The kitchen is dirty and laundry is screaming my name, but the pool beckons louder and I decide the dishes and clothes can wait. The sun is slipping behind the trees as I slide into the water. Mmm. For the first time today I am cool, unchained from the stifling humidity. I had forgotten how nice an evening swim can be. I wonder why I don’t do it more often.
I float lazily across the water, bobbing like a cork in slow circles. As I drift, my mind replays the day’s events and then predictably begins to plan tomorrow’s schedule. Friday, the day I begin my 45th year of life, is only hours away. Can I really be 44 years old? How did I get here so fast? My life is likely more than halfway over. I am in awe of that reality. It makes me a little sad, but more than anything I am dumbstruck by the reality that those years have stacked up quickly. When did the train pick up speed and where is it going, I wonder.
I recall the dreams of my youth; ambitious, idealistic dreams that seemed so definite at one time. My schedule was planned; a degree by my 22nd birthday and years of stomping up the corporate ladder in a big city in my high heels and coat of steel. Financial success and world travel were wedged in between promotions and early retirement. Marriage and children were questionable. I laugh out loud at the ignorance of youth and how ridiculous those plans seem now. Here I am, a wife and mother and living thirty minutes from the Midwestern house I grew up in. Corporate America has never felt my footprint and probably never will. I laugh again. Forty-four is not a bad age, I think, mostly because I’m wiser now. I tick off the lessons I’ve learned since my youth and ponder how I feel about them.
Life is what happens while you’re busy making plans. It will never be exactly how you plan it, and sometimes it will be hard...freakin’ hard. That’s okay.
You won’t get to do all the things you want to, but you’ll get to do more things you didn’t expect. That’s okay.
Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you draw the losing card, and it stinks, royally. But sometimes you draw a winning card you didn’t deserve, so that’s okay.
People will piss you off, hurt your feelings and gossip behind your back. They will also say nice things about you that you will never hear, and that’s okay.
Touch is often more powerful than words. You don’t always know when a hug, a kiss or a touch of the hand helps someone to hang on one more day, and that’s really okay.
Listening is more important than speaking. I’ll try, okay?
Crying doesn’t mean you’re weak. It just means you’re okay.
If you can’t laugh, you are lost…and you are not okay.
Sometimes those we love the most hurt us the most. They also fight for us the hardest. Twisted, but okay.
And loving is the most important part of living. More than okay.
I open my eyes and gaze at the sun which is barely a sliver above the trees by now. I wonder how many more sunrises and sunsets I will see. Many more I hope. Too many to count if I’m lucky. I decide to make Friday my “birth day”, a day to celebrate the years to come and the lessons yet learned. I smile to myself. I am a wife, a mother and I’m living thirty minutes from where I grew up. Corporate America has never felt my footprint and probably never will….and that’s okay.
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