Back in the long-ago 90s I did therapy for six months (a) because I felt sort of busily jazzed up trying to save the world at all times and (b) because my husband thought I should. Maybe he detected a sadness under all my over-functioning I don’t know. I started going all right but every time I went to that therapist’s office I could tell her how everyone else in my life was but not how I was. After a few sessions she told me that as fascinating as my lively tales about other people were, she felt frustrated that I couldn’t talk about myself. If there was sadness underneath all my rushing-about what WAS that sadness? Darned if I knew.
Well LIFE SURE CURED THAT and these days anyway I do know why I’ve been so sad, so off my game, at times so bereft-feeling at times that this mate of mine sometimes finds me standing outside the bathroom door waiting for him to come back out. (I know! Pathetic!)
So, without further talk, here is my litany of reasons for sadness, some general, some specific to me.
- Like so many of us, I am still sad that we lost Bobby Kennedy. Fifty years ago this coming Saturday I watched his funeral and well do I remember the quaver in the voice of his one remaining brother as he gave the eulogy, and the sight of his children crowding around his casket, and the sight of is that widow, newly pregnant with the couple’s 11th child.
- Again, like many of us, I am sad about the changing climate with its ever-more-devastating weather events. I’m very sad that we in this country are doing so little to ward off what looks to be the very dire consequences.
Less catastrophically, I’m sad about my own small stuff:
- I’m sad about the way time is passing so fast. I can still picture the color, style and fabric of the dress I wore the day they buried Bobby, and now I am… how old? I said to my mate only last Christmas, “Just think! In 15 years I’ll be 73!” “Um,” he replied with a kind smiled, “in 15 years you’ll be 83.” Where did it all go?
- I’ve been very sad that I can’t seem to write much anymore. It just hurts to sit, to stand, even to lie down for any length of time with a spinal column that has come to resemble a Crazy Straw the way it veers right up by my bra-line, then veers sharply left around my hips, then ends with a flourish of two additional veerings that together deliver pain not only to my back but also clear down one leg. Sigh.
- I’m sad about my digestion-related insides since I now have “bacterial overgrowth” in there, which is diagnosed by having one blow air into a glass tube and send it off in the mail. That part was kind of fun, to be honest, a little like capturing fireflies – only these turn out not to be fireflies at all but rather a dense civilization of little sea monkeys as I picture them. These tiny tenants now renting space in there have apparently moved in for keeps, the doctor says, so that for the rest of my life if I wish not to suffer I can’t eat wheat, barley, dairy or really any kind of sugar including the innocent fructose that comes in apples peaches, nectarines and so on. Who wouldn’t get sad on being told this news?
- And finally, to conclude this tale of woe, I am about to have rotator cuff surgery, which sounds both so picturesquely dreadful and immobilizing that I’m actually looking forward to the adventure of it . More on THAT another day.
So there it all is and maybe that stern therapist was right: I do feel better for having told all this. Also, there’s a real upside to the thought of being unable to so much as wash a dish or fold a pair of underpants for ten whole weeks. Plus anyway come on: Who doesn’t love sea monkeys?