When I was young and we got news that an older family friend had passed, I'd brush off my fears swiftly - this won't happen to my parents, they know how to care for themselves, they eat well, they are active, they are disciplined and they will always be with me. Then, I grew up and became a witness to the generation above slipping away one by one. I was thunderstruck - they all lived and ate well. Why were we losing them so rapidly?!
Turns out that as I knew more, I knew less - the sanity-defying conundrum of growing up!
My parents raised me with neat buckets of dos and don'ts, possible and impossible, wise and unwise, positive and negative. Now my entire existence is turning into peculiar shades of grey. I am learning that g-r-e-y is also how you spell "cynic" and "fear".
After a moment of confidence, the other side of the brain pipes up with, "Really, you think so?" and I lapse into playing devil's advocate because there are more reasons that something isn't going to work than reasons it will.
These thoughts intersected on a recent bike ride.
A gorgeous day and blue skies enveloped me as I barreled out of the driveway. After struggling on the first hill, the next ones looked super ornery. With music piping in my ears, I observed that I was turning away from the hills while convincing myself that it was better not to push myself. I'm not a spring chicken and my plumbing is clogged, so better to be careful, yup!
And then, "Skyfall" came on.
This is the end Hold your breath and count to ten Feel the earth move and then Hear my heart burst again
I wasn't holding my breath or counting to ten but I was behaving like the end (of me) was near. I was cruising. No pressure. Cynical. Fearful. Safe. Sheesh. I continued to bike timidly with regret increasing every second. On the next turn, as Adele magnificently soared into the chorus, I forced myself to hang a left knowing I'd encounter several hills. I pushed through, each turn of the pedal making my heart pound harder. A lady working in her yard looked at me strangely as I belted out (through my mask)...
Let the sky fall When it crumbles We will stand tall Face it all together
So yes, it is true that the more I know the less sure I feel. But it is also true that the sky hasn't fallen on my head yet. I need to do the uphills because it is the right thing to do. Thank you Adele for giving me a whiff of the young me.
Let the sky fall We will stand tall At skyfall
Yes we will, albeit in a grey palette.