Tuesday, December 29, 2009

As The Decade Turns

When I was 20, I said, "I can't live my life like this." And I made some changes - pretty stupid ones that did not lead to a better life - but I was 20 and heart breakingly naive.

When I was 30, I said, "I can't live my life like this." And I went to college and got a new career.

When I was 40, I said, "I can't live my life like this." And I left my bad marriage, struck out on my own and wrote my first novel.

Today, as I'm looking at turning 50 in the coming year, I have a strong sense that I don't deserve to say "I can't live my life like this" because I have so much.

I have a wonderful man who loves me, I have family, I have friends, I have a good job that provides me with a comfortable living, I am healthy. I am really fortunate with where I am. When I think of the situations others are in, I am ashamed of my selfishness.

So why am I so unhappy? Is it just some habit I've gotten into? Thinking I need to reinvent myself every 10 years? Is it because as I get older, I'm more aware that there isn't much time to recover from any disastrous life changes? Am I afraid? Is it peri-menopause hormonal fluctuations?

I hate telling people I feel depressed because the first question they ask is, "Why?" And I don't have a why, I just do and it makes me feel ashamed and ungrateful.

So I think the brave new life changing event for my 50th year is for me to stop pretending that I'm okay. I've spent the last year acting like myself. Before a social engagement, I have to psych myself up. Before work, I have to put on my nurse personality, force a smile on my face and go pretend for 12 hours at a time.

I've got to find some way to stop pretending to be me and get back to actually being me.

Loki sez: You aren't going to adopt more cats, are you?


Anonymous said...

I have some of those feelings too. Don't know if this will help but I have DECIDED not to live my life based on my "feelings". It took me years to figure out that I get to decide what I think about....thoughts may come into my head but I don't have to build them a nest and feed them...I try to base my thoughts on what I KNOW not what I FEEL. I know that I am loved.....that I have value even when others aren't praising me...
God Bless, Pam, South Bend

Anonymous said...

so very well put. I have some friends who are always so positive and upbeat...how do they get that way? and what do I need to do to get there? maybe there is something to "coutning your blessings" or keeping a joy journal (thoughts of both make me throw up in my mouth a little....but then again, that's why I'm not there).

Like you, I've got friends, family, a job I enjoy, health...the list goes on, but so many days all I want to do is sit on the sofa with the kitties......maybe we should blame them?


JaxCC said...

One of the worst things somebody can say is "Why are you depressed?" I don't know, why are you diabetic? It's not something you can control at will.

I feel your pain. Good luck to you in the coming year. I know if you're anything like who you pretend to be, I already like you. :-)

Anonymous said...

Miss you.....hope all is well
Pam, South Bend

Sharon said...

Janet, I hope you're feeling better by now (I'm trying to catch up here and reading the blog in chrono order). I think having a 10-year-itch isn't necessarily a bad thing. A reassessment of one's life can help you prioritize and appreciate what you have, give you new goals to focus on and things to keep learning, both about yourself and the world we live in. It doesn't have to mean that you completely change your life.

I mean, really, what's next? Astronaut?