Note: I missed my weekly Thursday post because my site was in the process of transferring domains. I can now move forward with getting this site and my blogging in order. Thanks for your patience during this process.
I sit today with most of the muscles in my body aching and the tips of my fingers tingling from yesterday being filled with box and furniture moving and ladder climbing as I painted a 300 sq ft room – activities that never made me blink before – noticing that squatting to paint baseboards was complicated by my bifocals, newly acquired a few months back after celebrating perfect vision until I hit 50.
Although the thought of running a 5k, skydiving, or flying on a trapeze turn my stomach, I’ve never been one to shy away from physical labor. I enjoy long brisk walks and bike-rides regularly and, despite standing at 5’2″, have no difficulty carrying 50 lbs. I’m neither a couch potato nor a weakling – but as my eyes weaken and my hair greys, I find that my body and my soul demand respect.
While I’d hoped to jump into removing wallpaper from the next room today, I find myself reading the novel I couldn’t force myself to finish last night (as I might have just six months ago) – and now envision a day primarily at my computer screen. Sure, I have client projects to work through (as I take days-off midweek because my husband works weekends) and hope to put in some time writing – but the reality is my body and soul demand respect.
As an always recovering workaholic, I remind myself that not every email needs an immediate response and not every project needs immediate completion. Don’t get me wrong — I’ve never been a perfectionist. Laundry piles up, dishes sit unwashed, weeds grow in my garden, and my half-dozen work-in-progress manuscripts sit idle for months on end. Ongoing cyclic chores I can let slide, but I rush through one-and-done type project as if I’m racing against a clock, fearful that I won’t finish and eager to move on to the next.
But with self-employment and being a semi-empty-nester, I’m experiencing a newfound sense of time and am not certain I’ve discovered how to best handle it. I am rarely in a rush — and often, any rush is of my own making. Maybe I can paint a room one day and allow my body to rejuvenate the next. Or perhaps, I can split time completing client work with gardening, dishes, walking, and maybe even painting just half a room – so that body and soul receive attention.
So today, my aches and pains remind me that my body and my soul demand respect. I’m curious if you’ve found any shifts in the ‘demands’ your body and soul make of you in midlife?