Adulting is such hard work! I've been at it for 40+ years and still can't seem to master the art. I look around and wonder loudly to myself, "when did life get so complicated?" At what point did I not see the train coming and jump off the tracks?
Perhaps it was when the reality of being a mother hit me at 21 and I grabbed hold of my responsibility with all my will and strength. Yes, I do believe thats when my adulting started. Or maybe I should go further back to when I took on the role of mother-of-the-house when my mom migrated. Or maybe I can go back even further to when I was 12 and fought off a would be rapist to keep my innocence and I found out the World could be a dark place. No matter the age, adulting is tough work and someone should have taken the time to sit me down properly and warn me!
At some point I resisted the urge to hide in a corner and chose to embrace my gifts and talents by throwing myself head first into a myriad of projects and directions. To say it's been a full life would be an understatement. Sometimes I feel like I've lived two or three lifetimes given the vast body of work I have accumulated while simply living my life. I didn't plan for any of it. Didn't ask for any of it. I always just seem to fall ass-backwards into things, find myself enjoying them and continue doing them just because I can. Then comes the inevitable burn out. It's a vicious cycle.
So here I am again, on the downswing of my hamster wheel, in need of space to breathe, rest and rejuvenate but with more responsibilities than I bargained for. My lifelong battle with Fibromyalgia has taken a turn as well because aging adds its own challenges to my endless list of symptoms. It's a delicate and annoying balancing act. In short, its adulting and I want none of it!
I yearn to have nothing to do on Saturdays but go hang out at Doctor's Cave Beach all day followed by movies at the Strand Theater (Montego Bay). To chill out at a Niyabinghi session in Lucea with conscious Rastamen beating drums into the night. To drive down to Old Harbour Bay for fresh lobsters or just to listen to the endless din of fishermen, vendors, customers and pelicans against the backdrop of a restless sea.
To walk Negril's seven miles of white sand like I did before it was all taken over by hotels and the like. To build sandcastles with my two little girls on the beach in Oracabessa before some billionaire bought it and "developed" into the mess it now is. It was perfect without the so-called development! Or maybe closer still to when I played in the sand with my grandsons.
They say long term memory is what we have when we age and that forgetting where we put our glasses while they are still on our faces is what happens to us. My long term memory is certainly kicking my butt as I think of simpler times. And my over-active brain is hatching a plan to find a way to recreate a life as close as possible to the one I'm missing.
I am a progressive person. I do not believe in going backwards. I go forward only. I would not want to go back to the days before social media and www. or cameras that have cell phones as a part of their feature. Cry shame!
So I'm evolving and moving forward to a simpler time by remembering the things I long for the most. Moving forward by looking backward, because simpler make everything better. Less stress, more health. Less GMO and more natural foods. Less material wealth and more spiritual health. Less pharmaceuticals and more healing from the earth. In the design world we have a saying that "less is more." When I look back on how much less I had but how much happier I was with less, I know without a doubt that this is true for me. And so, I'm moving forward by looking back!
Judith Falloon-Reid is an Author, Filmmaker, Poet, Media Personality & Inspirational Speaker.
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image credits: J Falloon-Reid & M. Barrington Brown