It's been building for weeks and yet I did not completely recognize it. I was so incredibly focused on my daughter's anxiety about beginning kindergarten that I was not fully aware of my own. Change is hard, no matter your age. She is excited and nervous, curious and tentative. For the past two days, I have required my trusty prn of Ativan which I have (gladly) not needed in a while. The anxiety would come over me and I was not always aware that that's what the feelings were. I waited, thinking that I couldn't be that anxious about her starting kindergarten in a new school. That seems silly! But, alas, I gave myself permission to feel whatever comes to me, to welcome it and manage it the best way I can. I needed those prns but I do not feel guilty about it. I will not waste my time punishing myself for having feelings. That was my modus operandi before, I certainly cannot go back to that.
So, I am nervous for her to walk into her new classroom, nervous for whatever tomorrow may bring. I am also sharply aware of how lucky I am to be here for this moment; to be here with her; to share it and be a part of it. Depression may have taken me down, but it did not take me out. I am so glad to be here, to be alive and present for this moment and all of life's moments that are part of everyday's existence.
Just as I sat sobbing during her end of preschool celebration, so thankful to witness such a milestone in my girl's life, to simply be alive to witness it, I am equally as thankful to God to be here today; to accept my anxiety and excitement and to support my girl on this evening before beginning her new chapter in life.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Monday, August 10, 2015
When did I become a “ma’am?” According to some of the employees at the Starbucks near me, I am one. In all due respect, I know that cultural norms advise people to respect their elders but I don’t consider myself a “ma’am,” not yet. I have recently begun my 41st year on this earth and have never felt so healthy, but am I now old since I have become a "ma'am?"
I have had the genetic gift of going gray very early (age 19) and while highlights covered it for several years, I was still in my 20s when I had to move on to single process coloring. When my roots show, or as my friend calls it, “the landing strip,” it is quite noticeable due to my dark hair. Maybe I would understand the title of “ma’am” if I was greeted in this manner only when my roots are apparent, but it has occurred at times immediately after my hair has been colored.
What I do not understand is that I actually do not look my age. I have been told time and time again that I look much younger. I would be lying if I said these comments do not affect me. I hold on to them with all of my might. It’s not that I mind being 41 years old, I am obviously very open about it. I simply do not want to be seen as “aging.” Who does?
I celebrate each birthday with excitement and never shy away from an excuse to celebrate. It could just be semantics but I do not mind aging; what I do mind is being seen as aging. That feels more sad and finite.
I spend my time trying to keep up with my 5 year old daughter and that certainly helps to keep me “young.” I wish that those Starbucks baristas who see me could do so with the same pair of eyes that I use to see myself. They may see a woman who only drinks decaf coffee and is always friendly. I see a woman who is working hard to maintain her health, both physical and mental; and I also see a woman who feels she has so much more to accomplish in life.
Do not call me “ma’am.” Not yet. I am not mentally there and I am not sure when or if I ever will be. And really, it’s just Starbucks and you’re going to ask for my name for my cup anyway, so use it.