Advancing age dredges up unexpected deposits from the bottom of a ditch. Even if it comes as quite a surprise, we each have our own alligators to wrestle.
I wonder about this, though, and whether you have a thought or two to share on the subject. I have been ‘suffering’ lately from feelings of uselessness. I’m perplexed whether this is a dynamic of age … or because the world has run seriously off the rails under our watch. Nobody wants to exit a world in worse shape than it was when we entered it.
At 77, I am the oldest of the baby boomers. I’ve charted my own course for a long time. But I admit I have no clue what to do to lift us back onto those rails.
I vote, of course. Past that, I can’t begin to see solutions for anything. I used to be one of the first to raise my hand with an answer, and now I raise it only to insert fork in pie-hole.
Useless. Ineffective. Futile. Not exactly the sentiments that make you want to sing, “Hallelujah, C’mon Get Happy.”
But is this funk stemming from age? Or from an inability to superhero my fist into the face of villains?
It took me a long time to realize the difference between the two does matter. If this is one of the mud pies awaiting our individual futures due to age, well, then it is natural. I can learn to live with it in the same way I live with this *&^$#@ left knee.
But if it is “situational uselessness,” that is a less attractive item. Because it comes down to ego management. I need to quit battling the idea that I must rise to the top. If I can accept that, I think I can learn to live with the thought that problems are not up to me to solve.
Solutions will jolly well have to come from elsewhere, and it is time I learn to enjoy that instead of resenting it. It’s not up to me to shock and awe with brilliant elucidations; it is up to others.
Assuming this is about ego, I am trying to learn how to pull back on the reins. I’ve limited the drone of news in my head; if I can’t do anything about it, I need solitary time away from it. I’m learning to watch videos of puppies without shame that it isn’t a mind improving book. I’m developing a new skill that I do my best to keep ego-free.
I try not judge or be judged for a lack of greatness. And that is more than enough for me here on the back nine of life.
Linda B. Myers is the author of 10 novels, including “Starting Over Far Away,” available at Port Book and News, Pacific Mist, and Amazon. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.