How to Use a Maypole as a Metaphor for a Mid-Life Reboot

Stream of consciousness from the Little Yurt on the Big Hill on the Lost Coast - or, how to use a maypole as a metaphor for a mid-life reboot

I over think everything.

Case in point: I’ve been sitting here, sort of half-watching “Blue’s Clues” while trying to figure out how to start this post. I want to be funny but I’m not funny so nix that, I want the post to be deep but not toooooo deep or people’ll get lost, and I want it to be full of a wit and wisdom that I simply don’t have. And my house yurt is a mess because I’m gutting it for a full-on feng shui because I need CHANGE IN OUR LIVES and that just isn’t going to happen without some feng shui action. So this is more stream of consciousness than anything, right?

I’m 44 now, guys.

Forty-four years old.

This is a big deal for me because Dana was 44 when he left last year. I’m the same age as he was. Am I going to go this year too? Who knows. Who knows when any of us will go. But I do know that I want my affairs to be in better order than they are. I don’t want a lot of stuff untried, undone. So I’ve scheduled my tattoo appointments, clarifying the legacy that I want to leave my kids, and pulling out all of my unfinished paintings to finish.

The world is a beautiful one on the Lost Coast right now.

Flowers are everywhere, especially California poppies and yellow mustard.

When I was a little kid on our sheep ranch in Cloverdale, I loved that mustard. My mom had a vegetable garden that was fenced (because, deer) and it was choked up with yellow mustard growing wild.

My dad went to whack it all out and I was so upset. I cried and wailed and begged him to leave the mustard because I loved it so much. He was annoyed, “it’s a WEED” but my mom took pity on me asked him to leave it. He grudgingly relented.

It’s weird, the things that we remember.

Half-jointed stories of moments that meant something to us, or simply moments that stuck to the crevices of our mind. Golden balls of “core” like they chased in the movie, “Inside Out.”

I don’t know what my kids will remember; I’m trying to make their memories something beautiful – always a hard thing when I’m solo parenting and stressed out, overwhelmed and under-supported, with the sadness from the loss of Dana always, always being just under my skin and at the ever-ready to spill forth into full-on grief.

Then I’m just kicking myself for yelling at them or being angry when there really wasn’t any need to be, you know? I was reacting on reactions and then more reacting. This stupid vicious circle that solves nothing.

I remember to breathe sometimes.

I guess this is my version of a mid-life “crisis”?

But it’s not a crisis.

It’s a step back and an evaluation of my life as I’m making it. It’s a mid-life re-boot.

I don’t feel the need to prove anything or do anything, but I need to do with absolute surety, that I am doing my best, that I’m going forward in directions that I know I will regret if I don’t.

Like figuring out how to parent.

Not in the way that my parents did with me or Dana – or rather, maybe I’ll take a few things and not the rest.

But like, how to do this?

That picture of Micah fake-meditating reminds me of real-meditating, and of course that leads me to what I feel is the answer to this whole parenting thing.

I just have to research, try, try, try.

Breathe, let go, breathe. On repeat.

Mack’s growing up.

And with that comes his own personality blooming, full-force.

He’s flower-loving, hella creative, independent, fun, sociable, eminently likable. He’s also so sensitive that he’ll pack his bag and leave if he’s upset with us, and he’s 4.

He’ll also just curl up and cry with upset or just need to “be ALONE.”

And he he likes dance parties, making books, creating “masterpieces” and all things SuperHero/Pokemon/whatever-Micah-likes-now.

Back to my mid-life re-boot

44.

My brother left his physical life last September when he was 44.

Think about all the things you want to do before you go, or who you want to be. What kind of person do you want to go out as. It can seem like an overwhelming amount of BIG-ness (I mean, there is so much to do! And learn and grow and be!), until you kind of break it down into bite-sized chunks. (It should go without saying that I’m guessing my way around this, because like everyone else, I’ve never done this before.)

So, bite-sized chunks.

Bite-sized chunks. Using the visual analogy of the maypole, I need to not look up at the distance that I need to climb, I need to focus on the ribbons.

The color of the ribbons. The length. The pattern they will weave. All of that to me is a metaphor for what matters most in this world.


That answer will be different for everyone.

I think for me, relationships form a big chunk of my bite. Like, the relationships between me and my kids, me and Mikey, my mom and I. The relationships between people that I’m angry with or want nothing to do with – because if I believe (as I do) that we’ll have life after “death”, then relationships naturally carry on. I need to learn to take the difficult pieces and resolve them.

That is SO. FREAKIN’. HARD.

So, yeah. Maybe if I focus on the smaller pieces – like the color and weave (- the feeling, intuition, words), the larger pieces will come together? Because I know I can’t focus on the larger pieces. It’s just too much.

Art’s in there too, on my list of things that are really important to me.

You know, I used to wake up naturally at 5 in the morning to charge out of bed to edit photos and blog. Since I’ve been changing the format of this site to “more helpful; less me” I’ve been sleeping in. It’s super weird.

I need to figure out a balance – so that I can make this site what I want it to be – which is, super helpful – and also get my art-rush in. Because clearly, art will get me out of bed when it’s dark outside but even though writing a post on Down syndrome Resources is fun, it won’t.

I miss Hawaii too.

I miss swimming and the warm ocean. I miss being able to just take the kids to the beach and stay all day, only worrying about sunscreen and if I brought enough snacks.

The ocean up here is so glorious and powerful, but it’s like this constant tease of being so close to it and not being able to go in because of the freezing cold, sharks, riptide, and currents.

I know even after we move back to Hawaii, this place will stay in my heart. Northern California has always been in my heart, with it’s majestic beauty, greens and lush loveliness.

I’ve loved to live in a place that I’m from, too.

I mean, I wasn’t born on the Lost Coast, but with my Grandma having been born in Blue Lake, my Grandparents living in Big Lagoon when they were first married, my Great-Grandfather and Grandpa both loggers (and my Great-Grandpa actually killed by a falling tree), and with cousins, nephews and family that I can run into at the market, it’s pretty sweet. The third culture kid part of me always craved this.

And that’s a cool mushroom thing that has no place in this story! (but it sure is cool, isn’t it?!!)

Over and out.

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Stream of consciousness from the Little Yurt on the Big Hill on the Lost Coast - or, how to use a maypole as a metaphor for a mid-life reboot
Meriah

is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).

She likes her coffee black and hot.


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1 Comment

  • Gorgeous post, love seeing updated photos of those beautiful kids and your beautiful corner of the Lost coast. And for the record, you are funny. You are so frickin funny – it emerges during those little astute moments. To this day when I think of you I think of you telling stories of everyday life with my side hurting from laughing so hard. Just sayin’. Enjoy the reboot! Xo

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