evening. present day. the sounds of monday night football are erupting from the television. spouse exclaims "the home team is playing!", and when he doesn't get the response from me he hopes for, asks, "where's your spirit?" little does he know he just gave me excellent food for thought. where is my spirit?
actually, i'd rather call it "spark", or "passion" or "life force". the word "spirit" reminds me of organized religion, something i choose to stay as far away from as possible. a story for another day...
truth be told, my spark has gone missing. here i am in the third and final stage of my life on this side of the thin veil. a more-than middle-aged woman with less than full time employment, i have two grown sons with lives of their own. my spouse works more-than full time, travels, plays golf and basketball and cards with the guys. crones don't whine, so i don't begrudge any of them their lives or their activities, but i've lost myself somewhere along the way. the cliched empty-nester, home with the dog and the laundry and the echoing walls, i feel like something is missing.
because we make a comfortable living, i have time to lament my situation. having that luxury can be a hindrance to happiness, but taking the time to work through this next chapter is time well spent, and eventually i hope to have some epiphany about how to enjoy the last however many years of my life.
when i was younger there was so much to look forward to. i had energy and optimism and a healthy enthusiasm, a passion for life. there was no internal dialogue in the moments before rising about whether or not it was a day worth getting up for, and having an entire day ahead of me was cause for celebration rather than apprehension. the highlight of my day wasn't climbing into bed at night as it sometimes is these days, waiting for the unconscious state that allows me to escape my life for a few hours. comparing my life as a maiden to my life as a crone is perfectly normal. we all think about our lost youth now and again. evaluating where we've been and how we've changed (and, hopefully, grown) is part of life. we settle into the rhythm of days we thought we wanted, finding some of it as good as we hoped for, some much different than we expected, all the while wondering where what seemed like gobs of time went. if we're successful, we adjust and find new things to engage us.
my sister recently told me a saying she has heard her mother-in-law, a sweet and wise woman, say. "too soon old, too late smart" is a cautionary tale for all of us, maiden or crone. it's time to stop looking backward and look ahead to the beginning of my next chapter, the one where i figure out how to relight the spark, find what i'm looking for, and recognize it when i find it. how will i do that? how, indeed.