read enough Brene Brown to know that vulnerability actually takes a crap ton of courage and simply asking for help – or has been my fortunate case, receiving it when it is offered – is a true gift and a strength. I’m slowly learning to flex these “receiving” muscles as I get to the low funk bottom (I hope!) of this mid-life crisis/unfolding/transition period of my life.
I also read the recent article in December issue of The Atlantic Monthly about the midlife crisis as a global phenomena. Have to say – it made me feel quite a bit better about my life. The article referred to the U shape of life; basically we’re happiest at the beginnings and ends of our life and that bottom of the U is the midlife time period.
The good news is, most people come out of their midlife crisis happier than they were before!! I’ll take it!
Anyway – after a series of interesting life turns and events I am now working a part time job that I happen to enjoy immensely and that provides a tremendous, supportive community all around me. Although it feels like “I’m not doing much” (I mean I’m only working part-time…) I quite honestly don’t know how I’ve ever been able to work more previously. This tells me I’m right where I’m supposed to be for this present Now.
I’m working on listening to my body, resting when it tells me too (even when I can’t believe it’s telling me to rest AGAIN! – more naps! ;) and practicing doing less and “being” more – being more self-indulgent, more thoughtful in how I spend my time, more forthright in speaking my truth, and most of all more loving and compassionate towards myself.
It’s NOT easy.
For now I’ll work on being me, and continue to try and understand what that means.