HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND EMBRACE BEING ALONE (even on your birthday)

Old age requires Money - Procure it immediately

Old age requires Money – Procure it immediately

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“Since I gave up all hope, I feel so much better” – anonymous  

I write this on my 61st birthday. I chose to be alone, and fled to the wilderness.

Rather than dancing at a drunken Bacchanal or a romantic dinner that ends in bloodshed, I’m drinking Kava tea, resting and re-evaluating my life.

In younger years, this would be unfathomable. If somehow I reached this ancient age, I’d spend each minute wailing in fury, pain and insanity. A witch in house slippers and hairnet, I’d threaten neighborhood children, pets and report unknown cars to the police. Like Dracula, I would avoid all mirrors.

Of that prophecy, only occasional fury and insanity have come true, but no worse than my teenage tantrums.

If you find yourself alone on a birthday, re-evaluating life, begin with the big questions:

Which do you fear more – old age or death? Assuming you’re okay with public speaking, a phobia that, for some, outranks both.

Death horrified me. I still don’t like it, who does? But, as close as a midwife to the decline and death of both of my parents in a short period, I’m warming up to the old Grim Reaper. Under the hooded cape, the great and powerful unknown is an angel who relieves suffering and escorts to the next realm. Is it heavenly bliss, recycling/reincarnation or just plain old nothingness? Socrates said if non-existence is the worst possibility, what have we to fear?

Old age, a more definitive, visible prospect, still scares me, but I’m working on that too. Personal trainers, hair colorists and cosmetic surgery are necessary, and not cheap. Money must be had. By any and all means, procure it at once!

Don’t count on children to help, especially if no money is in it for them post-mortem (yours.)

Never go to doctors. They will find SOMETHING WRONG and prescribe tests and drugs with “side effects including seizures, death or an erection lasting more than four hours.” Befriend people of all ages, including the elderly. Treat them like the fellow human beings they are, without patronizing or infantilizing.

Simply refuse your age. Seriously. I spend days unsure if I’m 42, 30, 16 or 78. I now believe my elders who always said they felt the same as always inside.

Next big question while aging: Why should you do the same things everybody else does? Does anyone really like hearing “Happy Birthday To You,” in public, sung off-key by waiters who don’t give a damn that you’ll never see again?

Ask yourself why, with no young children or a husband to please, you should eat birthday cake, concoct a Thanksgiving feast, erect a Christmas tree or God forbid, watch the Super Bowl? Why should you do anything, if doesn’t make you happy? No expectations, insincere efforts, no disappointment.

You’ll never conquer fears – of being alone, a misfit, dying, or even public speaking, by running from them. Introduce yourself. Look them in the eye and see what imposters they are.

Here’s the biggest surprise of all. My son, who I’m not sure even KNOWS my birthday, has texted and called a dozen times asking how my birthday’s going. Worried that I’m alone on my birthday, others have promised to take me out when I return. I never had this much attention back home, when I craved it so much.

Maybe the Buddha is right. Attachment and aversion are the cause of our suffering.

Or maybe it’s as simple as this:

“If you love something, set it free. If it doesn’t come back,

HUNT IT DOWN AND KILL IT!”

– Georgia Lee

About georgialeesays

Award-winning journalist, editor and writer of multiple genres. Former Bureau Chief, Womens Wear Daily and W magazine. Past director, Ivy Hall, The SCAD Atlanta writing center. Vice President, programming for Atlanta Writers Club. Freelance writer/editor of every subject in the known universe. Lover of clean, clear writing -"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book." - Nietzsche. I teach yoga, meditation, in retreat settings. Seeker of truth and transcendence. Reincarnation of Edgar Allen Poe. "Life is but a dream within a dream within a dream" Write. Create. Learn. Dance. Yoga. Sleep. Dream.
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34 Responses to HOW TO STOP WORRYING AND EMBRACE BEING ALONE (even on your birthday)

  1. Ed and Linda says:

    Georgia…”YOU” are never alone! God loves ya and we love ya! And we’re gonna take you out to dinner the next time we come to the Big A. Glad Miles remembered…there is hope for our future!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eddie and Linda – Thank you! I’ll take you up on that – Houston’s!! Love you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. alha788 says:

    Happy Birthday. You’ve done it again, I appreciate your sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on HarsH ReaLiTy and commented:
    I like the strength in your attitude! Happy late birthday as well! -OM
    Note: Comments disabled here, please visit their post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ursularosien says:

    I completely agree with what your friends “Ed and Linda say!” You are never alone and I admire your words and your search of solitude for your own pleasure and not because you are escaping something or someone. Sounds to me like a lovely birthday! I’m 42 and I used to be beyond scared at the thought of being alone, let alone on my birthday. I’m content to say I’m a content being alone, sometimes lonely but content with this season in life. Will be following your blog 😉
    Ursula @ http://krafmint.com {lovely, quick crafts}

    Liked by 1 person

  6. do what you wanna do, not what others want you to do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy birthday and g,o,o,d, on you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Janice Wald says:

    Tomorrow is my birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tricia says:

    Hey this is really good stuff! I have a b day coming up next month and I decided to spend it with strangers on a group back lacking trip in Yosemite. I loved your comment about forgetting what age you are, that happens to me all the time! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  10. leibali says:

    Public speaking is scarier than death and dying, you have to live with it, and cake still tastes good without kids,
    your day sounds good to me, being in the wilderness alone, hope you enjoyed it, 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ellen Hawley says:

    Public speaking’s easy. Going to parties where you don’t know 90% of the people? That’s terrifying. As for aging, all but one of my hundred thousand aunts dyed their hair from the time they were in their twenties, and the one who pulled off old age best was the one who didn’t. My hair’s been white since I was in my thirties, and I don’t mess with it, which leaves me more time to ask myself the single most important question in life: What’s for dessert?

    Like

    • Ellen – I agree parties are more daunting than public speaking. I dread everyone, then usually have an okay time.
      Loved your comments on aging. Love the comments on hair – keep on keepin on. I’m having milkshakes – every day.

      Like

  12. HappyApathy says:

    I spent a couple Christmas days alone. That was weird. On one of those was really weird: There was a tornado in the forest north of where I lived. The air was really tight and warm (this was in Florida). I was afraid of the local bars then…but the doors were propped open at a couple of em. I just drove around and tripped on the weather.

    Like

    • Love it – breaking the expected makes it memorable – good or bad. Local bars and tornadoes on Christmas sounds like a good short story or blog post????
      Thanks for reading.
      ps – mother’s day was a spectacular disaster. i should spend it in bar next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. annepm2015 says:

    I’m glad you shared this post. I’ve been along for years since I divorced my husband. I had a relationship afterwards for many years but he traveled often. So it wasn’t the same as being here, which left me lonely at times. For women everywhere left alone, abandoned, or frightened, this is a perfect example of gaining strength.

    Like

    • Anne – Thank you for your comment! I’m so glad you saw this as empowering. We were always trained to believe we couldn’t exist without a man, but my experience is that I end up doing all the heavy lifting anyway.
      Good luck to you, and stay strong!
      Ga.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. annepm2015 says:

    Actually, I take that back. I still communicate with my ex although he’s moved to U.K. I haven’t seen him in over a year.

    Like

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