That's about the best I can come up with at the top of this week. My energy levels are lower than low. My inner critic on the other hand is high on her own fumes, happy to be throwing all manner of obstacles against any forward motion on the day. According to this mouthy broad there is no end to the list of my shoulds and oughts, incompletes and outright failures. As if that litany of criticisms were not enough, she has recently discovered that if she casts such charges within the dark cloak of aging, she can really cut me to the quick.
More frequently than I care to admit - more frequently than ever before! - my mind makes plans my body can't keep, or at least can't keep up with. My daughter's wedding last month offered a painful object lesson of just that very thing. I had great plans to celebrate and dance the night away, arise on Sunday to carry on the party at brunch and cruise straight on into Monday to another after-party.
This all sounds overly ambitious now, but at the time in my heart and mind it sounded like FUN, exciting, wonderful fun! The reality was that what started out so very well on Saturday, all too soon gave way to fatigue shortly after 10pm that same night and exhaustion before midnight. By the time we left the dancing still in full swing at 12:30am, I couldn't see straight and not because of the wine. I had to encourage every step I took. I was deathly afraid of doing a face plant on the sidewalk.
Back in the hotel room I dragged my body into the bathroom to scrub the make-up off my face. In the mirror some old lady's face stared blankly back at me. "Your not one of the cool kids anymore," the critic charged, "you're just an old fart!"
There are times to shut the inner critic up, drop kick her out of earshot and that would have been one of them. But of course it was too late. She had landed the blow. I was crushed. I went to bed in tears. Sleep rendered somewhat clearer thoughts. Deeper rest and time put things right again.
There are also times to let the herald of negative self-judgement rant, let her barrage of outlandish insults pile up in some insignificant corner as crumpled up rejection notices. Sometimes there is a kernel of wisdom buried within that heap of complaint. For me that wisdom is about acceptance: I'm not thirty anymore. Dammit, but I'm just not. It's also about adjusting my plans and expectations of myself to the reality of my age. But don't think for a moment that this all means I'll be pulling up a rocking chair and some knitting anytime soon!
Some of my days are made for pull-out-all-the-stops action. Some of my days are made for do-nothing quiet. Most of my days are a bit of both in dynamic proportion. All of my days are made to be enjoyed, savoured, and celebrated.
And now it's time for me to silence my inner critic while I spend the rest of the day planning our next great adventure.
|One of the cool kids!|
©2015 April Hoeller