top of page

Blessings of Middle Age -- Happy Lughnasadh!

I find myself bemused and blessed with middle age. On Lughnasadh, the day in the Celtic calendar when “the year has become middle aged.”

The overculture fills us with dread as we age today—loss of vitality, loss of respect, loss of visibility (for the women-identified). I find myself curious, even anticipatory. I remember committing on my 40th birthday weekend—when I was visiting a then-new friend in NYC—that every birthday was just going to get better and better. Each birthday has gotten better and better. In appreciation’s sake. Wonder. Feeling seen. Delight with who I’ve become, am becoming. For whatever reason, there is this drive in me that is a mixture of curiosity, urgency, passion, artistry, stubbornness, and love—both outwardly and inwardly directed. The drive has shifted or changed as I’ve aged—matured?—but it’s always right there, under the surface, whispering, beckoning.

Which makes me so very curious about those who don’t seem to have this drive for their own becoming. I used to get infuriated, or at least frustrated, with those who avoided introspection. How or why do they not get curious, particularly when it can ease such turmoil inside…? Why would one want to just sit in the pain? This was before I developed my own psychological toolbox of pain-avoidance, which I did for a time. Some changes were simply too painful, so I went numb. Then I realized an unexpected thing. ENVY. For those who’d learned to numb. I better understood the avoidance when the pain was simply too much to process, or the muscles for healing were atrophied. There’s a quiet that comes with subconscious pain management, even if it’s detrimental in the end. Dirty pain (Resmaa Menakem). Pain denied.

Everyone does the best they can do, I’ve decided…which still doesn’t eliminate my curiosity about persistence in chosen pains.

Brian is amidst a drama of his own becoming, concocted by two women, one of whom is in deep pain. Perhaps both in deep pain. Their pains are different, but now enmeshed, intertwined. The older is one of the most edgy, caustic women I’ve ever met; the younger has now become caustic herself, with an utter refusal (inability?) to honor boundaries set by others. My husband’s job puts him in contact with both. It would seem the younger has lost herself in the pain(s) of the older. Each is so committed to holding the pain of the other, neither redressing her own. As one only indirectly involved—although projected upon as the cause of their pain—I get to listen, get curious, while not biting the hooks of projection, responsibility, or blame.

Does middle age make me adept at this kind of thing now, having lived long enough to see the patterns? Or does it make me more easily triggerable? Time will tell.

I do empathize with those in pain.

I no longer sit in others’ pain with them, even on their own behalf.

That’s the blessing of a middle-age, well-earned in peace. Self-love, trust in Spirit's work more than my own.

Blessed Lughnasadh to all.

15 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Hess Condensed

A more public feed of brevity

for a prolific process-blogger...

bottom of page