Naturalicious Ad | The Other Side of 40

I didn’t make any new year’s resolutions. I didn’t set new year’s intentions. Purpose and intention and goal setting are a must. It makes sense. The goals we set in 2020 hit a roadblock. At least for me they did. I was determined that 41 would be different. I made the plans. I did. I started to enact them. But the pandemic! One of my goals was having elective surgery and the other one was moving; both were necessary for moving forward. And elective surgery was out. Moving in the middle of a pandemic, was not for me. And since, I’ve never been in a pandemic before, I didn’t know what to do but be still and slow down. Truth be told, it was nice to be forced to slow down. On the other hand, being forced to slow down meant dealing with things, I had purposely avoided.


So in 2021, I didn’t set any intentions/resolutions. In trying to survive a pandemic, I had moved into survival mode. And survival mode led me to a constant state of un-motivation. More accurately demotivation. There was nothing that I looked forward to doing. I have always loved taking long, hot showers, and now that there were fewer places to go, you’d think I would’ve relished in being able to spend time just standing in the hot water. That’s not quite what happened. Since we were at home more, and since I had to face things I didn’t want to face, if I remembered to shower more than three times a week, I was lucky! I used to wash clothes every other week without fail; a month ago, I was literally pushing that, doing laundry when there were no more clean underwear left at all. Even the emergency stash! Forget doing my hair. It stayed under my turban or wrap, occasionally being washed even though I was neglecting my scalp. It was not good.

Normally, autopilot would have kicked in and made me do all those things. But my autopilot only had one function at that point and that was to make sure I awoke each morning on time to teach class. That was it. Capitalism had me wired well. The intergenerational trauma response of having to work or risk some type of peril also kept me working. The WFH model, a privileged position to be in, was sapping all of my energy as was life!

And Now?

Of course, while the world has been engulfed in a pandemic, life continues to happen. A really great and dear friend of mine was murdered. And it hurts. Every day. I miss my friend. Every day. I pick up the phone to send a text about something and realize I cannot. Every day.

We can’t travel as we used to and that was my escape. Half of the country feels okay with believing in conspiracy theories and hoaxes, and quite frankly, I feel unsafe traveling to those places or interacting with those people.

Loneliness is filling up my surrounding space as well. There are real shifts in friendships happening. And honestly, I don’t know if it’s for the best or not. I’m not sure they care about the things I’ve been going through, and they’re not obligated to. They have their own lives and their own families. To several, the things I’m dealing with are easily fixed. My therapist has pointed out to me though, this may or may not be true as I’ve never reached out to people to tell them the truth and it’s unfair to assume they wouldn’t care.

As far as romantic love goes, another future post, but the sadness about not receiving it has manifested itself as anger and resentment. I struggle with all of these feelings daily. Some days, it’s barely a blip; other days, it’s like the piles of unwashed laundry suffocating me.

And that’s just it. The daily struggle. It is a lot. My grief is real. My loneliness is heavy. My anger is righteous. My fears. So today, I’m starting anew.

Like April wrote in her New Year, New Me post, we don’t have to transform everything about ourselves. We do have to begin though. Slowly if need be, but we must begin.

How I Plan to Start Anew

  1. I’m going to acknowledge my feelings are real.
  2. I’m going to write about my grief and give it space to exist.
  3. I’m going to text my friends what I’m really typing instead of hitting delete and replacing it with the words “I’m okay.”
  4. I’m going to forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made.
  5. I’m going to forgive myself for the mistakes I’m currently making.

I do not think this will be immediate or easy. I am not even sure it will work, but if it will nudge me out of the demotivated state, it’s worth a try. Besides, I can’t manifest the love I want if I’m in the bed, un-showered, with piles of laundry on the floor. Something has to change. Or at least I do.

  • Since the writing of this blog, laundry has been washed, daily showering has been restored, and the scalp has been greased.
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