As I’ve written before, I have anger issues.
I’ll be having what I think is a good day – sun shining, birds at the feeder, husband smiling by my side – and something will set me off. My husband, poor man, takes the brunt of it. It is irrational, and I don’t like being irrational. If I was more like the 50-plus crowd AARP features in its magazine, I’d be embracing life, traveling to new locales, surrounded by family and friends and enjoying my golden old age.
This is not my reality. I am cranky. It seems to take me longer to get out of bed. My family is dead or living far away, as is my husband’s. Most of our friends don’t live close by, we don’t mingle much with the neighbors, and we have no children to make me, at least, forget the signs of my slow disintegration. Bills are high, and my income isn’t keeping pace.
Usually, walking in the woods and looking for all sorts of birds helps me out of this funk. As I write, it is once again March, and that means migrant birds – including my favorites, the warblers, are slowly making their way north.
But this has been a bad winter, and the cold and snow turned me into a hermit most days. It is with a shock I realize I have not done the basic garden cleanup – usually finished by now – because of the cold, snow still on some of the lawn, and most recently, the wind. In every sense, I have to relearn how to walk.
The other day MH and I went to an area of the New Jersey Meadowlands where we knew the trails were clear. We were walking, and heard a singing bird. We didn’t know what it was but knew it was familiar. I went through my mental database. Listen to the tone and pattern of the song, I thought. What time of year is it? What’s usually around now? What bird songs do you know for sure? All of this took place in milliseconds until I came up with, “Goldfinch.” I was proud of myself for this mental exercise.
But because I was not completely sure, I was reminded I am going to have to relearn bird calls yet again. There came the anger, as well as the sadness, that comes with seeing what I consider another sign of deterioration. Write Side of 50 readers know there is a lot of good that comes with being over 50. Even I know that. I mean, consider the alternative. So I truly hope that as we come out of winter, and into spring, I can put this funk behind me and be the energetic, almost obsessive bird observer I was just a few short years ago.
If I can hang on until spring.