Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Starting Things Up. Again.

The last time I regularly updated this blog, I had just committed to a year without yelling. It lasted about 3 weeks. Like all of the best laid plans, mine are impossibly ambitious and ultimately doomed. I want to work out more, so I decide to work out EVERY MORNING! RIGHT AFTER I DROP OFF THE KIDS! But of course I’m exhausted, or need to take care of other stuff, or have a itty bitty sniffles, or any other excuse that means staying in a warm cozy bed and not working out.

I want to write more. The part of my brain responsible for motivation is now screaming that I should write a blog post every day!  This part of me is broken. And even if I come to my senses and commit to a more reasonable once-a-week post, then another part of me kicks in. The critic who reminds me that a blog really needs to have a strong focus, and I don’t have one, and therefore maybe I should not blog. Not to mention that my stay-at-home musings and Ted Talk philosophizings are hardly original or interesting. Who do I think I am?

Which is the real issue: Who Am I? Maybe this blog can be chronicle the sweet, sweet midlife crisis of a woman who feels old and young at the same time. One who leans into the numbing comfort of too many beers with friends and flowing wine and endless socializing to avoid facing the grief splintering me from the inside. Look closely, and loss and grief are everywhere. A father losing a son. A freeway fatality that claims a teenager. A man who can’t take any more and takes his own life. A friend who is suddenly, impossibly gone.  A fire that devastates all it touches. A mom with cancer. And another. And another.

So I’d rather not look.

It’s why I never mediate. For all the energy I expend avoiding exercise and writing, I am a master ninja at avoiding mediation. It terrifies me. I tell myself I’m afraid that I’ll fall asleep, which is a ridiculous lie because I LOVE sleep. I’m an anxiety-ridden insomniac who takes pills specifically to HELP ME SLEEP.  Sleep would be a terrific outcome. The real fear is facing all this emotion inside me that I keep locked in so tight. I cried a lot when my close friend died, but I only could because that is a totally expected thing to do after someone dies. That was the one emotional release I allowed myself, and even then it was rare to break down.  A few anguished sobs in the bathroom, a moment of grief rocking me in terrifying waves, then recomposure: a sharp breath, a drying of the eyes, and moving back into the safe, disconnected world.

Not that my fast-talking, quick-drinking, joke-making self is false persona. It is very much me. As a new-styled hippie might phrase it, it is my truth.  Lately, though, I retreat into Party Angela to avoid feeling my feelings. Why can’t I strike a balance between Party Angela and Emotionally Connected Angela?

Early in our relationship, my husband coined the nickname Angel A, which quickly spawned Angel B and Angel C. Angel C was the crabby, short-tempered one. Angel B was the fun, upbeat one. Angel A? That was just me, I guess. It occurs to me now that perhaps the key to this midlife quest to find myself means getting to know Angel A, that part of me that isn’t anything to anyone – not a mother, a wife, a daughter, a confidante. Not a drinking buddy, a program manager, a serial volunteer, a karaoke enthusiast.  Just me, feeling my feelings and being myself.

So yeah, maybe that’s what this blog is going to be about.


  1. Virtual high five for starting things up, even if it takes many tries to find your groove. Can't wait to get to know Angel A :)

  2. I can't seem to meditate at home either, despite the best intentions and all the evidence indicating the benefit. That's a big reason why I like yoga. I commit to a class, pay for it upfront, then I feel like I have to go and really do go every week. By the end of each class I'm emotionally and physically ready for that sweet sweet Sevasana.