When she was still living, my life was simpler. Not that her being alive made it so, but, it just was. I hadn't yet moved into the real adulthood phase of my life. I was unmarried. Going to college (sort of), working, making my way through the world. The stakes were low, very low at times (shower? check. $10? check. let's go? check.) Low stakes = little chance of making a huge mess of my life. My life was disorganized and felt like a disaster movie, but it was, in hindsight, lived with unnamed ease.
Simpler but also more riddle with strife. I was so worried about how to become a woman, a wife, a mother--worried that no one would ever love or know me, that I took no time to enjoy the simplicities that come from sleeping as late as you want, calling in sick without worry, skinny-dipping in the country club pool, running off at midnight to see a band, living in the moment without concern for my family or anyone.
Now, my family is all that I think about. Well, not all, but it's so ingrained, so primary, that I have a hard time separating myself out from it. Who am I without my daughter? WIthout my husband? Are they just such a part of me that I will never, truly be without them? All the compromises and give-ins, trade-offs of my wants and needs for theirs, they add up and I feel lacking. Am I so used to being this person that rolls with the punches that I don't even notice when I'm being punched?
This is not an existential crisis or a crisis of faith. This is not a crisis, at all. Just thinking about what my grandmother could have done in her life (what she wanted to do?) and what she did instead. Just thinking about trading parts of myself for someone/something else. What do I give up matched against what I want and need? Those things don't have to be in opposition, but when they are opposed, I'm asking this question, right?
Good news is that my MRI was normal and my brain is as healthy as a "very young woman's" (the doc's words, not mine.) So with this healthy, young, agile brain, am I as questioning and longing as the young woman that I once was?
Food for thought. (All puns.)
Here's to being 91. Let's find out what happens, shall we?