Up until then, I felt like I was racing against myself and the clock to get it right, or what I thought was right. Or maybe what I thought society thought was right. Or all of the above. Which left me with little except fear in some inner cell in my being that the perfect life I was in search of was threatening to pass me by as I went through the motions to find it.
As a working writer, I’m living my dream. And I’m dedicated to people I love, whether as a mom, a wife, a sister, or friend. The challenge is to carve out those moments that don’t belong to work, or to others. Or to the dog. Or grass that needs mowing. Or errands. Or bills screaming to be paid. And just focus on that inner sense of … me.
Days turn into months and then decades and then, as I found when my mother died, you look up one fateful day and time has passed and all of a sudden you are the adult. You find there needs to be more to life. Or, less. And things begin to change.
One of the biggest challenges of midlife for me is reminding myself daily that if there was ever a time to make changes, it’s now. There’s no longer time for those “if only” wishes. Like, if I only had more money. If only I was thinner. If I only lived closer to my family. Or farther away! Or had a better car, or a better wardrobe, or a summer house, or a better … anything, and everything.
There are times I think life would be better if it wasn’t so hectic and fast-paced. So I back off my schedule a little and promptly begin feeling like my days aren’t full enough. So I fill them, and then feel overwhelmed. And the cycle continues.
So, just for this moment, today, I pledge to be happy with things just the way they are. Sun is pouring through the windows. The house is quiet as two sick kids rest in their beds with sleeping cats wrapped around them. The dog is snoring under the piano. And the phone is quiet, even though the day’s assignments are stacked up like planes.
I’m making more coffee, and watching a bird at the feeder out the window. In a couple of minutes life will start clanging again. But right now, it’s everything I want.