Tonight I was chatting on the phone with my dear friend and I asked her “How do we reignite the fire in middle age?” I didn’t realize the question existed until it came out of my mouth, but it came through me at that moment and has caught my attention.
The preface to this question was a collection of thoughts that swam in the memories of my mid-twenties and thirties. This was a period of my life that I felt the fire of passion in my belly. I believed in something so wholly with my heart that it consumed most of my thoughts. The passion that fueled my fire was reproductive justice and bringing awareness to the culture of birth and supporting birthing people of all kinds in many ways.
I still work in this passion but the flame does not run as hot. The flame still burns but it is tired. Running hard and fast trying to change the world while raising kids, stumbling through marriages, fighting off cancer, deep dive soul searching and continuously finding myself over and over again has been my life. At 47 years old, I am tired.
Empty nesting. Single. Free to be authentically just me for the first time ever. It is nice to just be queer and see what that means to me. I have enjoyed this time of discovery of what my world looks like. Not worrying about the kids or what a partner thinks. My relationship with my kids has grown as they have become adults. We have deeper conversations. We are opening up a bit more. We trust each other. My heart explodes when I think of what amazing humans I have as kids. I am aware of the gift that it is to be here to meet every evolution of my children becoming adults.
The thoughts do come to my mind that in another place and time I would not have seen my 47th year. I find it to be no irony that my birthday of July 9th is swarmed with cancer anniversary dates. My birthday has a new meaning in my memory now. In the month of July I am reminded of my birth and my rebirth in so many ways. It has become a month of feeling and healing. Rinse and repeat.
It is no surprise to me that this is the season that I feel a rumble in my belly of a fire that wants to burn. Healing is happening that is opening up space in my mind in a way that is hard to explain. My brain wants to play with ideas to be creative and help others. My heart wants my next passion to make itself apparent. Then my body speaks up and says … I’m tired.
This is what brought me to the question “How do we reignite the fire in middle age?” I would like to add to this question, “How do we reignite the fire in middle age in a healthy way?”
I could totally plow through my body’s message, and force my way into an idea trying to find the fire of passion of my twenties and thirties, or I could respect my body. Life experience has taught me to do the latter. Wait for the passion to come. If I rest long enough it will come. The body, heart and mind need to be in balance first. Practice patience.
Patience, the antithesis of my belief that I am on limited time. The ridiculousness of my preoccupation with this belief in limited time, is that I am spending time thinking about my limited time hence wasting the precious time that I am so concerned about. That is some dumb ass shit if you ask me. Of course I am on limited time. At least in this body. I get worried about the ride ending before I am ready to be done. This is a mindset I would like to let go of. It seems to be getting in the way.
When space is given, the passionate fire will reignite when the mind, heart and the body are in alignment. In the meantime rest, have ideas, write them down, and rest again.
For my 47th birthday, I gift myself permission to rest and dream up the scaffolding of the next passion to be ignited when the time of rest is done. I have time to rest. I have time to live.
All my best,