The Next 50 Years

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I have a birthday this week. Friends tell me that 50 is just a number, but I find myself thinking that it is a very big number and a significant one as well. As a result, I have found that I have been spending a ridiculous amount of time reflecting.

I don’t follow my horoscope. Generally, I find it amusing. However, occasionally I take a peek. This morning I took a look and was surprised by some of the highlights that describe me pretty well.

Capricorns might seem melancholy and stern because they live by self-discipline and responsibility. They evaluate everything and they don’t take daring chances without weighing the advantages and disadvantages first. 

 Capricorns like to do everything themselves this way there is no worry about something not finished or not done properly.

According to Capricorn, there is only a right way and a wrong way to do things.

Capricorns have this sense of melancholy and necessity for structure and work because inside they feel they are unworthy and need to continuously prove their worth.

Capricorns most important need is security, financial and material security. This is the driving force behind their ambitious character and all other personality traits of desire to succeed.

They are very concerned with their public standing and their prestige.

Capricorns make it difficult to get close emotionally because once they let someone in, they do not want to let them go.

Interestingly, these are very true about me. Maybe that is why hitting this half century mark is taking such a toll on me. Maybe it would be different if my husband wasn’t sick. I try not to think about it all the time, but it is difficult. It is always there. I watch him like a hawk. I try not to overreact or overthink every change I see. I can talk myself in to and out of nearly anything. I want to do everything right. I don’t want to have any regrets. I don’t want to lose myself as I lose him. I fight worrying.  I am a perfectionist, overly sensitive, and a people pleaser. It is a horrible place to be.

One of my biggest frustrations in this process is that he acts and looks absolutely normal. If I could have a quarter for every time I hear, “He looks good.” To me, this means, “I don’t know what you are talking about. He is fine, and you are making this all up.” I wish I was. I wish that they could see what I see, but then I don’t. I want to protect him from any embarrassment. I want him to go through this with as much dignity and grace as I can possibly provide.

He isn’t at a point where he needs someone with him all the time. However, he does need people to be watching from afar and he shouldn’t be left for long periods of time without being checked in on. He absolutely requires alone time each day and we have to make sure that he isn’t overstimulated by kids, pets, the media, and negativity. He just can’t handle it. He can hold it together just so long, and then he explodes- usually with the dog or with me. I’m safe. The good news is that since school started, our daughter has kept him company during the days. It does make it so much easier going to work, knowing that she is with her father. I call every day at noon, as soon as school is over, and I try to be home each day at the same time. He needs that. Schedules make him feel better.

I have seen others go through this milestone and I have envied them. One friend bought a new sports car and called it her “mid life crisis”. She puts the top down on warm summer days when she takes it to work. The same friend threw herself a party and brought in the second century with a bang with dancing and loud music. I wish I could be that carefree. I have another who bought a motorcycle and dressed the part in leather from head to toe, and another who took a cruise. Why do I feel like I am going into this next faze with my feet dug in the ground?

Maybe it it because I know that I am heading toward a second half without my better half and I don’t want it. Although the first half wasn’t always flowers and butterflies, at least it was with the man I love the most. We have had some wonderful memories. We have had our children, jobs we loved, had an opportunity to travel on occasion, and have thoroughly enjoyed working side by side on home projects. I don’t want the next 50 years to be without him. I don’t want to watch him slip away one memory at a time. I don’t want to move forward and I don’t look forward to anything upcoming if it isn’t with him. So how can I get excited about my birthday?

I have been trying. I have been putting up the count down on my FB page to amuse myself and bug my children a little bit. I have listened to many birthday countdowns over the years and I thought it would be fun to get them back a bit. On Monday when our family gathers, we will eat cake and joke about how OLD I am. It doesn’t really bother me that I am older. I just don’t want to be old without him.

I’ll snap out of it. I’m sure that next Monday will be painless. Maybe I just need to spend more time with Tim McGraw. I think he has the right idea.

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