Gen X Women

Interesting. I said to myself just yesterday, “Generation X was the perfect name for us. We’re nothing but a bridge between Boomers and Millennials. Crossbeams. We hold shit up.” Then my friend posted the following link on Facebook.

This article is long, validating, terrifying, and excellent. Ambiguous Loss has a name! And I’m not alone in rage.

The New Midlife Crisis

“Like X, for whatever,” I thought aloud. “I give up. X for cancel us out. X, for cross right over us. Without us, Millennials couldn’t ‘speak their truth.’ We fucking insisted on it!”

Gen X was pretty much there just to be a battering ram against the old guard, as far as I’m concerned. Thing is, the Boomers were the original revolutionaries, and look what planet-killing warmongers they became!

*sigh*

Maybe we’re all just assholes.

X is whatever value you give it. Perhaps in mid-life it’s a negative integer, but screw the “U-Turn” the article describes for other generations. X that shit out and start over! Isn’t that what we’ve been doing all along?

Perhaps I’m just Oppositional Defiant. Perhaps I’m a fucking survivor. Today I feel depressed, displaced, discouraged. I’m still getting up tomorrow.

X marks the spot. Start here. Start now.

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Murky Full Moon

I still feel spun near the center of a Universal smack-down, but I’m ebbing out of the survival zone. Last month’s eclipse is still with me and hurting, specifically because my ability to have fun with it made it all the more bittersweet. Sometimes it makes me sad to see how good I am at making the best of a bad situation. I don’t know how to explain that, except to say that the little girl growing up beaten, abandoned, furious, and scared to death just figured out how. And this middle-aged gal still has it. How can that be sad?

It’s bittersweet, too, because though I was able to make a joyous occasion of it, I could simply have gone home and enjoyed my family, the spectacular countryside, and the magic. I chose instead to scrape out another miracle of mood-alteration. I guess I needed to believe I still could. Nice it didn’t take drugs, like the old party girl would.

I hope in the second half of my life, I’ll finally let go the need to prove myself to myself. It’s like the first half was so hard, especially the nascent beginning, that I simply refuse to believe that anything is real or solid or sticking around if it doesn’t just suck.

Thing is, that’s childish, and I’m the only one who can grow up, or refuse to. I’m in danger of not doing it at all if I don’t get this shit behind me, like, yesterday. I’m 44.

Christie, trust that the skills are in there to enjoy and appreciate magic and beauty every day. They don’t disappear or stop coming if you know that. Expecting miracles is different from taking them for granted. They’re your right and your routine.

I suspect that they’ll become more powerful if I let them in every day, rather than needing each one to be epic. It’s just the way it is. I’m connected and I know it. So are we all. Nothing special, just a walking marvel, ‘s all.

So, here I am in full moon energy during the day, a red-gray sun snuffed by wildfires severe enough to cause evacuations in northern Utah. It’s bad. The throat and eyes sting, mountain beauty’s blotted out, and the whole damned planet is burning or flooding or turning night at midday, just 2-odd weeks ago. It’s eerie and spooky, and everyday run-of-the-mill. It all is, and I’m busy cleaning up the mess I’ve made, of my life, my family, my namesake, my most important friendship, and my last relationship.

****

Today, this memory popped up on Facebook. It seemed especially poignant and timely, so I’m marking it here to make myself accountable. Of the memory, I wrote:

“Two years ago, the last of my 3 best girlfriends left Salt Lake City. At that time, I began planning my move, too, to the next phase/location of my adventure, but found continued wonderful reasons to stay, as one does. The last month+ has got me asking the Universe, sincerely, “Is Utah kicking me out?” I’m anchored through November with a passion project 24 years in the making, which would make any big transitions impossible until the end of whatever lease I’m able to come up with next month, which tells me: ONE YEAR. My life purpose for one year is to look at 20 years in the Promised Land and squeeze in all the personal goals I meant to reach but didn’t, face character deficits I ignored or pretended away, and set myself up for the second half of my life. I don’t want to leave next year, but I’ll have a picture of and real progress toward a clear 5-yr intention, with no particular destination in mind. What’s next? It’s terrifying, exciting, bittersweet. It’s time.”

jojo's good-bye

Jojo’s good-bye… Germany, here she comes! Aug. 29, 2015

 

Downswing

I feel icky. And then I feel bratty. And then I feel like I can’t get safe enough. I need money.

It started yesterday. My cat has long-since established dominance in my new place. My roommate’s cat holds his own just enough that she doesn’t attack him (much), but there is the odd chase here and there. Penny is obsessed with Oliver, and his room is her favorite place in the house.

Several weeks ago, my roommate caught on that she was using his litter box. I was horrified, of course. That’s complete alpha ownership behavior, and poor Ollie must feel so violated and insecure.

Recently, my roommate changed litter brands and Penny didn’t approve. She pooped outside the box and he stepped in it. He, my roommate; not he, the picked-on cat. His slippers were ruined and he ground shit into the carpet all over his office.

I fell apart.

As far as I was concerned, it’s all over. There’s no coming back from that. I felt like an idiot. She’s been at it forever, and we just got wise. It’s not going to get better. Ollie’s not going to hold his ground any more than he does, but she’ll keep getting bolder.

The only solution I could immediately find was to keep my girls captive in the bedroom while I’m at work, and I wanted to cry. That’s fine for Fat Cricket, my little Shadow Cat. She never leaves our room, never has. But Penny basks in the sunlight of living room windows, or on a recliner and blankets in the spare room, and on Ollie’s bed while he cowers underneath it.

She can scarcely stand our door being closed overnight. She wakes me up with the most pathetic (hilarious) chorus of mews, begging to wander in the dark. Every night. Her vocabulary of varied pitch, vowels, and syllables is staggering, and utterly delightful. “Oh! You tell a good sad story,” I tease her, and readjust to fall quickly back to sleep.

I can’t bear it. I can’t imprison her.

My mind leaps. “It’s over. I have to move.”

I tried to keep myself in check. No need to “awfulize,” or borrow trouble. Let it play out. There might be an option you can’t see in this state of mind. If not, you face what comes next when it comes. Today, you just clean the carpet.

I couldn’t! I was pouty, angry, sullen. The mood of the entire house changed, and I felt that old shame for using my energy to hold everyone hostage. Negativity was palpable. Jax kept reassuring me and I wanted to scream, “Shut up!”

Even my cats looked at me with that searching anxiety. That’s the worst. I felt awful. I was mad, at a cat! Who has no ulterior motive, who’s being perfectly feline. She’s alpha, because she is. That’s all. And I was mad at her!

I was mad at myself, for thinking her dominance was cute. For thinking I was some kind of cat whisperer who’d negotiated a sort of peace between the 2 of them. For thinking it was getting better. For blurring the lines with my roommate, and spending most nights in his bed and not mine. Why shouldn’t she?

I was mad that I can’t afford to live in Salt Lake without a roommate, mad that I’ll never be able to buy a house. I was mad at all the stupid decisions I made in my 30s that cost me so much. I was mad at all I’ve lost and given up, and can’t get back. I was mad that I’m getting older and running out of time to do anything I once dreamed I might. I was mad to know that my life will never be anything more than scraping by. I was mad that my roommate thinks his yard is xeriscaped, when really it’s just overgrown and ugly. I was mad that I’ll never have a haven of my own. I was mad that I’ll always be alone.

I’m mad that that’s exactly what I want, and I’m still not satisfied. I’m mad that I’m losing my looks. I’m mad that I failed, and now I’ve lost my bloom. It’s all over.

You know, perfectly reasonable stuff like that. Meow >^..^<

Online Dating and Other Misadventures

Here we go again!

I got a love note from OkCupid, telling me how dismal life has been since I deactivated my account a year ago. The wheels started turning again (“Maybe…”) so, sure, hell, why not? I rejoined.

I think online dating is a young person’s game. I simply cannot force a connection with someone I meet there, even if the date is pleasant. Even with dynamic, interesting conversation. Even with a good-looking fellow. I don’t know; some kind of mental block.

And those are the rare finds. Generally, they’re of the trying-too-hard/always-on variety with screen names like “QualityGenes,” and I find myself wanting to remove them from the gene pool. Painfully.

I know it’s hard out there, but no.

I’ll give it another week, and if all I feel is hostility for myself and all others in the gene pool, I’ll get out of the water and back in the shade.

Speaking of young people, I got chatted up (insistently pursued) by a PUPPY of 21 the other day! He was very gracious and charming about not taking no for an answer, bless him, and he finally did. It was a fun flirtation, and a great boost (gorgeous young specimen, this one, looking all of 16, as far as I can tell anymore). The young’ uns asked me out en masse 5 or 6 years ago and then stopped en masse about a year ago, so it was nice to be the sexy older woman again to some young bloke wanting lessons. Ha!

Anyway, let’s be honest. I had a temporary affair in a temporary city and, nearly a month on, I’m still pining for the perfect man! I know he can’t be. He’s perfect because he was gone before either of us could show or find flaws, but… PERFECT, I’m telling you! I wish I could love and let go. I never have festival boyfriends, for this reason. Offers at every event, of course. I love people. Connecting, flirting, kissing, dancing. Beyond that, “I’m just not available. Thank you.” He’s why. I’m so moony for him, I’m willing to join the other desperados online to fill the void he left. I’m aching. PERFECT!

He. was. perfect.

*sigh*gene pool

My Cat Needs Surgery and I Have Cancer

Well, it’s a grabby headline, anyway.

My poor kitty. Her ear has swollen even more since yesterday. Any more, and it will pop on its own. Maybe that would be cheaper. I feel so sad for her. It’s been one thing or another with her since she was 4 weeks old, from the innocuous to the terrifying. I’m always amazed at the next new thing. “Seriously? It never ends for you!”

I’ve decided she has a compromised immune system that makes her vulnerable to attacks of this, that, and everything. “Well, it’s obvious you’re my children,” I tell them. “One of you never stops talking and the other has auto-immune disease. We’re family!”

How I love them. =^..^=pen and crick

And the medical information I had to worry about all night? Well, I didn’t worry. I felt comforted, by my mom and my cheerleaders on high. I spoke with the nurse first thing this morning, and my biopsy came back positive for squamous cell skin cancer. No biggie. I’ll wait for the site to finish healing, and in a month I go back in to start freezing it to death.

When I mapped my genome 2 years ago, it revealed a higher than average risk of squamous and basal cell carcinomas. Both are relatively harmless and very common among fair-skinned people. I’m a redhead in the desert, and I’m a cyclist. Though my hands didn’t burn in the last decade, I confess I didn’t always wear sunscreen. Sheer bike gloves afforded some protection, but I knew better. It’s begun. (I was comforted to learn that I have only average risk for melanoma, the more deadly skin cancer.)

Yesterday, mom told me she got a cream from her dermy to put on her face for a couple of weeks to seek out the bad patches and burn them. She said she looks like she has acne on every square inch of skin. “Poor mom!” I laughed. “I’m sorry you’re ugly!”

Hopefully, it’s like a chemical peel and takes age spots, too, because ALL of my freckles have morphed these days and I, no doubt, will be getting that treatment myself one day.

Mid-life was never supposed to happen to me!

7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7!

WOW! Today was such a stressful and fretful day. I came home from work last night to find my little fatty’s ear had swollen with some kind of huge cyst or abscess. I took her to the vet this morning and had to worry all day.

I finally spoke to the vet, who diagnosed an aural hematoma. He couldn’t explain why she got it; She had no signs of former ear infection, which often is found to be the trigger. Ultimately, it will cost me nearly a thousand dollars. Oy! *sigh*

hehe

hehe

While I was on the phone with the vet, I got a call from an unknown number. I returned the call immediately upon hanging up to learn that the nurse from my dermatologist’s office had gone home already, having closed the office early that day.

Sure enough, she’d left a voicemail. But here’s the thing: I had a little bad patch of skin removed from my hand 2 weeks ago. The doctor didn’t think it was anything to worry about. Neither did I. Just figured, at mid-life, it’s time to start that maintenance. He said he’d call if there was any cause for concern, not expecting there would be.

I clarified, “Okay, so you’re sending this to the lab and when I don’t hear from you, I don’t need to call panicking, ‘I had this thing biopsied and I never heard back…'”

“No. We’ll call you if it’s anything to be concerned about.” So this chick leaves me a message at the end of her day and leaves me to worry ALL NIGHT LONG about what the hell she was calling to tell me.

So then I reframe it. “Okay, Christie. It’s an opportunity to practice patience. You don’t have a choice, so just be.” I took a breath. “Anyway, it’s nothing. It’s probably something clerical or stupid, in which case it’s an opportunity to prepare to treat the caller with respect when you finally reach her, even though she created unnecessary worry for you.” (It’s not administrative. Otherwise, an administrative person would have called.)

In any case, it is what it is and I get to sit in the not knowing all night. Okay. I called my mom. We ended up having a lovely conversation. We’ve been speaking more and more the last couple of months. It’s been nice.Today, especially so.

****

I picked up my little fat kitty cat from the vet, and as I sat waiting for the cab I noticed the door of the pet hospital: “Hours: Mon.-Sat. 7-7, 7-7, 7-7, 7-7, 7-7, 7-7.”

Oh my goodness! It’s 7-7!

Oh my god! It’s Christine’s birthday! She was apprehended and questioned by the police, on her birthday, for the physical assault that occurred 2 days prior as I tried to escape last year. I was delighted that they were located and hauled in at all, but especially that it happened on her birthday. I knew there would be no consequences for them. I’m sure the whole inconvenience took no more than an hour. All I wanted was for her to know that she did not get away with it. I know who you are. I know what you did. It was wrong, and you know it, too.attack Christine loved that her birthday was 7.7.72. The reason for my visit last year was to celebrate our friendship one last time before finally phasing her out. She didn’t know my plan. I intended to celebrate her with one last round of blind drunkenness, and move on. You can’t get wasted enough to enjoy her company anymore, and I just wasn’t going to feel guilty about it any longer.

I wanted a cute pic, but this was all she'd give me.

I wanted a cute pic, but this was all she’d give me.

I’m so grateful to be home and healing, continuing to learn. My family is getting better, stronger. My new boundaries are effectively protecting me. I still feel a lot of pain and sorrow for the difficulty we experience(d) as a profoundly ill family, especially as I watch the trauma become more disruptive for one of my dear brothers. I think he’ll have a lifelong journey with Depression and anger, and so far I don’t have a lot of confidence that he’ll even look at it as something to recover from and live with.

But things are good.

My angels greet me now and then through numbers, and I don’t care if believing that makes me nutty. 🙂 Sometimes it’s just a little nod, a hello, but I’ve never got one like SEVEN sets of SEVEN in a row! What a reminder to take stock and express gratitude. Thank you, angels!7 of heartsWow. I got a new follower moments after publishing this post. I checked out her site and right there on the front page was a post called A Copper Penny In Your Eyes.

Pennies became one of the first symbols of angel communication for me. I asked my Grandpa [after his passing] to send pennies, and he did! I was practically knocked out by pennies from heaven, there were so many the first 5 or so years. It’s less frequent now, and less personal. I don’t feel his energy, exactly, every time. It’s just a smiley face each time I see one now, but after the connection I felt this afternoon, I can’t help but find it to be a confirmation of the day I had and the feelings it inspired.

All is well. “Cuddle doon, me bairney,” Grandpa might say.
pennies and quarterThe author of that poem used pennies to represent the low regard in which a false friend held her. Nevertheless, my meaning for pennies remains untarnished and the poem itself is quite profound and well-written, about honoring oneself and drawing on courage to stand tall in the truth of who you are. (A timely nod after my reminder of Spain today, and confirmation that I did well to leave my own false friend.) Check it out.

Fatty’s surgery is slated for SEVEN SEVENteen at SEVEN a.m.
I don’t make this stuff up.
(For those of you keeping track, that SEVENteen SEVENS in a row.)

*****

“The repeating Angel Number 7 indicates for you to keep up the great work you’ve been doing of late. Your angels are telling you that you are on the right life path and that you will find that things of a positive nature will flow freely for you.  Your job is to maintain your momentum and enthusiasm, with the highest outcomes for all in focus.

Angel Number 777 is a positive sign and means that you should expect miracles to occur in your life.”

I love this site by Joanne Sacred Scribes. I don’t remember when I first found it, but I just love it! 77777777777777777! http://sacredscribesangelnumbers.blogspot.com/

THE YEAR OF THE ANSWER IS WORKING! 42! (7×6, like the wall of the vet clinic. 🙂 )
Mid-life is kind and difficult and funny and strange and wonderful and MIRACULOUS!

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I confess I find myself in a malaise this 3rd WordPress anniversary.

I’m struck by thoughts of “Too late, ” “What’s the point?” and, generally, “Meh.” I catch myself in fantasies of my 20s, thinking what I might have done if I knew then what I know now. It’s such a useless enterprise, and yet I find myself perpetually there.

I think, “Well, start now!” See above.

This “blah” has been sitting on me all year. I was waiting to get depressed. When that didn’t happen, I waited to snap out of it. Neither so far.

I’ve tried 3 times now to write something meaningful or interesting in any particular on this blogiversary. The truth will have to suffice.

Having said that, I am looking forward to Hottie Hoop Camp next month. I thrive in the classroom, and I’m excited about the possibility of unlocking this brainfreeze I’ve been stuck in (for years) with my hooping. I’m so ready for a lengthy visit with my best friend. She moved last summer, and I really feel the lack of her in this blasé phasé.

The End
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