The farther I get into middle age the more marginalized I feel. Young adults, strangers and family alike, have a way of talking to me lately that makes me feel like they are drawing on some deep reserve of patience to get through their interchange with me. I have become mostly invisible to the younger generation. When they are forced to deal with me it often doesn't go well. My life experience sometimes puts me a step ahead of them. I'm anticipating where things are going to go and try to skip a few steps to get us where we are going to end up anyway. After all, time is getting shorter and shorter for me. I want to hurry these mundane interactions along as much as possible. They don't hear that I just gave them the answer to the next five questions they are going to ask. They roll their eyes, sigh and go back to question one. I sigh, roll my eyes back at them and go through their step by step routine with them. Then they think I'm cranky as well as clueless.
In my own family I see the young people's lives expanding and growing beyond my realm. Not just my realm of influence but also of inclusion. They have big, busy, successful lives that I am a smaller and smaller part of. They are independent grownups leading full and rich lives. I am happy for them. Even so I still find myself feeling left out sometimes or worrying that I'm being a nuisance when I call. Sometimes after I talk to one of them I think to myself "I wonder if this is how Mom felt when this happened to her?" It makes me wish I could go back in time having experienced the dynamics of both sides. I would have been more understanding and patient. A little less, "yeah, yeah Mom, I know......"
I have my own life and most parts of it are better than they have ever been, my marriage, my relationships with friends and family, my confidence in who I am and what I am about. But this shift in my position within society and especially my family is unsettling. I waited a few days to post this. I know my kids read my blog and I don't want them to get the wrong idea or to feel bad. I don't want sympathy or for them to change anything. Just to know that I understand things are different and that it's going to take some getting used to. I'll get through it.