Getting older scares the shit out of me. Not only does it mean I am getting older, but my kids are getting older, and my parents are getting older and everyone I love is getting older. No matter how much I want to slow down time, I can’t. It’s hard not to feel in control of that. I love watching my children grow, but every single day I can’t help but think how that just means they are getting older. And so the circle of life goes on and on.
I don’t mean for this post to sound negative or dreary (ok Howie?), but these are my real feelings. I am going to be 33 next week and everyone I work with always says, “Wow, you’re so young!” That might be true for them, but my overactive, over-thinking crazy brain just keeps thinking- I am getting older. My kids are getting older. My parents are getting older. What happens when I start losing people I love? It is my biggest fear.
Life is a rollercoaster for sure. I am so scared of that five letter word- death. I have been lucky in the sense that I haven’t lost too many people in my lifetime so far. I lost 2 of my grandparents and a few friends along the way, but I haven’t lost any immediate family or close friends. Please God, I don’t think I am strong enough to lose anyone. I don’t want this post to be just about death, but the thought of getting older absolutely crushes me. I want to embrace life and all that it has to offer, but when the world seems to have more bad than good lately, it’s hard to embrace getting older. How can I raise my kids to be good kids? How can I make sure they don’t get stuck in social media? How do I prevent them from being hurt? How can I stay healthy for my kids? No wonder why anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S.
This post may be all over the place because I want to tell you to embrace life and embrace your loved ones getting older, including yourself. But I also want to cry at the thought of getting older, especially my parents getting older. I can’t lose them. They raised me to be a big-hearted passionate mama, who may take things too personally at times. They drive down every Sunday to visit the kids and our family. It scares me to think that one day my Dad might actually slow down- his battery will eventually run out. This man never slows down. My mom and I, ironically, reconnected when my Grandma passed. And ever since we have been best friends. She loves me for me, finally. I can’t lose that. And when I hear other stories about their parents getting older, I keep hearing how it sucks to watch them suffer.
Howie’s grandfather passed 3 years ago and it was devastating to watch him suffer. He was waiting to die. He ran everyday until he was in his 50’s and then needed Dialysis, got older, got pneumonia, etc. He kept on saying he was afraid to die and knew it was going to happen. He was 93. The circle of life is insane. Life is like a chapter book- beginning, middle and end. Some people have a short beginning or a short middle. I try so hard not to get worried and nervous that someone around me is going to die. I can’t live like that and I swear it doesn’t actually consume my thoughts, but today it is.
Today I am anxious. I am following the story of a strong mama whose children are both diagnosed with mitochondrial diseases and her one year old is currently fighting for his life in the ICU. I am going to be 33 years old next week. I also recently had a conversation with my middle age co-workers and one of them lost her Dad to cancer 2 years ago. She kept telling me it’s the cycle of life. I understand that, but sometimes the thoughts consume me and I am overwhelmed. Everyone I talk to keeps telling me that getting older sucks. Watching people at the end of their life sucks. You blink and your kids are 35. I think I’m that person who constantly thinks about savoring the moment- kinda like a crazy person. I get frustrated because my toddler had 4 meltdowns in one night but my heart keeps slapping me in the face and tells me I will miss these moments.
I guess what I am trying to say is that it’s okay to feel like this sometimes. It’s okay to be scared to lose the ones you love to getting older. My heart and soul can’t even fathom having the beginning or middle cut short in someone you love. I can’t go there. I do go there in my hormonal brain, but I don’t go there often. I know God needs us all eventually, but for now I want to freeze these moments, take all the damn pictures I want, be with my family, eat all the chocolate, dance in the rain in the driveway with my kids, laugh til I pee my pants, buy those cute shoes, write my blogs, nurse my babe to sleep and so much more.
As you get older, you realize there are no answers, just stories. So go live your story and love it.