Pushing Against the Tide

My life is so boring I feel like I should brag about it. This is my big achievement. Nothing’s going on. No big drama, no big project, no big deal. Just bumping along, same old, same old, for a few weeks now. It’s interesting mainly because it’s so uninteresting. I’m so relaxed. Am I dreaming? How did I get here? I should probably celebrate, but I lack the motivation. Could post some pictures of nothing on social media, but it’s not very photogenic. That’s the thing about it. Completely unexceptional. And yet, hardly ordinary. My stress is ordinary. Fear is the new normal. And I’m not feeling anything. Even my triggers are melting. Have I ascended into heaven or is this dementia? I can’t tell.

I’ve been living in this man cave for almost three years. When I got here, I was obsessed with cleaning and redecorating. The results were temporary. Now the garage is as messy as it was the day I arrived. How could I be so attracted to such a slob? The question remains unanswered. But nobody cares. We click. Shocking, I know, but that’s just how it is. I must have blogged about this ten times already. In summary, let me say that slob is subjective, chaos is in the eye of the beholder, and I could be wrong. So, there you have it. Besides, he’s really cute.

His cuteness is like a drug for me. I can be so pissed off, riled up and vituperative, pushy, pushy, pushy, and then he starts singing, or he tells a terrible joke, or he hugs me. And my anger gets all soggy, I can’t even muster an offense, I forget and let go. I put so much effort into changing him, how he lives, what he eats, his clothes and his hair and his car. And none of it worked and I’m still here. I’m the one who changed.

I think I’ve finally come to the end of my residual anxiety. He sponged it up with his good humor. My baggage. I came here with a load of baggage I’ve been unpacking for three years. Now, I think I’ve been through it all. I’ve relived my past traumas, projected my fears onto the future, regretted my choices, tried to make everything different than it is, completely resisted the flow of events around me, and I’m out of gas. Somewhere inside me a white flag has been waving, exhausted, desperate for peace.  

Maybe this is what surrender looks like. I surrender to this moment. It’s not that bad. But wow, it was hard. I really, really, really did not want to just accept things as they are. I was the storm, my thrashing made the choppy sea, my anxiety was the fog, my ego was the iceberg. I see it all so clearly now. And I surrender. I don’t have the energy to spend the rest of my life being dissatisfied. It’s just too much work. I’m going to have to settle for my short list: Love, food, shelter, a garden, and a dog. 

Life is so much simpler than I was making it. Maybe a person has to be a million years old to get clarity on how to live. But this is so much easier than pushing against the tide. And such a helpful reminder that the tide is going nowhere, it flows both ways, and it will be back tomorrow. So, just stop with the striving and float.  

Posted In Age

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12 thoughts on “Pushing Against the Tide

  1. Oh Billie…..your words are just what I needed right now. I feel/felt the same way you did. I need to do it, to surrender to the now and stop fighting. I need to stop fighting. Thank you for your words.

  2. Getting to be of a certain age mos def has something t do with moving towards a simpler life. A friend of mine who’d had it w the horrible EST, began meditating. ‘i’ve let go of the levers and dials’ he said. control took a back seat. so long as getting up there doesn’t hurt too much, physically, im down for all of it too.

  3. Billie, this is sheer heaven to read! I love it , perhaps because I identify with what you are saying and the new husband in my life.

    It’s quite amazing (and hilarious) how much I tried to make him be different, and how much he agreed it was a good idea – and then nothing changed!

    He is very very good for me, just like your man is for you. Thank you again for your wonderful writing. I rarely read newsletters, but I often read yours 😃

    1. Great to hear from you, Jane. It’s interesting how we are on similar paths. Good to know I’m not the only one out there with fantasies of changing the man I love.

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