Theoretically, I've lived only half my life. In the first half, I've been born and had chicken pox and measles and a catastrophic accident before I hit puberty that left me half-blind. I've had and fought with and lost friends. I've fallen in love a number of times, been married just once and done pretty well at it (knock wood), but we've been on the edge a few times, so I know what that looks like, too. I have had my heart broken horribly, once by family and once by A when he died. I've been widowed, and come back to the land of the living. I've had a bunch of jobs and two careers, and I've already retired. I've suffered chronic pain for well over a decade. I have to seriously ask, what's left? The only things I've missed are having kids (and I wouldn't say I missed it, Bob), being famous, divorce, and terminal illness. The first two aren't going to happen, and the last two I'm happy to avoid if at all possible. But if that's all I haven't experienced, if that's all I have to potentially look forward to...sigh.
I don't know how to stop feeling so old, tired, and, more often than I care for, bored with it. Often I pull in my focus to only look at things closely, so I can appreciate a random bright red leaf in a muddy brown lane, or a sweet, simple harmony in a song, or the white hairs in E's beard that didn't used to be there. Like I've had to set my mental camera on life to the little flower setting just so I can enjoy it at all. It's not that I don't know how to enjoy things; I'm actually pretty good at it. It's just that sometimes, I feel like I'm just keeping busy in this thing called life just for the sake of keeping busy; there is no sense of purpose, other than what the moment requires because dinner needs to be made, dogs need to be pet, and laundry needs to be folded. And I don't know if there's some kind of slippery Zen wisdom in such a life, or if I'm doing it wrong. Thing is, if it's the latter, I don't know how to do it right. I used to think I was doing it right, and when the bottom fell out of all my various notions and coping mechanisms after A died, I realized that it was just all mere magical thinking. I didn't know half the things I'd previously thought I was certain about. And living your life any particular, imagined "right" way may benefit you as you're living it (though there's no guarantee of that, either), but it offers no protection whatsoever when the shit hits the fan, when life hits you so hard you collapse for a long time.