I guess it is a function of age...the older you get, the less and less comfortable you are doing shit. My boyfriend and daughter are snowboarding, and here I sit in the lodge...which is both a blessing and a curse. I do not really know this more cautious version of myself. Being a risk taker, a “Fuck YES” kind of person all my life. Fast cars, risky men, Whiskey and whatever else you could throw my way was always met with “Hell-to-the-yeah!” And yet, despite all my earlier risky business, I sit alone in the lodge and I am both wistful and content. Which seems to be how I feel a great deal of the time, lately.
I do not regret my decision not to go today...the risk is far greater than the reward...both my hips have needed surgical repair for a decade...which I have avoided with all my might because the thought of being “posted up” in bed for 18 weeks to recover makes me want to hurt myself. So anti-inflammatories are a go and extreme sports are not.
Currently, I sit in the lodge in Big Bear, watching others much younger and older do their "thang" and it feels good. I always want to be "in-the-mix", and today I guess I just have to settle for “in-the-mix” adjacent.
It is a lovely day, not too cold and lots of sunshine. The snow reflecting light into the lodge that makes it feel almost cheery which also helps.
I have an active day planned of work, writing and reading which are rapidly becoming my most favorite pastimes. There is good music blaring from the bar, which coincidentally, I also sit bar adjacent. Perhaps this is my new life role, active adjacent?
I am so grateful to my guy for bringing my daughter and teaching her how to snowboard. She has been asking me for years. Like lots of them. And I was too concerned with other things to ever make it happen. So today I feel immense gratitude to him for making this whole day happen.
He was also sweet today to encourage me to change my mind and tag along. It was out of love for him and her that I declined after my momentary mental reversal. “Wait, I can do this! No really! I can and should!"
But like so many things in my life, then I thought about it more, like a lot more, thought it all the way through, about how things might go and how much time it would take to teach me and her, her being far more likely to pick this up quite a bit faster...and so I returned to my previous good decision of posting up in the lodge and sitting this one out.
It is hard to be a mature adult. Hard and a little boring if I am being honest. I am not sure how much I like this older, more cautious version of myself. I am not really sure how well I even know her.
Pema Chödron describes Maitri as “unconditional friendliness towards yourself"...and I guess that is what my posting up is going to be about today. How to like this current version of me, one that isn’t doing all the things that I previously loved to do. And sitting in the that very tight space between what I know to be a good decision and really, really wanting to be doing shit that looks way cooler and more fun. This very tight space could be a container that is going to have to enlarge as I continue to age. I think that I am going to have many more situations that are going to help me get to know this space, and myself, more intimately which is always inherently uncomfortable for me.
Perhaps the best part of aging is getting to know oneself better and with more curiosity and interest. Learning to be gentle with these emerging parts of myself while also maintaining an openness to allow for other things to become known. Letting go is not a skill I was born with, it is one that I have worked hard to learn and life, doing its part, has given me lots of practice. Lots of things to open towards and lots of things to let go of...constantly and continually. And as Pema writes so beautifully, this requires precision and gentleness. Gentleness (loving kindness) towards this raw, developing, fallible human being and precision to be able to clearly see what is really there, like all of it. And then there is the constant, unremitting need to keep an open mind and heart. It's alot.
The mountain calls, and beckons, summoning me, not to its summit, but instead to its basin. To witness and enjoy the happiness and joy of others better equipped to accomplish such feats while I do my "thang" and write it all down. I miss being the doer but perhaps I can become better acquainted and comfortable with this new role of chronographer. Well, I am going to give it a go anyway.