I’m going to complain about being a middleaged woman (MAW) for just a minute and then I’ll move on. Ready? I’ve been sick since early October. Apparently I have screwy sinuses that are causing asthma attacks. My middleaged head feels constantly swollen and my breathing is tight. I’m driving my family crazy. I’m usually the fun one! Now I have a fever again.
I have so much sympathy, now, for people who are chronically ill. It sucks! It is depressing! It depresses those around me! I try to have a good attitude, but how much fun is it to be around someone who pretends to feel good and then slinks off to bed for the night at 4:00 pm? I’m going for a CT scan on Wednesday to find out what’s going on and hopefully will find some long-term solutions, so don’t worry about me. (Mom!)
But this weekend, I’ve been considering how to “live” when I feel so crappy. What can I do to better my life and the lives of those around me? I need a purpose even when I’m moping in bed surrounded by my seven pillows. If the kids were smaller, I could cuddle, read stories, and watch Disney princess movies. But now they just pop their heads into my room, say hi, and head back to their rooms to do private teenage things. How the hell am I supposed to mother that??? I can’t even get it together to make a fucking meal.
I know this is a temporary thing and I will get better, and I know so many people put up with so much worse. So I’m hoping to start dealing with these health issues with grace, and to continue to enjoy life until I am healed.
If my brothers are reading this, they are now calling me a drama queen, and maybe I deserve it. Still, today I vow to be a healthier person, to the best of my abilities. Good food — food that is real. Exercise. Fresh air. An active lifestyle. Anyway, today I realized that’s what I want to be doing during this “down time:” looking at my life, planning for what I want to do with the rest of my years (a common middleaged pursuit, I guess).
So, let’s talk about long-term goals. As a MAW, do you have a plan for what you want to do when the kids are out of the house or you retire or you (hopefully) have enough time/financial security to expand your horizons? Paul and I talk about acreage in Steamboat Springs (CO) where we can have space to enjoy nature. Paul wants to build a shooting range and to raise sheep (I don’t know where that came from, but, yeah, sheep, and why not?).
I want horses and I want to raise rabbits (obviously).
Lizzie and I had a long talk about this. She thinks it’s a spectacular idea (which is pleasing, because as a 15-year-old, few of my ideas are of any interest to her). First, she asked if she would have her own room, which is apparently important. I told her of course she would. “Great,” she said, and began planning: she and her husband will come every Christmas with their three daughters (no sons allowed). I’m assuming Michael is allowed to come with his imaginary children, as well, but she didn’t specify on that matter. We would ride in horsedrawn sleighs and celibrate Christmas in the snow. In the summer, her three girls (one of whom will be named Rowan) will come to stay with their Muma and Papu (that’s me and Paul!) and ride horses and chase the dogs and pet the bunnies (and shear the sheep?). And, I suppose, learn to shoot with Papu. Maybe hunt? Not sure how I feel about that, but Paul gets equal billing in this fantasy.
Needless to say, this is exactly what I hope and pray will be in store for me in the not-so-distant future. We’ve been searching for property to buy in the Yampa Valley, either with an existing house, or where we can build a house. It’s still a pipe dream. And of course, the thought of Paul and me building a house together makes all four of us shudder: with all the specifics and decisions to manage (not my forte), Paul’s finely honed ideas of what is right and wrong in a house, and my inability to remember details or follow through on things that don’t interest me, it could possibly end badly. The kids have advised us that, if we ever do build a house together, the best plan of attack would be to “let Dad make all the decisions.” Which would be fine by me: I’d be out in the meadow picking wildflowers and playing with my bunnies.**
So maybe that’s what I should do with my time in bed: start planning the details of my retirement. Search for property. Dream of snowboarding well into my… seventies? How about eighties? Research the type of rabbits I’d like to raise. Help Paul choose the strain of sheep he’ll breed.
How ’bout you guys? What are your dreams? Are you moving toward them?
By the way, Paul told me yesterday that today is called “Blue Monday” because it is the day most people feel most depressed. So if you’re blue, cheer up: tomorrow will be a better day (I’m mostly talking to myself, here).
All right, have fun dreaming. I’ll talk to you soon.
*Oh, dear. I haven’t really thought about what I want to raise rabbits for. I spent a few minutes just now searching what types of rabbits to raise, and learned: one doe can provide 70 to 110 pounds of “dressed” meat per year, and there are at least 300 recipes for rabbit. I don’t want to eat the floofy things! Maybe I can breed them and then set them free and we can have a ranch full of adorable wild rabbits hopping gaily through my fields of wildflowers. And being eaten by coyotes and foxes…
**Ah ha! I could show the rabbits. Apparently it is a “good learning experience and I will make new friends.” Also, “rabbit manure is valuable.” And I could sell them as pets.