Sunday, May 30, 2010
I opened my eyes. 60. That's considered elderly. Old age is approaching like a fast train with no brakes. But I'm not even 45 yet, so why am I thinking about 60? The answer is that, as eventful as the past 15 years have been, they've flown by. I know the next 15 will fly too and I'll be 60. I'll be old.
It doesn't help that the synonyms for "aging" are "decline," "deteriorate," and "ferment." I'm fermenting. Perfect.
It's not the physical aging that disturbs me, although I'm sure that's no picnic. What disturbs me is the question of what have I done with my life and if I haven't done what I've wanted is there enough time left to do it in?
What have I done in 45 years on this planet? I've tried to "do unto others." I've tried to not cause anyone pain or suffering. But...have I ever uttered a word, or expression, that hurt someone and caused irreparable damage to the outcome of their life? I don't know. I hope not. Words are powerful and people have defining moments and some of those moments are caused by strangers that don't even remember uttering words that changed someone's life. It's such a fragile thing, our human existence. Every moment matters.
45. Where did I think I would be at 45? When I was 10 I wanted to be a teacher or an artist. Today, I'm not a teacher and I can't draw. Have I failed? My parents didn't encourage higher education because the world was going to end before I would reach adulthood and I wouldn't need it. Have they failed? The world didn't end. Has God failed?
What have I done that's good? I stayed in a heart breaking marriage for 12 years because I thought it would disappoint God and my family and friends if I didn't. I wanted my kids to grow up with a mom and a dad in the same house. Was that the right choice? I don't know. They were 7, 9, and 10 when we divorced - old enough to be tramatized by it. Had I been less of a people pleaser I would have done it sooner. Maybe it wouldn't have hurt them as much.
My biggest worry, at almost 45, is how I have affected my kids' lives. I volunteered at their schools, I enrolled them in extracurricular actiivities that I thought would enrich them. I left my full time job when they started middle school so I could work from home. I tried to be there for them. I struggled daily with my own inadequacies, but I tried to be there for them. Have I been a good mom? If I've failed at that, then I've failed at life.
I see my kids' great qualities and I'm so proud of them. I see them struggling with their shortcomings and I wonder - are those my fault? What could I have done differently to make their lives easier now?
I do know for sure that my second marriage was to the right man. By his example, he has shown my son how to treat a woman and has shown my girls how a woman should be treated. That's a very good thing. He's a positive role model and a good husband and I love him very much. Thank you, hubby, for being a part of my life that I know I will never look back on and regret or question. I'm glad we'll be fermenting together.