As I sit here in my jammies with my coffee, my laptop, and the sounds of the Zac Brown Band, my family is skiing. So are the guests we've invited for the weekend. Three adults and five children, having a ton of fun at the mountain. One adult sitting home alone.
I'm not sick. I don't even have much cleaning and packing to do. I've just accepted my limitations.
Do I want to be having fun with the group? Of course; I'm a social person. It's unusually warm today, so I even considered going, as the aching cold is one of the things I find intolerable. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I wouldn't have fun. I'd be scared of going too fast. Scared of hurting myself. Scared of the lift (I prefer to remain on the ground at all times).
I'd be even more scared of my children doing those things. This is decidedly a case of what I don't know doesn't hurt me or at least what-I-don't-witness-doesn't-cause-me-anxiety. The thought of my slight six-year-old, who could easily slide under the bar, on the lift is enough to make me tense. It's not rational. I realize that. But it doesn't make my anxiety any less real. And an anxious mom is not a fun mom. Nor is being anxious fun for me.
In other circumstances, such anxiety might bring out the helicopter parent in me. In this case, however, I know I'm completely useless to prevent most of the things I worry about. I'm a lousy, anxious skier; having me along is like adding another child. I can't help anyone because I can barely help myself. Today, I recognized my physical and psychological limitations and opted for a stool and a coffee mug instead of a mountain.
I know it's lame. I know it might be rude to our guests. I know I'm missing out on an active day with my family and friends. I also know that I'm okay with that. I'll be 42 this week, and in my forties I've come to accept my limitations. It doesn't mean I don't try new things--I gave skiing a good faith effort several times last winter--but it does mean that I don't force myself to do things just to be included. I am who I am. Sometimes, that means I am the one sitting at home alone in her jammies.