Age is just a number for crying out loud!

Okay, so January has been an unpleasant month, and not just because of the weather. We got dumped on with snow and then rain which led to ice everywhere. I was confined (thus feeling a bit trapped) because I didn’t want to risk my life driving among all the “not-so-good drivers”. I’m originally from North Dakota, so I know my way around storms.

Usually, this time of year I’m inspired to clean things, discard unused items, refresh my art studio (which usually means rearranging), and do a general material reset. “Cleansing of the palate” to make room for whatever comes up in the new year.

But my state of mind needs more than a surface treatment. This feeling of dread, not sleeping solidly, and doing way too much worrying has caught me off guard.

Speaking of worry, I love the idea of going to bed and getting all cozy surrounded by my stack of pillows, only to toss and turn, never experiencing that elusive comfort and waking up at 2 or 3 or 4 in the morning from a bizarre dream or to go to the bathroom. I sleepily rise and return in the hopes I’ll fall back to sleep. Unfortunately, my mind says, no, you’ve got to worry about some things first. Let’s see what’s on the docket for you this early am.

Most of the worry is about future things that, frankly, I have little control over.

Just one example, my daughter is moving from LA to Portland. I am elated that she will be closer to us but not looking forward to the actual moving of a small household. I’ve moved her many times since 2015, and thankfully she’s been in the same LA apartment for 2 1/2 years.

But I still wish we could transport it all with a snap of our fingers. Instead, I worry about dumb things like where to park the trailer so we can load her precious cargo. She lives in a gated apartment complex where parking is at a premium for cars let alone a truck and trailer. Visualizations of the whole affair clog my otherwise creative mind.

Yes, visualization is creative and can be helpful, but not in this context.

What I’m attempting to do is solve a problem that does not yet exist. I do this all the time. Wonder how many hours of my life are wasted processing my worrywart mind? It makes my stomach and head hurt.

My state of being is in distress on various fronts. I just went through the disquieting act of “signing up for Medicare”. I fumbled through, but then there is the supplemental insurance mumbo jumbo we are required to get because, well, Medicare doesn’t cover it all. WTF is that all about? Why are so many insurance companies involved in our health and well-being? And why are there SO, SO many of them? And with few getting very high ratings. Sigh…

Insurance companies have always left a bad taste in my mouth. For me, they rank right down there with used car salesmen, pharmaceutical companies, and billionaires. Harsh, yeah maybe. I know, I know, insurance is a necessary evil, but in many ways, we are being raked over the coals and sucked into the black hole of premiums and sketchy payouts.

I’m one of those tightly wound humans who does not like to ask for help or to let on that I don’t know what is what, in a general sense. Well, let me tell you, I did not know what was what and went down all kinds of healthcare holes until I finally felt just a little less stupid. As an artist, I created a rudimentary chart because that is how I visually problem solve things that make little or no sense to me. Then I talked with my sister-in-law (who is also turning 65) because she researches everything to the nth degree. The less stupid meter rose a bit more after we discussed the scope of our choices.

In the end, I chose the least bad option for my minimal needs, at least for now.

It’s not just the Medicare malaise that got me into this funk, it is turning 65 in a society that says, YES you are now officially old. What? Tell my body and mind that because they are shouting from the mountaintop, “NOPE, I don’t think so.”

But for some reason lately, my mind is playing cruel tricks on me. I’ve been getting these strange feelings of a lack of purpose and haven’t figured out why. I don’t think it’s because of my age. It’s more of a mindset transition and that is what’s got me all discombobulated. These changes are occurring deep within me. And I have the sense they won’t present themselves readily and certainly not all at once.

What adds to my current state of mind is that at this time of my life, I am less enamored with the status quo. Well, honestly, I never have been. But I seem more critical of what is passing for news and information these days and what society and the media say about how we should be living our lives. This could have something to do with the fact that it is an election year and the general state of the world presented by the mainstream pundits. The crazy talk is amplified and only getting worse. In addition, none of it deals with the realities in which we are all living. Go figure.

So, I write, I create art, I listen to music, I appreciate nature, and I carry on. These are the paths that will help me reveal what needs to surface. Thanks for reading.

Michelle Lindblom Studio



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