I must be entering that stage of my life where one reevaluates everything. It’s not that a fire has gone out, exactly, more that the center of heat has shifted to someplace that I can’t quite locate.
I don’t get all lit up about issues of gender and identity anymore. I’m too busy with a hundred other, more mundane, everyday things to spend hours meandering through who I am, and who you are, and what the words we use to label ourselves mean. I love writing; I love my blog. I just don’t have anything to read down from the pulpit, most mornings.
Having been home since August with this absurd, busted-up knee, I’ve lost any sense of connection to the outside world. I’m consumed with Sharkman’s homework, and Scouting, and issues that have more to do with being a nearly-middle-aged daughter than I am anything going on in the national news. Having gone into an involuntary hibernation, I find myself blinking at the bright lights at the out-of-doors, when I happen to be out-of-doors.
It’s all very strange, to think I used to thrive in online debate and interaction and flirtation. To remember how intensely, emotionally invested I was in my career, in my own ambition and need to prove myself.
I write these odd, reflective meanderings not with a purpose, or to make a point, but to put words on a screen. It’s a familiar habit, and comforting in a way, to post and to send the thoughts flying into the ether.
I crochet, for god’s sake. Thread and hook and counting and coming out with a hat, or scarf, or potholder. I spend more time looking at patterns than I should admit.
I drink coffee until it’s too late in the morning, and then I switch to water. No more coke-and-a-smoke between meetings or ledger reviews.
I buy fresh flowers for the kitchen pass at the grocery store.
Two weeks from today, I’m most likely headed back to the same job I left in August, but nothing about that is at all the same. My absence was at first shocking, then inconvenient, and has evolved, it seems, to something approaching intolerable. I’m less concerned about that than I expected. If it doesn’t work out, if I’m pushed into another position because my recovery outlived the formulaic and allowable twelve-week recovery period, then something else will come along. If I’ve learned nothing else in the last five years, I have definitely learned that something else will come along. Probably not what you wanted or hoped for, but something that will keep the wolves at bay.
My central problem is that I’ve always been a little too maverick to just go along as expected, plodding through a job every day to come home and plod through a family life. But not quite maverick enough to chuck it all, risk it all, and make something new and my own. And now I’m just a little too old, with a little too much riding on my every day choices. Sharkman’s too old for me to take one last great gamble, but too young for me to stop being his mother and start over on my own life. The one thing I never expected from the high-wire act that is parenthood, is that the wire gets thinner and less well-anchored as the days go by. The net shrivels away to nothing as adolescence approaches, as they get to the age where they actually remember the things that happen to you as a family.
The age where they notice when your most commonly repeated response is, “It is what it is, and this is what you do.” And where they might just ask you what that means.
Maybe someday, I’ll have an epiphany and actually be able to answer him.