Love’s Slow Decline

Maybe it’s because Daylight Savings ended this weekend. Or maybe the house has just been too quiet, with Craig and Chris gone. Or maybe it’s attending a baby’s first birthday party, and thinking of how much time has passed since that particular milestone in my own kids’ lives. Whatever it is, I’m in a bit of a funk.

Now, don’t let the title of this scare you. This isn’t about “falling out of love” or losing natural, motherly fondness for my teenagers. It’s not even about throwing in the towel with caregiving. I have so much to be thankful for, including work that (most days) I love, and extended family and friends who never miss an opportunity to show they care. Like I said, much to be thankful for.

But here’s a dirty little secret about middle age that I’m only just now realizing: Everything declines. Everything slows down. Everything gets … harder. And that doesn’t even factor in the specific realities of my particular situation.

There was a time when I enjoyed making the “grand gesture” — the epic love poem, the handmade gingerbread villages, the cross-stitched samplers that took months to complete. Now I’d rather pick up a package of Rice Krispy bars from Walmart and call it a day. I’m not proud of this … but I’ve reached a point where I need to own it, I think.

What do you think? Is it seasonal? Organic? (Went in for a stress test this week to find out why my chest keeps fluttering. Stress does that, the doctor says.) Need more exercise and fewer Rice Krispy treats? Maybe.

But if you can relate, feel free to give me your secret. How do you stop the decline?

4 thoughts on “Love’s Slow Decline

  1. I don’t think you can stop it — it’s the natural order of things, after all. But I think you can embrace it. Love it for what it is, not a grand gesture, but your gesture, the one you can commit to and execute. Getting the store-bought rice krispies is a gesture that still took time and effort, as opposed to not making the homemade treat and therefore not producing any gesture at all. I’ve had plenty of time to ponder this, too, and there’s beauty in the decline if you look for it. I think it begins with gratitude, for what was, is, and will be. It’s a gift that we can think about these things, yes? Acceptance and contentment are also good. And so is talking about it, so we know we aren’t alone in our crazy. love you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right back atcha. I’ve received a couple of sweet private notes about this from friends in our Catholic Caregivers (and Ave authors) circle. I think you’re right about gratitude being part of the antidote. I will try to remember that (though that, too, is harder than it sounds these days!).


  2. I find it helps me to spend time on my own, doing something for me. Not as something to slow down decline, but when things don’t feel right or good to me. So I walk in nature, and breathe it in and just enjoy the moment.
    I was advised to pursue a hobby or art too such as coloring, writing or listening to music. Right now I’m deep into practising playing music and it is satisfying to improve. That makes growing older feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

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