Missing a certain “je ne sais quoi” in life? The spark, the sizzle, the sexual tension…
Maybe you’re missing kids? Missing opportunities? Missing a more exciting, more adventurous, more vibrant you?
I will speak for myself, and say I do, I do, I do.
Some of us think first about who we are not, and what we have never accomplished. I suppose it’s a glass half empty sort of thing, even if we see tumblers and flutes filled to overflowing in other places, for other faces, in other ways. Aware when we’re deep in a self-deprecating funk, we then remind ourselves: Consider who you are, what you have done, and get over yourself.
Additional instructions urge us along: If you want it, go get it. If you can’t get it, try something else.
Still, too often we focus on what we miss and what we’ve lost, instead of what we have and what we ought to appreciate. That we fluctuate in these moments of awareness makes sense — depending on what we may be going through at the time.
For example, if you’re worn out, in pain, stressed… you’re more likely to view anything and anyone through a haze of illusions, yearning, even envy.
Temperament reveals its hand as well. So does habit. But let’s not forget that temperament can be mollified. Habits can be changed.
Besides, missing a person, a lifestyle, or a version of ourselves isn’t an end point at all. It’s potentially the starting line. A place to begin again. We can refuse to stay stuck, to become inert on a permanent basis. And shouldn’t we exercise a sliver of pragmatism while we’re at it? Shouldn’t we place absence and longing into context? Mustn’t we force ourselves to recall reasons relationships didn’t work out, the normalcy of children leaving the nest, the natural cycles of aging? What has changed? What can we change? And can we accept that moments of melancholy and nostalgia are nothing to be afraid of?
Yesterday was a busy day around Ye Olde Homestead. Likewise, the days before — a flurry of activities and projects and agreeable interruptions. It was a good few days — relaxing, entertaining. My sons, no longer adolescent provocateurs, nonetheless revert just a bit when they’re together…
What is it about mothers that we remain easy targets for teasing as our children grow up?
One has flown the nest again. Back to the place he now calls home. I’m missing his presence. I’m missing the closeness we once shared. I’m missing the clarity of who I was in the role of mother.
Missing you, missing you, missing you.
I was happy to retire to my bed, to classic films on the darkened screen, to heat for a weary back, and memories drifting in and out. My boys took off to visit with their friends.
Even good days can be tinged with regret — missing other scenes, a livelier self, a more populated household.
My childhood included rowdy road trips to stay with grandparents, always a ten day visit in December. There were social gatherings in the small red brick house, noisy family dinners with plates passing and tastes I remember well, and nights devoted to a string of stops to see aunts, uncles and cousins.
I can still drum up the physical sensations of belonging. As is the case for many of us, somewhere along the way, that was lost. Once, I thought I had it again, and in marriage, would give the same to my children.
I was wrong. I’ve never been able to recreate that particular flavor of security. Perhaps I would be wiser to see what we did create, though I struggle to give it a meaningful label.
My regrets are real. My regrets are varied. I regret that someone I loved never knew my heart, though we spoke the words; that someone I loved never knew my heart, though we never spoke the words; that my father will never know my sons; that I’ve lost touch with long-time friends.
This last is a defection born of fatigue. Perhaps fatigue has a hand in every eventual emotional lapse.
And, I’ve lost parts of myself, my better selves. I’m uncertain if there is a way back, or more accurately, a fulfilling way forward.
There is a portrait of my grandmother that hangs in a small alcove in my home. It was painted in 1926, or so I was once told.
I can gaze at the likeness of my grandmother and in my memory I see the portrait as it hung in her living room for decades, and then, after her passing, it was displayed over the fireplace mantel in my mother’s home. When my mother died, the portrait came to me.
In the image of my grandmother as a young woman I see her strength and femininity, her intelligence and creativity, her impeccable style. I miss her quiet company, I miss her whistling to the birds, I miss sitting with her, the two of us with sketchbooks, drawing. As I grow older, I miss her wisdom as I come to understand it.
Would it surprise you to hear that there is much I miss about marriage? I’m guessing that would surprise a few people who know me.
Would it surprise you to know that I miss family terribly, including the in-laws who were “mine” for more than a decade, and the assorted siblings, nieces, nephews and other extended family? Again, those who know me well would smile, fully aware of how important family is to me.
Might I be likely to imagine and remember mostly the positives when I’m in a wistful mood? Certainly. Isn’t that part of the pleasure, and isn’t it wonderful to possess joyful and warm memories — even if to do with people we loved who are no longer part of our present?
And then there is my “younger self” with boundless energy and idealism intact. Does that mean I would go back if I could? It’s an intriguing question… I wouldn’t mind an occasional dose of unbridled optimism and unfettered physicality, and the awareness to revel in both.
I look at who I am, at where I am, at those to whom I gave my most romantic heart. Missing you, missing me, missing us.
I look at who I am, where I am, at my sons; I am grateful, seeing the men they become. Missing you, missing me, missing us.
I look at who I am, where I am, and at the portrait of my grandmother. She remains a source of inspiration. A woman I dearly miss.
Missing you, missing me, missing us.
I look at the future; still a blank slate, and always ours to fill.
You May Also Enjoy