Last year I committed to spending more time at the beach. AND I DID.
My priorities and my visions of normalcy and success shifted with every minute I spent at the shoreline.
My intention was to continue regular beach visits in 2019 — multiple times every week — but so far this year … I haven’t gone much.
Today I didn’t even want to leave the house. Like most days this month. February is the worst month of winter in Washington (even without the snow that piled up last week); even though the days are getting longer, it’s not nearly enough sunlight after months of reduced daylight hours. It feels like darkness falls way too soon every day.
But I had to get one of Delia’s checks in the bank. It seemed like a waste of gas and putting-on-clothes to turn right back around and go home, so I made myself go to the beach, telling myself that I could just sit in the car and read. Just GO. Just GET there.
And there it was … proof that THE BEACH IS FOR ME, written like a personalized welcome mat:
Without planning it, the tide is often low when I get there. Especially on days like today when I had to ease myself into just the idea of being upright.
Funny coincidence: last night I read a story featuring sandwriting that was also like a personal bridge, but between where I picture the author Emma Donoghue and here in the Pacific Northwest. Starting out reading Slammerkin and The Sealed Letter, she has always seemed SO across-the-pond and decades and centuries ago from where I be, but in Touchy Subjects there she is writing about JESUS and TACOMA and the word COCKSUCKERS in the sand.
So far this book is full of stories I would never have imagined her writing, but I was totally surprised by Room coming from her, too. But maybe she was just making fun of us for that big JESUS CARES ABOUT YOU sign you can see from the freeway that you can imagine was an inspiration for it. It makes me miss Tacoma, actually. Lots of things make me miss Tacoma. But then I go to the beach here and don’t give Tacoma another thought.
Anyhoo … I had very tender feelings for “The Man Who Wrote on Beaches” when I read it last night.
“…he had a home with a view of Puget Sound and a good job and a great collection of German steins and a lot of laughs. Above all, he had Margaret, who was twice what he deserved.”
The older I get and resign myself to being My Authentic Self, I have to accept that even though I’m capitalizing those words like I’m in on the ridiculous joke of myself, I’m honestly NOT joking. I’m earnest and can say with my whole heart that I love The Man Who Wrote on Beaches. With recognition, relief that I haven’t taken it QUITE that far (but only because I got the idea of asking Jesus into my heart out of my system as a teenager), forgiveness … and no measurable amount of irony.
Growing is hard work, and out of your control a lot of times. It happens whether you think you’re ready or not.
I truly want to grow and think I have a pretty great attitude about it, but I don’t. Not completely: I want to be in charge of WHAT changes, HOW MUCH … WHEN and towards what (perfect) ends.
The good news: I might be past the worst of my midlife crisis, and am embracing good changes. Want to read about them? This month (National Bike Month, coincidentally) I’ll post more here about a significant lifestyle change we made at the end of March right as my grandma died (which was harder for me because of other family issues it brought up than actually losing my grandma) and this crazy overheated early spring unfolded … AND as the person I’ve been spending the most time with other than my wife decided to move out of state for a new job.
AND PRINCE DIED! Maybe that has nothing to do with me and I shouldn’t take that loss so personally, but his passing has been a touchstone of grief and strengthening wellspring of affirmation and inspiration at the same time.
Note: I was in a bad mood when I started this post, but writing it adjusted my attitude to CRAZY INVINCIBILITY by the end!
My mid-life crisis anxiety has been so revved up over money challenges, fear of failure, our biological clocks ticking, overwhelming necessary work transitions/reinventions, social/interpersonal sadness, and feelings of incompetence that I got fixated on how I’m about to turn 42 . . . to the point where I started thinking I already *am* 42, and was telling people I’m 42, and about to turn 43.
But I’m still 41! For a couple more days.
The whole trying-to-get-pregnant thing (with doctors who are younger than I am looking at me like, “lady you better HURRY UP if you’re serious about this, because you are fucking OLD! Do you know how old you are? Have you looked in the mirror lately? You’re REALLY PUSHING IT, Grandma”) amped up my fear to the point where all I could think is that I’m too old . . . and just getting older. That it’s too late for alllllll of the good things I want, and all the good things I want to be. That tons of doors are shutting all around me. My time is up – I squandered it. Wasted my youth, my privilege, my health, my IDENTITY. Now I just have to figure out how to make do really fast and SAVE us from all of our debt.
This was supposed to be a happy-go-lucky positive-thinking post where I talked about OH WOW SEE ALL THAT NEGATIVE THINKING JUST MADE ME AGE MYSELF PREMATURELY AND I’M AS YOUNG AS I FEEL AND I CAN FEEL *GREAT* AS LONG AS I TURN THIS FROWN UPSIDE DOWN AND RECOGNIZE THAT I’M JUST AS FULL OF POTENTIAL AS I WAS TEN OR FIFTEEN OR TWENTY YEARS AGO IF NOT *MORE* AND YAY SO HAPPY AND EXCITED ABOUT EVERYTHING!!!
Guessing I need to not work myself up into having more attachments to big dreams, but to surrendering to just being happy with what IS, right now; I have white hairs sprouting up in my pubes, and I don’t actually just LIKE having text on my kindle enlarged to hugeness . . . I need bifocals or reading glasses to wear with my contacts because I’m becoming farsighted in addition to my already-deeply blurred life with this astigmatism and near-sightedness.
And my neck. My motherfucking NECK! How did I not see these ghastly loose flabby neck wrinkles coming?!? They’re in my genes and I made it worse by gaining and losing so much weight. Yes, forty extra pounds is MUCH WEIGHT. I’ll tell you more about that in more explicit pictures one of these days.
I hate it when people bitch about shit like this. I hate how much I’m doing and saying stuff that I hate.
I don’t want to be pretty. I never really did. What I wanted was to be immortal.
Apparently I don’t know how to make realistic goals.
But wait, THAT’S NOT TRUE!! I mean, it’s true many of my goals and dreams are unrealistic, but FUCK IT – our lives are awesome because we do shit most realistic people don’t have the balls to do.
I used to be 5’2″ until I made it a goal to be 5’3″ in my thirties. GUESS WHAT?? I’m an inch taller! I made myself taller. IT’S THE TRUTH!!
And speaking of even more fantastical transformations: this is my wife, Delia, now:
Delia showing off her tits in Vegas.
This was my wife twelve years ago:
There was so much more to her transition than gender presentation.
Fuck “reality”. What a stupid cage. I’m going for immortal.
And thanking Delia (who NEVER complains about getting older, or any of the myriad challenges much bigger than mine that she meets with sweetness and serenity) for it. And remembering that there are a lot of people who can’t just *think* themselves into being healthier and happier. I want to get rid of our debts so we can do more to help other people.
My birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day / Tuesday the 17th … there’s a 42% chance I’ll be on cam if you want to say happy birthday (and look at my big boobs)! I may even do a very affordable gold show, so keep an eye on my twitter feed to see if/when I might log in.