I had my “annual” physical last week although it has been three years since I stepped through the clinic door. My doctor apologized for whatever it is that keeps me away for so long, but it’s really nothing to do with anyone but me. I just don’t like being poked and prodded I guess. The end result was as good as a person can hope for; all labs within range, blood-pressure low and cholesterol right where it should be.
On the way out the door, my doctor smiled and said, “You’re obviously in a good place in your life right now. I hope it continues.”
I hope it does, too! A few days later I was talking with a neighbor and the conversation ended with her saying, “Your life is good right now, isn’t it? It shows.”
Life is good right now, even as I approach my fifty ninth birthday. I’m not nearly as freaked out about age as I used to be. When I turned forty I could hardly get out of bed I was so bummed. Looking back, it’s hard to imagine being so ridiculous. Age, I agree, is truly a state of mind. Of course, there is no denying the changes in our bodies as we get older. But far more frightening is the negative mental changes so many people adopt; the closing of the mind, the refusal to continue to learn new things, especially technology, the lack of interest in making new friends and in fostering the friendships we have.
There are many things to attribute this “good place in my life” to. There is nothing like a new baby in the family to make us all passionate about life. And witnessing positive results stemming from years and years of child-rearing is very uplifting and satisfying. Spring is here; that always helps. Yet I believe the whole “good place in my life” is in my head and it’s all about me. Sounds selfish, I know, but it isn’t.
You see, I’ve given myself permission to let things be. Just let them be and decide to be happy with that. It’s enough. I’m not responsible for everyone’s happiness, for each and every meal eaten in my home, for my neighbors peace and quiet. It’s not my job to bail everyone out when there is trouble or go to bat for a friend every time they mess up. Nor do I need to be at the beck and call of anyone. It’s okay if people decide they don’t like me. I like me just fine.
I’ve given myself permission to say “no, that’s just too much for me,” or “I won’t be able to help this time,” when asked for a favor. It’s okay to say “I just don’t need that kind of crap in my life any more,” and be done with what ever. It’s all right to have people be important in my life, yet see little of them. And it’s even all right if a birthday card is late. They’ll get over it.
It doesn’t mean I no longer care. It means I am no longer willing to get overwhelmed and therefore resentful about things. It keeps me at peace with myself which puts me at peace with the rest of the world. I become more approachable, more attractive as a person when the stress is gone, as is the irritation and resentment that accompany it .
I hope I don’t get lazy and tired in my mind and forget to practice what I preach. I hope everyone can get to that good place in life and I hope it lasts for a very long time. If you’re not in a good place right now, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Is all of this really worth it?”