Wishy-washy-ish. Or Middle Age Malaise.

Today I found myself writing, “I am at the -ish phase of my life. Retired-ish. Working-ish.” I could add old-ish, sick-ish, energetic-ish, productive-ish. That’s kind of yuck-ish.

All my life, my choices and behavior have been decisive and even radical. I have made stellar mistakes and accepted the consequences. I have had successes and happily accepted those, too. I have never claimed to have all the answers (at least not after adolescence), but I have always followed the path that presented itself to me as the right one, even when it cost me.

Some of my life decisions have cost me dearly in material terms, and even more in terms of reputation and broken relationships. I regret the relationships, but not the decisions. As long as I was doing what I believed to be right and good, I committed to it and took whatever came. If someone felt they could no longer be close to me because of what I did, then maybe they had never been close to me because of who I am. If I came to discover that I had made a mistake, I stopped doing that and did something else. That was my attitude in youth, and it still is.

So what’s up with me now? Is this some sort of malaise of middle age? If I were an American male is this part where I’d go and buy a sports car or take up white water rafting?

Or does it have to do with living with cancer for over seven years? Is there a kind of attitude attrition that accompanies long-term chronic illness? (Stop it! I tell myself. Not everything has to do with cancer. Get over yourself!) Maybe I’m just getting depressed and some nice SSRI will put me right.

Whatever the cause, my attitude at the moment is lousy. Time for a reality check.  I have a little brother who loves me and I love him. I have dear friends who love me and I love them. I have a spiritual life that feeds me. I have a home that I love in a great location in my favorite city in the world. I live in a country that grants me free medical care, including expensive cancer treatments and preventative medicine. I have books, music, lacemaking equipment and supplies. Computers and a smartphone. Heck, I even have a blog where I can blather my fool heart out whenever I want.

So get over yourself, Knot. Quit the navel-gazing and the melancholy. Work when you can, rest when you need to. Life is sometimes smooth curves instead of peaks and valleys. That is not such a bad thing. Go to the kitchen and grind some spices to work on your masala recipe and have a cup of tea. Read something funny. Go help someone besides your own fool self and see how good that makes you feel.

(Yes, I scold myself. Don’t judge – it works.)

Okay then. In the words of the late, the great Gilda Radner:

6 Responses

  1. gregsmithmd says:

    You’re fine.
    Keep writing.
    Keep being witty and funny.
    Keep giving me a hard time.

    No sports car. For me, iPads work. New one in March. Cheaper but still high tech and lots of fun.


    • Knot Telling says:

      iPads are good, too.

      As for giving you a hard time – you’re an easy target. Any grown man who voluntarily works 16-hour shifts as part of a career choice and sets himself up for seven consults in three hours or whatever it was is just like ripe fruit hanging off a tree in front of a ten-year-old boy. Ain’t no way I’m passing that up. 😉

  2. Cris says:

    One of the good parts is that you’re not one of those people who think Christians ought to be happy-cheery all the time or else they’re rubbish.

    I think you’re awesome. We’re very different and I bet if we had to work together I’d make you want to stab me with a knitting needle, and you’d probably make me cry every so often, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re cool.

    Okay, back to my own depression now. 😀

    • Knot Telling says:

      Ah, Cris. You make me smile. Cool and awesome? Whoa!

      I believe that God created mankind “and saw that it was good”. He created us with our emotions – all of them. It is up to us how we relate to and use our emotions, just as it is up to us how we relate to and use the rest of the created world.

      I might make you cry, but I give good hugs, too. 🙂

  3. Marie says:

    I love this line…”Life is sometimes smooth curves instead of peaks and valleys.” I am stealing it and Knot Telling where I got it…lol…

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