I thought I’d have it all together in my sixties. I envisioned being relaxed and centered. I’d be wise and wear my hair in a bun and sip organic tea, while reading Depok Chopra on my front porch swing. My moods would be balanced with minimal upheaval. I’d only get upset when I had to refill my own organic tea. I’d own a yoga mat, in case I decided to do the child’s pose on the front porch.
Well, life has not turned out that way. I am not together. I am certainly not relaxed and centered. My mind is racing so fast, I don’t have time to get wise. I can’t find a rubber band to put my hair in a bun. My neck is sweaty. My moods are like a kid on a trampoline. Tears are just below the surface.
There is wine in my cup, not organic tea.
Welcome to my Crumble. This feeling of being overwhelmed rears its ugly head about every two months. I used to call it a meltdown, but that reminds me of a hot flash and who needs that at a Crumble fest?
It starts rather slowly. Little things build up daily without much thought. It feels like an irritation at first. My mental list of expectations lengthens. By week six, it’s brewed into a clashing, bumping, ominous thunder cloud. I ignore it and stuff the overwhelmed feelings inside. By week eight, I am edgy, snappy, but I have a smile on my face, in between a few growls.
The Crumble is enhanced by technology. I should be forbidden to be near it. This week I was watching my neighbor’s dogs while she was out of town. I set the alarm off three different times. Three times!! The dogs were barking. I was slapping the display panel and cursing louder than the alarm. This immediately throws me into the pits of the Crumble.
I know what’s at the crux of it. I begin to think I am losing it. I’m sixty-four, but I can’t remember a damn important thing. I start to fear early dementia is knocking at my door. I feel like an idiot on top of it all. How can I not operate a simple alarm? I had both verbal and written instructions and yet, there I stood frozen with the alarm blasting, dogs howling and could not remember what to do, except to burst into tears and mumble. I tend to mumble, during my crumble. What is wrong with me?!? Then the tears come in a tidal wave. They just won’t stop.
I’m normally a confident, happy person. The crumble makes me feel very splintered, stupid and lost. My husband is convinced that my mind needs to slow down. He holds me tight and tells me I will be alright.
I was at an aquarium last month and the animal that captured my attention was the three hundred pound sea turtle named Lily. I was positioned just two feet from her. When she moved, everything was in slow motion. Her legs stretched slowly as she prepared to poke her head above the water. She was poetry in motion. Her toenails looked like she’d gotten a French pedicure. Her ankles were not the prettiest, but as I focused on the layers of skin that folded like an accordion, I panicked thinking if this is what slow life does to a turtle; it could happen to me!
I’ve been working things backwards lately. When I’m eighty, will I care that we ate dinner by seven thirty? Will it matter that I can’t handle alarms? Will I have wasted time on crumbling? Maybe not. There seems to be a valuable lesson in my crumble.
If I can keep my mind filtered, my brain has time to rest. It’s okay to crumble sometimes. We all do. The secret is to let it all fall, but then find new pieces to replace the crumble remains. They should be placed together gently with wisdom and awareness. I’m envisioning a white cheddar cheese ball with walnuts that looks so appetizing.
Then I remembered that grocery stores sell Blue Cheese Crumbles. This surely is a sign from God. Even cheese crumbles!
Next time I go to the aquarium, I’ll sit right in front of Lily. I’ll admire her pedicure and her wrinkly legs. It seems she’s my Mrs. Miyagi and I’m her Grasshopper.
I have much to learn.