Friday, September 12, 2008

Being old

Somehow I have gotten old. Not just simply old, as in where did all this gray hair come from, old. No. It's worse than that. Apparently I'm not just old, I'm old and crotchety.

Sunburst had the audacity to ask me the other day if I ever wished that I could still get crazy excited about things. Crazy excited? It hadn't even occurred to me that I wasn't, that I don't... The possibility of crazy excited had never even crossed the threshold of my mind, which undeniably solidifies my fate. At 36, I am old.

While I was standing there dumbfounded by my aging predicament, she then backed up her question with another question. "Do you even remember getting excited about things?"

Do I remember?

I think it's time for me to invest in pills and a walker. Do I remember? Hmph! The scary thing is that no, I don't remember. And suddenly my nine-year-old daughter sees me as some crotchety, grumpy, stick-in-the-mud, old person who lacks even one excited, fun bone in her body.

That can't be true, really. Can it? I mean, sure, I'm not so much fun as I used to be... wiping butts and cleaning up vomit and getting woken up in the night for almost a decade takes its toll on the fun-making, surely. Surely! Honestly, I don't even remember my life before motherhood. It's all a blur... a hazy, loud, caffeinated blur. But I must have been a teensy bit fun. I had friends... none of whom I'm much in contact with anymore. All my cohorts now tend to be people who met me A.C. (after children). Their visions are skewed by their own monstrous brood. We A.C. friends tend to back each other up out of parallel experience. We recognize the squeak of that hamster wheel going round and round and getting nowhere fast. Like me they have succumbed to the reality that we'll always be making breakfast, even though we just made breakfast. Oh, breakfast-- here it comes again. Those gals would tell me I'm a hoot without even blinking.

But what of the other people? Those friends from my youth? Surely they remember me differently. Maybe as focused, inspired, creative... giddy. No, giddy is probably going too far. But excitable? Enthusiastic? Was I any fun at all?

Sunburst's load of questions came streaming at me. Her inquiries about my youth have taken a turn lately... was I ever bad? Did I ever do anything I felt bad about? What did my friends and I do? Did I ever get in trouble in school? What was the worst thing I ever did? What was I like?

Of course I try to answer these things, but the one question I keep returning to is one I'm asking myself. How am I fun now?

Granted, I've been really stressed out lately. The move. The adjustment. And in the last two weeks I have suffered a huge loss... my stepmother passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly. I'm still trying to come to terms with that, something which seems so senseless. And so I feel entitled to a free pass on my "lack of fun" lately. But to the kids, my grieving and adjusting excuse doesn't fly. It's ongoing and timeless, and they are just desperate for some happy times.

Obviously that's an exaggeration. We do have fun times. It's a good life--- they skip around bursting into joyous singing. But I figure if one child is grilling me over the coals about my lack of excitement, then maybe I should stick that free pass back in my pocket and make more of an effort.

How am I fun now?

I'll post what I come up with. In the meantime, what makes you tick? Are you any fun? Do YOU still get crazy excited? Or are you just as crotchety as I am?

3 comments:

  1. I like to think that I still have fun - every time I try out something new, like paper making, soap-making, etc., I feel like I'm having a world of fun, and am also filled with a sense of joy! On the other hand, I'm also old and crotchety. Middle-age, and kids, will do that to you, I think.

    I keep in touch somewhat with 3 pals from grade 5, and 2 pals from high school, and in my humble opinion, I am having way more fun than any of them.

    Interesting, my boys never ask me questions about my youth...

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  2. This post really has me thinking some of these same questions. Am I fun? I think I used to be fun, but now I am wondering if I was. I must think on this one. I think it is an important question to answer for ourselves. And yes, middle age and parenting for these many years can definitely such out some of the fun for sure!

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  3. Dude. I am so fun. Really. I can especially tell when Bearcub is screaming and Nightowl is bemoaning her fate in such a family. Barrel of laughs - that's me.

    But seriously, super fun, super.

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Thank you for taking the time to leave a message. I appreciate your sweet words so much!

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