Punctuate Life

Pause Breathe Relax


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On the Brink of a Mid-life Crisis

Maybe it’s the dwindling hormones that announce the advent of menopause. Maybe it’s the overcast skies that are a regular feature of this part of the world. Maybe it’s my inability to get a decent job. Dang it! I blame all of the above for pushing me into this limbo.

Winter blues hit me bad when I was in Boston and now again in Seattle. It’s like a shroud that obliterates even the smallest bit of mirth. It’s hard to get motivated when it’s dark and cold for nearly 6 months of the year.

The kids are growing up fast and before I know it they’ll be out in the world fending for themselves, leaving me behind clueless. Heck, I don’t have a career to drown myself in. I can drown in the kitchen sink with all the dirty dishes! While my friends and my spouse climb the corporate ladder, I struggle to find my footing. I look in the mirror and only see a ghost of the girl I used to be. A girl full of dreams and ambitions and here I am almost middle-aged and drifting to God knows where.

Have I simply settled because after years of striving I haven’t arrived anywhere? Or is it because I was so focused on others that I did not realize that I was neglecting myself? The greying hairs on my head keep setting off alarms. Your time is so short. What have you done with your life? What have you achieved? Right now the false security of kids and chores keep you busy and lull you into a trance. But when you wake up one day it will be just you. The kids, the home, everything you put your heart and soul into – all gone. Then what do you do? Go back to college? Find a hobby? Travel the world? I have no idea.

Maybe I’ll shatter conventions and do something that will make the world look up an take notice. By now I have convinced myself that I am a late bloomer. How late will I bloom? Only time can tell. And it’s ok as long as I don’t go out with a whimper. Maybe I’ll start my own business, finally. Be my own boss, pick my hours and work with people I really like.

In Florida, I had the good fortune of knowing several women whose kids had grown up and moved out. Some worked full-time, others did part-time work from home and still others simply had an active social life. All of them seemed happy and content with their lives. Maybe it won’t be so bad after all. Life has a way of balancing things out. Changes happen and its hard at first but we ultimately adapt and find a new way of living. So while I may not have all the answers right now, I know when the time comes it will all fall in place. And I’ll be fine. Just as I am now with the crazy hormones, erratic job and gloomy weather.


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Dreaming of Florida…

 

Warm waves wash upon the sandy shore and tickle my toes,

A cool breeze mingles with the salty air,

Caresses my cheek and blows through my hair,

Gulls fly lazily above me,

And pelicans glide effortlessly.

The sun hovers in and out of the puffy white clouds,

Moving slowly across the azure sky.

 

Kids run back and forth with pails of water and sand,

Building castles that won’t stand.

Trying to hold the ocean in little moats built with their bare hands.

Seaweed crowns the castle tops and twigs hold up invisible pennants.

 

I sort through shells washed ashore by the last storm,

The ones I like I tuck away in my child’s pail.

The ocean beckons and the kids take a plunge,

They splash and sprinkle and dodge the waves,

Until a big one knocks them down.

Gasping and giggling they emerge from the shallow beach.

 

I love the ocean but not too much,

So I stand ashore and click away,

Memories stored in digital chips of a wonderful day,

Spent on sand and surf with the rhythmic waves to play.

Sunrise, sunset and moonlit nights,

So many glorious days spent in delight.

 

Magical moonlit nights top my list,

Where the ocean takes on a different persona.

Shimmering silver waters reflecting the moon,

That slowly rises from the ocean depths,

Night’s flimsy veil, partly illuminated,

White clouds highlighted.

 

Sunsets and rainbows come next,

Where vivid oranges and pinks merge with the blue horizon,

Or a light shower and a weak sun create rainbows of light.

Come thunder, lightning and angry waves,

We bolt for cover.

 

There is nothing I miss more than a walk along the coast,

With waves coming ashore to tickle my toes.

The many moods of the ocean I explore,

From dawn to dusk, storms and more.