Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pity Party

My older son is working on his blog about differences he’s observing between eastern and western Germany, 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Meanwhile, my professor husband is updating his blog about sweeping changes taking place in the media industry.

Me? I’m indulging in a public pity party.

Recently I had a conversation with my friend Elizabeth, a much younger mom, who is juggling a toddler, a new baby and a full-time job, albeit one with a modicum of flexibility. She’s handling it all with grace and aplomb (and no those aren’t her kids’ names).

Talking to her made me think of Gail Sheehy’s road map to adult life “Passages,” which I haven’t read and Nora Ephron’s paen to sags and bags “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” which I have read.

As the date of my 25x2 birthday approaches, I find myself reflecting (wallowing is more like it) in self-introspection.

I loathe self-introspection. Ask my dear friend Susan.

But I’m not going gently into that next stage or phase or whatever term you prefer.

I spent my thirties having babies and my forties losing (and gaining some back) the baby weight. In addition to working fulltime, writing and doing the whole route of church and school volunteerism (sometimes only a sentence fragment will do!).

As a new decade roars toward me, I stand on the precipice of change.

I love big sweeping change. Ask my husband. Get-used-to-small-things change like new glasses or even new shoes, not so much.

This passage has snuck up on me. I’m no longer the young mom juggling a dozen sticky-fingered balls in the air. Instead I’m an older mom who’s watching her children grow into these amazing near-adult-like creatures.

Maybe I’ll skip the pity party after all and start shopping for a whole lot of birthday candles.


  1. Best post yet, I loved it.

    Life does sneak up on you. It also races past, especially, it seems to me, when you get a little - ahem - older. The years since 25x2 have zoomed by for me and now I am closer to 60 than I am to 50.

    I think maybe the pain that people feel from growing older comes from feeling like your outsides don't match your insides. Like, in your heart, you ARE still that young mom, so why is life telling you that no, you're not? It just seems wrong.

    Myself, I think I felt old at a pretty young age, had to grow up pretty fast, let's say, and also felt BETTER and happier the older I got . . . . so actually getting older for me has been something of a relief . . . like finally, my outsides ARE matching my insides a little better.

    Maybe it all just depends on when you felt like you were in your prime, at your best . . . and longing for that time . . . for me, I think I'm still getting there . . .

    Now, how's THAT for some prime introspection? I definitely have it all over you in that department. I encourage introspection. It's good to figure out why we have these crazy feelings, and hopefully eventually get past them . . . anyway, it's something to do once those near-adult children are out there living their lives . . .

    How I personally feel about all birthdays as I get older: just grateful for every one I get.

  2. I know it's off topic but I thought you used some swell vocab words:)