Friday, October 30, 2009

Enjoying 50 or how I learned to stop moping and love being in exile

So last Monday, in my halfhearted quest to find a gym to workout at, I stopped into a local for a pint and got into a conversation with a gentleman around my age. We chatted about this and that,what brings me to this bit of southeast London, all very pleasant. But when we said goodbye he told me, "Enjoy your 50th year!"

And it got me to thinking...I haven't been enjoying it very much. I haven't been enjoying this exile, even though I know that there are people who would give their eye teeth (and more) to be 'stranded' in London with nothing but time on their hands.My mother is probably spinning in her grave as I write this, for she would have been in her glory here, a museum or gallery each day, enjoying every pint, the greasy fish & chips, the way the air tastes and smells, walks through all the lovely parks and commons with the conkers and leaves falling,not to mention the spectacular weather. She would most likely berate me for my lack of enthusiasm for all these things.And she would be correct in doing so.

When I turned 50 around a month ago, it was not a good day.I'd only been here a few weeks and was still hoping that this stay would be only a couple of months, but even that seemed awful and egregious.I felt old, and uninspired.My body doesn't appear in the mirror as I imagine it should, my roots are greyer than ever before and the wrinkles and lines and middle age spread leave me feeling as if this bag of bones and skin has betrayed me.My darling Big G assures me that I am as lovely to him as ever, which is, of course, the most important thing really, but I'm tired of this constant feeling of dissatisfaction.So, am I dissatisfied because I'm middle aged, or because I can't be where I want to be RIGHT NOW? Or both? Either way I have to make an effort to stop this destructive, whingy, state of mind and take the gentleman's advice.

I will put my frustration with the Swiss bureaucracy aside.I will accept the fact that I will not be with Big G, Max and the kittehs for Xmas and not snivel about it.I will accept that aging is the alternative to being dead. I will banish my anger at the unfairness of it all.And I will start being truly thankful, not just begrudgingly grateful.For this year, my 50th year on this little blue planet, I will finally marry the man I love, I will get to go home,I will get to work in my garden and cuddle with my kittehs.And maybe with this change of heart I will enjoy being in exile.


Spender said...

Oh, my dear brite, 50 is really quite a marvelous age. You've been witness to a half century of earth's history, marveled at the amazing advances in almost every field that have transpired since your birth, collected sage wisdom that allows you to look down on the punk kids who are CERTAIN they know all of the answers and, if you're like me, you have the advantage of laughing at all the doomsayers who said you wouldn't make it to thirty! Enjoy the 50th year and enjoy London, so that when you do go home, you can share some wonderful memories of the place with the one you love.

Anonymous said...

i agree with jon. the only good memories you're going to have are the ones you make.
remember when your child used to want to play with the wrapping and the box when there was a perfectly good present he just opened? maybe london is TOO BIG to digest, focus on the smaller things: enjoy bad weather, celebrate boredom, when your auto breaks, take the time to see what you missed when you were zooming along.
it WILL BE a good year. trust me.