Making A Life Past The Meridian Of Mid-Life…

Maitri2016-08-12

I am trying to figure out what to do with my life. I am as if a caterpillar whose skin is too tight and who has gone into the cocoon to shed the too small outer layer to undergo metamorphosis and become a butterfly. But right now I am still a caterpillar, I am uncomfortable. It hurts. I am so preoccupied with the physical responses to early transformation that I can’t see or think clearly. I am 62 years old and nothing that I have ever done before in my life seems the right thing to do now and it isn’t the time to go a new direction. Where am I, when will I be through this?

I am afraid. This week there is a meeting to see if I will be able to stay in my home. There is a lot riding on this meeting and it is a complex situation but one we think could be good. I won’t have any peace of mind until I know the outcome and I’m sure this is a big part of my problem. I am frozen in time, unable to ย move forward, not wanting to go back. That’s not exactly true. There was a time before the fire in 2014 when I thought I had found the answer to happiness and the life I wanted but it all went up in a blaze one awful night and nothing has been the same since. I am not trying to keep hashing over the terrible trauma that the fire was but it really did change everything for me and my life hasn’t been the same since. We all enter our 60’s in different ways. I turned 60 as the dust was settling after the demolition of the house that was and I have not found my way to firm footing yet.

I have been a writer, a journal teacher, a small press publisher, an artist, a mentor, and more, and I am trying to pick up these pieces and examine each one of them and hold them up to the light to see what I can see from this juncture. There are odd shapes and broken pieces and none shine as brightly nor can I see any of them as clearly as I once did. I have to do something and my bipolar disorder and other mental health issues keep me from working outside the home. I need to earn money and I have to do what I know. I know a lot, I have a lot of experience in a number of things but I am positively lost when it comes to trying to find my way into what I should be doing now. I am sifting through the parts and pieces of myself and my past life and trying to fit them together in a whole new way. I am searching for answers.

How does one begin? It feels to me like the 60’s are an in between stage, no longer considered midlife, not yet old age. We are past the age when everything seems possible but still young enough where there are potent possibilities abundant. How to find my way from the 60 year old who feels frozen and lost to the one who sees that there is still so much life to live? I know that there is, I am not hopeless, I am stuck, without the money to make choices that would allow me to feel free and able to sail into a new life, no, I must move slowly and carefully into the years ahead and find my way. This is not a bad thing, but it is scary.

I will find my way. I am picking up the pieces of my past lives and stitching them together like a patchwork quilt. What will I see when I finish? Something beautiful and colorful if unusual and I will find a way to fit the pieces of my life together in a whole new way. I am very interested in how one makes a new life past the meridian of midlife. I know that there are so many possibilities, I am excited just thinking about it, and I want to share it with others. Something perhaps that combines journalling and art and mentoring, I will find my way and help others find theirs. I am especially interested in working with women midlife and beyond, and I am hoping to make friends with women who are older than me and learn from them. Older women are beautiful and wise, full of deep wisdom and I want to learn from them. They are grace personified. That is what I want to grow into. That is what I want to teach.

There, I am touching down on something real. I just took a deep breath and my shoulders dropped from a stiff position rooted in fear. I am less afraid when I can see my way clearly through this time and into the days ahead. There is life for me beyond these scary days, there is work for me to do, there are people for me to teach. I have been a teacher for forty years, it is a big part of who I am, and it is the basis for who I will be moving forward. I can feel myself coming closer to picking up my pen and my tools and carving a new path before me. Yes, I can feel it, it is coming. I will make it, it is time, I can do this, oh God, I can do this.

I hope if you are reading this you will stay with me here, watch me, listen, and perhaps come with me on this journey. I promise it will be deep and wide and wild and potent. I am finding my way now, and soon, very soon, I will turn around and reach my hand out to you. I will give my whole heart and soul and life. I am the Phoenix Rising, I have been through the fire, and I am finally ready to take flight. Oh God yes, it’s time. This will happen. It is happening.

Amen & Hallelujah!

MaitriSz4.4.16.09

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Comments

  1. Prayers being sent up for you.

  2. i quote you:

    come with me on this journey. I promise it will be deep and wide and wild and potent.

    ok, maitri, i’m here with you – let’s go!!! whee, ooh, ah

    xo
    ka

  3. Yes- we’re all on this journey. Thanks for sharing yours – and your wisdom, truth, and honesty along the way. Your writing always makes the path clearer.

    Thanks. LW

  4. So much more than a house and possessions was burned away in the fire. And in the ashes of the aftermath, you have pursued so many fruitful ideas. What you will do with them in future will come clearer once the worry over the house is settled. That is a looming shadow, and it sounds as if a resolution to the ongoing uncertainty may be near. Sending you so much love as you continue to transition from before fire to after fire, from middle years to elderhood.

    • Thank you so much Cathryn, your kind words mean more to me than I can say, and yes, the journey to elderhood with grace and dignity is what its all about. I am sending you love right back and a gentle hug…

      Maitri

  5. Dearest Maitri, I hear you and I see you! I, too, am searching through the dark to find my way in a world that feels so foreign to me now since my husband died four weeks ago. He was the one who reminded me of my goodness and my strength. Now it feels that I have lost both. I wish to remind you that you are a wonderful loving and creative person and this always comes across so clearly to me when I read your posts or your blog. I am certain that you are finding your way perfectly at this very minute. I understand the fear and anxiety as I am facing this myself every single day. I think the most important thing is to keep moving forward with hope and curiosity, always believing fully in our own heart. much much love to you as we travel this journey. P.S. I just turned 60!

    • Oh Shari I am so sorry for your loss, it must have left an enormous hole in the tapestry of your life and days. I am so so sorry. And thank you for coming here, in the midst of your grief, to take time to read my writing and leave such a thoughtful and loving response. I send you love too, and a warm gentle hug. May you find rest and peace, and know, as he would want you to know, that you are full of goodness and strength.

      Blessings and Love,

      Maitri

  6. Maitri, I am in the same position as you. I am also 62 (but will turn 63 on Sunday) and am trying to figure out how to live my life. I have severe anxiety and panic which really exploded a little over three years ago when the last of my family (my brother) died very unexpectedly. It completely knocked me to my knees and I have only gotten half way up, so to speak. I also need to make money and can’t work away from home (I’m agoraphobic) and terrified. I can’t believe how much we have in common. I wish I had the go get ’em attitude you are getting (which is so wonderful) but my fear keeps me frozen. Thanks for writing about this…it helps me. Much love to you. <3

    • Oh Sheila honey I am so sorry. I can’t tell you how afraid I’ve been and how often I’ve not written here because all I could think to say was “I’m so so afraid.” I, too suffer from panic disorder and agoraphobia so understand all too well your struggle. I will pray for us both that we find solutions to our dilemmas, and that we find peace, and rest, and strength to get through the days.

      I am sending you love and a gentle warm hug. Know that I truly care and will hold you in my prayers.

      Maitri

  7. Maitri, My heart feels the heart of this entry, so genuine and raw. Thank you for sharing so deeply. In my experience, grieving takes a long time, and goes through its seasons, just like everything else. That perspective is one of the beautiful benefits of aging. I, too, am in your age bracket. I’ll turn 60 in December. I offer my Soul Messages as a weekly mailing to anyone who needs to be reminded on a regular basis of how wonderful and deserving they are and how much the Universe loves them: http://madmimi.com/signups/209430/join

    I invite anyone on this blog to check them out. They’re for the little lost soul in all us. Which, while sad, is also strong and beautiful.

    • Thank you so much dear Phyllis for your thoughtful message and sharing about your weekly mailings, I will check them out myself. The little lost soul inside could surely use some encouragement and help along the way. And thank you for coming to read this post and be here in community with all the beautiful souls who stop for a moment and share from the heart. I appreciate it more than I can say.

      Blessings to you dearheart…

      Maitri

  8. I am only 55 years young. I have been on a journey for two years now. I am still evolving just like you. Be Strong, Be Brave, Carry On My Friend !

    • Thank you so much Carolann, and best of luck to you on your journey. May you find all that you are searching for and peace and love along the way.

      Many blessings to you,

      Maitri

  9. Oh, Maitri, this resonates with me so deeply! I have been and done many things. Each role I played, each job I did, each endeavour I undertook, felt right and proper at the time. I’ve come to see life as a series of nows, each one differing from its predecessor.

    I love the analogy of the chrysalis, the cocoon. Metamorphosis is the action of living, isn’t it? Your post has brought to mind the Anaรฏs Nin quote about remaining tight in the bud. Also the phoenix analogy brings to mind the notion of the possibilities of fire. It is in fact a concept in forestry. And finally, Rebecca Solnit wrote about discovery and metamorphosis through the phenomenon of losing one’s way in A Field Guide to Getting Lost.

    Sometimes we have to peel our carapace away, break ourselves apart to assemble ourselves. Perhaps this is what living really is, and that makes us all works in process?

    • Thank you so much Roxanne, what a beautiful post, and I so resonate with all that you wrote, and I would love to read Solnit’s book. And yes we are indeed all works in process, thank you for reminding me of that.

      Blessings to you dearheart, I appreciate you so much.

      Love,

      Maitri

  10. I’m right beside you on this journey Maitri! You had the fire which turned everything upside down and I had the car accident which did the same to mine. You remain a constant inspiration to me and we are like the Phoenix emerging from the ashes…..our lives have been changed, we have grown, we have so much more to give and to do.

    Lately, it has been the new role of grandmother that has lifted me up….back to the nurturing that I love so much! In the midst of family difficulties (my sister’s diagnosis), I am able to find strength and courage from dear friends like you, who have faced great trials with dignity and grace.

    So wherever you’re headed next, I’m right beside you, cheering us both on!
    Sending you so much love my dear one! ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ
    Donna, your sister in spirit.

    • Darling Donna,

      It’s so good to have sisters on the journey to travel with, thank you so much for being here with me, as I surely am with you. And yes! Isn’t being a grandmother just the best? I am so sorry about your sister, and I pray that an answer will come to help, but I know being a grandmother will help enormously.

      Take care dear one, I’m right here with you…

      Love,

      Maitri

  11. Terri Myszka says:

    Dearest Maitri I send you so much love . I reach my hand out and say YES, I want to go on this journey with you my dear friend. This has been quite a year for me, I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I’m willing to go forth and find out!

    • Darling Teresa,

      You are so brave and strong and I am so proud to know you. I pray that all will be well for you dear friend, and that life will unfold in the most beautiful way. Know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers and heart. Sending you love and a gentle, warm hug…

      Maitri

  12. Maitri,
    It is so moving to read this thread and to become aware that so many women in our age range are going through some really significant life changes. As someone soon to be 62 as well, I can identify with the ‘messy middle’ as SARK calls it, where we are a lot uncomfortable, but also excited about new possibilities which have yet to reveal themselves.

    I do hope that your meeting this week brings some kind of resolution to your housing situation so that you feel able o move forward in one way or another.

    Sending you a hug,
    Joan <3

    • Thank you so much sweet Joan…

      I too am deeply moved by the sharings of so many women who are all on parallel journeys, traveling along with us, side by side, and yes, the marvelous messy middle indeed!

      And thank you for your good wishes for the housing situation. I will know something tomorrow and hopefully get the news we’re hoping for. Hold a good thought!

      Sending you a hug as well, and lots of love,

      Maitri <3

  13. Hi Maitri, I have been reading your blog off and on since you have started posting things on Esme Wang’s closed facebook group. I resonate with a lot of things you say about your weaving your past experiences into something in the present and the painful in between stage. Although I cannot relate to the part that you speak of about 60’s being a nebulous age since I am younger, there is truth and beauty in what you say and how you represent yourself that resonates in spite of our age difference. Thank you for sharing. All the best to you as you settle and come to a conclusion with your housing situation.

    • Thank you so much Jaynie, I really appreciate your kind comments and there are challenges and joys at every age of course. I can only speak to where I am now and I focus on my age group and beyond because so much material is focused on those who are younger. It means a lot to me that what I wrote speaks to you too. I wish you the very best and appreciate your good wishes on the housing situation.

      Blessings to you,

      Maitri

  14. Olive Appleby says:

    You would think that when we reached this wonderful age life would be sorted and away we go!!! Well that hasn’t happened. As with all the other posts, my life is again upside down, I want so much to create, but outside forces just come along and decide not yet. If not yet then when??! I have many skills to though no one wants to know. Still, at least we wake up every morning breathing and hope for adventure……….I never thought being in my 60’s would be this challenging๐Ÿ˜ฑ Well onwards and upwards Maitri. We just have to hang in there. ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’‹

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