Lately I've been thinking I'm suffering from a midlife crisis. I'm contemplative and reflective. I'm wistful and full of regret. I'm appreciative for what I have, yet searching for things I don't.
I chalked it all up to this transformative change of life: not quite young, but not yet old; walking that line between the good ole days and the golden years; a mother, smack in the center of "girl" and "grandma."
When I realized that soon I will be old, faded and worn away like a good pair of jeans, the world seemed to tilt, and my perspective tilted with it.
Was I good? Was I good enough? Were the right things important to me? Was I being a good mother, wife, daughter, friend? Was I satisfied? Was I happy?
People I loved have died, some tragically young, some gloriously old. We would all die soon -- too soon.
What did any of the nonsense half of us spent a lifetime worrying about matter? Lately it didn't seem like very much did.
Except people; people matter. And feelings matter -- my own as well.
So I'm trying to reach out more, be more thoughtful, more understanding. I haven't been sweating the small stuff. I'm trying very hard to be considerate of others' situations, to not be judgmental, to be truer to myself.
Because part of what I'm struggling with is that I've somehow lost myself in the tornado of my life, which is all about taking care of other people. All of a sudden I want more. I've realized how much time has passed and how much or little might be ahead. I matter. Or maybe it's just that I want to matter. There's a difference.
I thought all this angst and reflection was attributable to my midlife crisis, and maybe it is, but I also realized that maybe it's not your ordinary midlife crisis; it's something deeper, something that had been there all along, slowly sinking in year after year.
It's Yom Kippur, a time of reflection and atonement.
Despite spending more time at temple studying the people than the book, unbeknownst to me, ideas have somehow worked themselves in, wrapping like ivy around my brain. Contemplation is ingrained into my heritage -- to constantly think and rethink, to question, to search myself and find answers.
As a nice Jewish girl over 40, I've apparently hit the mother lode, which means I'm always guilty for something and there's bound to be a crisis -- and food. Thank goodness there's always food.
Maybe soon I'll feel more settled and relax. But until then, I'm just going to keep on wandering, doing the best I can and hoping I find my way.
Babka: perfect in a crisis.
Happy, sweet new year from Ice Scream Mama!