Thursday, August 20, 2009

Somewhere in the middle of things

Our perceptions change as we age, which is a good thing, or should be. It means we're growing, learning, becoming. It means we're moving forward with time, learning our lessons.

I used to think life should be simpler. I thought if I worked hard enough at solving the current challenges in my life, there would be some reward, like time off for good behavior or something. But it didn't work that way.

Then I had children and once again thought there would be some clear beginning/middle/end to stages in my relationships with them, but that's not true either. I thought once they grew up, my job was done. Nope, not by a long shot. Our Border Collie had six pups five weeks ago. She's getting ready to toss them from the nest as I write this. Thank God things aren't like that for us or I'd be missing out on the wonderful transformation between childhood and adulthood. I wouldn't get to watch these amazing people I had the privilege of raising become their own persons.

Along the way, something wonderful happened. The endless daily crap we all endure doesn't bother me quite as much as it used to. Like a medical bill I forgot to pay, or we need a gazillion things from the grocery store and Wal-Mart just spent two months rearranging which means I can't find anything and shopping takes twice as long, or trying to figure out a night when everyone will be home so we can have a family dinner.

Maybe I was searching for clear beginnings and endings, like birthdays as a child. When I turned five, then six, I KNOW I could jump farther and higher. Birth, marriage, death, graduation, all those things are finite, but still only part of the process we call life. Maybe the reason I grew to expect clearly cut off points is simply because as a child, they seemed more evident.

A birthday! I'm seven! Seven year olds get to stay up until nine and ride their bikes across the street in the empty parking lot!

Graduation!, I'm no longer a high school student. I'm a young woman with freeeeeedommmmm!!!

Now, I could create some finite moments if I really wanted to. I could get another divorce. That would be finite, but it's certainly not something I'm interested in doing.

Sometimes I feel like I have too many plates spinning to keep up. If I could trade 'plates' with someone, I imagine, I'd want my own back pretty quickly. So, even though life is more about doing what I can today and letting the rest go, I think I'll stay where I am. The only finite moment on my original list left to experience is death, and I'm certainly not ready to go. I'm having the time of my life!


Judith Leger said...

Wow, Katie! That's a wonderful insight! Thanks for posting.