I Thought By Now

I

I’d be granted a certain calmness.

I mean, aren’t we owed that? I know “fair” isn’t  a thing, but after you’ve reached the age where years have passed since you’re eligible for the Golden Buckeye card, there should be some pay off.

The Golden Buckeye card is something you get in the state of Ohio when you turn 55. You get restaurant and hotel discounts. Shit like that. We’ve used it. It might be 50. But I’m pretty sure it’s 55. I really can’t be bothered to open a tab and check that out. I also realize it took me longer to type this than it would to have just looked it up. But now I can’t on principle. (It’s 60. I have one, youngin’ – Ed)

I thought that with age and experience and wisdom, I’d finally get relief from my anxiety.

I knew it would never go away, but I thought it would just sit in the background. Like some crabby old man on his front porch waiting for a breeze.

I didn’t get shit.

I didn’t get relief at all.

It has definitely changed. I am not as anxious about as much stuff as I used to be. I’ve probably shed over fifty percent of what I used to fret over. Maybe more.

Fret isn’t so much the right word, but if I can’t be bothered to look up the Golden Buckeye card thing, I’m certainly not looking at the thesaurus site. 

But the fears I am left with?

My anxiety homes in on them with a crystal clarity that is as cold as it is unrelenting.

That’s not a fucking improvement.

It’s hard right now, isn’t it? That’s what she said. 

It’s hard to find anything positive. It feels as if we’re all in this horrible waiting stage.

  • Waiting for the pandemic to pass.
  • Waiting to get sick.
  • Waiting for the election.
  • Waiting waiting waiting.

It’s no wonder anxiety is kicking our asses.

I’m trying to pull myself out of the abyss as much as I can. I try to spend at least a few minutes each focusing on something positive.

Perhaps, my anxiety hasn’t gotten much better, but I like myself now and that is huge.

Self love is a comforting feeling.

I need to remind myself of this more often.

Also, and I believe this goes along with self love, but self acceptance is something else I’ve acquired over the years.

I did have some help with that.

One time, when I was 32 years old, I was telling a co-worker that I was planning to cut my hair super short and dye it platinum. She looked at me and said “Why would you do that? You’re already the weirdest person in the building.”

Not gonna lie, that stung a little bit. But it also made the following 25 years a little easier.

Am I that weird? Okay then, let’s just go with that.

We’re still here and we’re still healthy. I can’t control the future, but I can try to appreciate right now.

I hope you all are safe.

 

 

 

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20 comments

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  • Great post Michelle! I, too, thought that I would somehow be more “enlightened” at this age of old-enough-to-be-a-grandmother-but-not-quite-fuckin’-YET!!! thank you very much, son…
    But I’m still stumbling around, stringing it together & doing “the best I know how to” from day to day.
    Of course Covid makes it even harder – my good friend on the coast caught the damned virus (age 78) & is struggling through (avoiding hospital bcz honestly, he’d just as soon join his beloved wife of 55 yrs who died of diabetic complications last year – he’s “so glad she didn’t live to see this”…
    He was so damned careful – stayed in, masked up, only went out for grocery shopping, bank & post office. And if he takes a turn for the worst, I can’t even go see him. He’s got 2 neighbors checking up on him, and a friend on standby to come get the dog if he must be hospitalized.

  • I didn’t know you were in Ohio. You have my condolences I KID.
    I can only say that because I grew up in Ohio and lived there for my first 19 years and still have family there (you can offer ME condolences now).
    I have plenty of family and friends there who are giving us lots of stories of the hell they are going through.

    And I know all about the Golden Buckeye card because I worked at the local highway McDonald’s all through high school lol.

    Sending you big tight hugs to get through this. I also have anxiety. Sigh.

  • If you were the weirdest person in that building, it must have been a nunnery. You seem totally together to me (not that I’m anyone to make that assessment). We all have angst, especially now, and if I see anybody skipping through it joyously, that’s the person I want to avoid.
    We’re in that ‘oh-oh’ age group and limit our outside activities to shopping and medical appointments. Now that they say that there’s a new twist to the virus, I’m doubly worried, but hiding under a rock for the rest of my ‘golden years’ isn’t possible. Just doing the best we can, one day at a time. I can only wish you peace of mind, knowing that’s not going to happen to anybody with a brain.

    Stay safe and wear a mask everybody!

  • There’s a lot of comfort in being weird–or maybe I’m weird for thinking that. It’s not that I don’t like other people but I also like not being like other people. Among other things I like being able to amuse others with my shenanigans. Sometimes being laughed at isn’t fun–like when I’ve done something stupid–but sometimes when people laugh at me because I’ve said something surprising it’s a great feeling.
    I have no idea where the hell I’m going with this, but the other day I said to a group of friends, “I can’t figure out why it’s so hard to do things that make me feel better.” And several of them said, “I can’t either.”
    For once I wasn’t weird. I actually fit in, and even though it was a negative thing it still felt good that it was something we shared, and that maybe we could help each other.
    Clearly we all deserve a Golden Buckeye card.

  • I’m not a big commenter, but I’ve been reading you, and “nodding to myself in agreement” for years. I’m so glad you’ve achieved self-love and acceptance, you damn well deserve it! In our current situation, if you didn’t have some anxiety, we would need to check your pulse.

    Regarding being weird, or as I prefer to call it, unique , that is a badge of courage. I’ve had people ask me, “how do you just do whatever you want, no matter what people think?” Well, what other people think is really none of my business, right? Hang in there, and keep being awesome and writing all the things we’re all thinking!

  • Yeah, it does seem like I should be getting better at some of this shit since I’ve been at it for so damn long… Wait, that’s not right… since I’ve been at it for so FUCKING long. There, that was more like it.
    But still somehow the car’s registration was six months out of date before we finally jumped through the final hoop last week.
    Always being on the lookout for cops when you’re driving around because you’re not in Oakland any more where rides home and assistance in retrieving your impounded vehicle are mere phone calls away is just unnecessary stress.
    And yes, I know they suspended some enforcement of low level traffic stuff because of the goddamn apocalypse, but not all of it and fuck, is that a cop?
    Anyway, there’s no DMV office in Oakhurst and the smog shops wouldn’t certify us until our address was changed on the registration because the rules are different out here in the boonies than they are in the East Bay, and the DMV website is apparently useless for that function if your registration is already out of date, so we were looking at a road trip to a DMV office down in the valley of seething covid, oh were we talking about anxieties? With expired registration and a car that has “Vallejo” on its license plate bracket…
    Giving up is not an option in situations like that one and one morning I was trying to look up other DMV offices that might be open in the apocalypse and VOILA! A mail and shipping company in Oakhurst with a DMV window!
    The nice woman there lied to the computer about our smog status to get our address changed, and the smog shop lied about our check engine light being on to certify us (we passed the actual check, though) and five business days and seventy one US dollars later we have a shiny yellow sticker on our license plate that we will have to renew in six more months…
    And now for some tires so the goddamn snow and ice doesn’t actually kill us this winter and we may just make it.
    I have been propping up my mental state with music and content from folks like Roy Zimmerman, Rocky Mountain Mike, and Founders Sing, because Fergus or no Fergus this is still our lives, damn it.
    I hope you are feeling a bit better as things find ways to resolve, one way or another.

  • I’m sorry about your struggles with anxiety, I hope you find something that works for you. I struggle as well, enough that it impacts my day to day experiences.

    The current events are extremely stressful, I can’t wait for life to return to normal.

  • I put my comment in the Facebook thing. (I’m new to blogs). However, I do know how to copy and paste.
    Have you ever noticed that one thing goes wrong in your life, EVERYTHING else starts looking desperate and hopeless? Conversely, one piece of great news can make EVERYTHING else seem more hopeful and doable?

    I’m triangulated. I start in my bedroom, go to work in my living room, commute home to my kitchen… I’m wearing a rut in the hallways. One day melts into the next. I’ve been in one place so long that I think I may be growing moss on my north side. Then I think of Anne Frank… and I’m immediately grateful for PBS, audio books, funny text messages from my boys (all men now) and FaceTiming with my grandkids. This too shall pass, (sigh). That said, I know by the time I get back to the pedicurist, I’ll need a farrier!

By Michelle

Michelle

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