Potential and Kinetic Energy: Onward In Power

Here we are, Day 30 of 30, woohoooooo! What a fun month of reflecting, learning, writing, and sharing! Looking back, I see about eight posts to revisit, ideas to flesh out and expand. I also see recurring themes stretching back to before this blog even started–funny how that always is–I am who I am!

I started this blog in 2015; my goal was to make it a year. After that, I’d decide if I wanted to keep it going. Wow. I love perusing the years and seeing which themes persist/repeat, which fade and re-emerge, and which evolve. And something new stirs now, from the 8th annual 30-day challenge.

After nine years of physical training for menopause preparedness, my vertical jump may be higher today than anytime since I was a student. My balance and core strength are definitely better. I know this because my hang time during burpees and single leg jump lunges feels exhilaratingly long. When I squat, on one leg or two, I feel the tension, strength, and stability in my quads and glutes. When I explode up and my toes leave the floor, it really feels like flying, even if for just a second. I feel confident and powerful, free, and also intentional and in control. I attend to position, landing softly, protecting knees and ankles from injury. I have focus.

The ideas that emerged this month, especiallly the eight, also feel strong and powerful. They have potential. They move. They are, in many ways, the culmination of 8 years–maybe a lifetime, actually–of reflecting, exploring, articulating, synthesizing, integrating, of continuous playing, learning, noodling, seeking. They feel at once like energy stored and released, self-propagating, renewable–light, heat, wind–all of it.

I have lived long enough and through enough challenges now to have pretty good perspective. Nothing stays the same for long; nothing is guaranteed. Hard things happen and I have no control. Worrying and ruminating waste precious time and energy, for no benefit. I can do hard things; I have skills and support. So now I can really, freely, revel in the awesome when I have it. And no matter what hard stuff is happening, I always have something awesome. That clarity shines like the brightest lighthouse from deep in my core, and it orients me–reliably, unassailably–in any storm.

Is this what happens in middle age? Consolidation and magnification, gathering for expansion, the existential equivalent of the strongest and funnest squat jump? If so, I’ll take it! Who knows what’s next, it could be anything! I am ready.

Onward, my friends, there is much work to do!

Sometimes It Just Is

Sweary even more than usual
Foul mood …for no specific reason
Neck pain
Back pain
Dreading people
Why why why
Smoke alarms of mind and body
Where is the fire
…Maybe there isn’t one
Maybe it’s just everything (‘everywhere all at once’)
Work stress
Shorter, darker days
Capitalist materialist holidays
Poor sleep
Homesick for the mountains
Impatient for social progress
Shootings everywhere …world going to hell
So …don’t miss a workout
Make healthier food choices whenever possible
Uphold boundaries
Breathe deep …and again
Stay connected
Stop over analyzing
Let it go …or at least loosen the grip …ease the pursuit
Take care of self anyway …all the better and more
Do what you know to do
It will balance out
What you need to know will emerge eventually

ODOMOBaaT

Taking Up More Space

Dillon Reservoir, Dillon, Colorado

Here in the last week of 30 daily posts, some themes have emerged. Liberated was initially intended as a description of growing more irreverent with age, and ‘the value of your opinion to me…’ was all I had to say about that. As I thought (and wrote) about what I really feel liberated to do and say at this age, it really did circle back to bolder bids for connection, especially at work, with patients.

Smooth With Edges also started out with more of a defiant, rebellious feeling. The meme about Hecate came across my FB feed and vibrated immediately with deep resonance–of holding divergent, soft and hard, smooth and edgy parts of myself together in harmony. I like that I’m playful, curious, lighthearted, and nerdy. I also see myself as strong, taller in personality than physical height, and a force to be reckoned with when needed. It was too much yet to try to express in prose, so I chose stanzas instead. It spilled out in seconds, and by the end was no longer about me, but about Daughter and every girl or woman who holds back any part of herself in any way, about my urgent desire for us all to shed our constraints and own our power in full.

One kid has cleared the launchpad; the other now readies in the hangar. For almost twenty years they have been the two foci of my elliptical life orbit. I have done nothing in all this time without considering and accommodating them first–waking hours, meal plans, social activities, vacation dates/locations, professional meetings and engagements. Mom liberation occurs in stages: from nursing, from carseats, from dependent cook, obligatory chauffeur. While both kids lived at home, simultaneous attunement and attachment to both was 24/7, the default. The center of my logistical world was always our house. I felt most secure when my two life hubs were home, my universe a tight sphere. Now one nucleus is flung 1700 miles away, and my heart space has expanded exponentially, in a familial big bang of sorts–and I celebrate it.

As the kids’ independence grows, I find myself with bandwidth reserves now available for other pursuits–my own. It’s not that I subsumed all of my own needs and priorities to the family, and some constraints were still very real. Sometimes now I feel like my lung capacity is bigger, my breaths deeper, my armspan longer. How fascinating.

Last year my 30 November posts were a consolidation, a legacy capsule series to reference when the primary source is deceased. This year, like Sven the sourdough starter, I rise. I expand, multiply, propagate–ideas, connections, reach. I get to play, noodle, experiment, riff–make more. How exciting!

Liberated, indeed.