Thursday, January 12, 2017

  




     




As I was searching for a photo for a previous blog, I came upon this chart. I find it sadly hilarious. It is so easy to joke about the inevitable life passages so many of us endure, but when we’re experiencing them, it’s not funny at all. Here though, I choose to laugh as I ask myself which of these I’ve experienced and how I came through them.
Mid-life: 
When most of us are in the “middle” years of our lives, we are raising children so our focus is divided in numerous directions. We wonder why we’re moody when our kids are misbehaving and our hair is falling out. We wonder why we doubt ourselves when we realize that we’re too old to apply for certain jobs or too tired to make love. We lose patience with ourselves when we are too busy to work out, and the flab shows up just as we’re putting on the gown for the yearly gala. As tragic as it can be, we aren’t surprised when we find ourselves signing divorce papers, as all the directions we’ve been going have taken away the “magic” and romance of our relationships. 
Here are some of the positive things I recall about those “middle years.” My neck wasn’t wrinkled. I remembered everything. I had precious moments with my children, and I never regretted the naps we took on the floor, the birthday parties I gave as I watched them interact with their little friends. I will never forget the beautiful trips I took with my husband  where we had time alone to rediscover the magic we feared we’d lost. I remember feeling so fulfilled when the chaos of family gatherings made me feel like I belonged to something more important than myself. I recall watching the sparkle in my daughters’ eyes when Santa showed up or when it was time to go find the hidden Easter eggs. I remember the day I drove the youngest to her college dorm and how I cried and cried all the way home. I didn’t appreciate those days when I could enjoy a glass of wine without worrying about the health consequences or climb a mountain and not worry about my knees. I was so busy doing that I didn’t take time to reflect on how fortunate I was to be able to do it. And then there were all of my childrens’ “firsts:”
  1.  first date
  2. first prom
  3. first sports trophy
  4. first bra
  5. first rejection
  6. first grounding
  7. first time driving the car
  8. first party behind my back
  9. first award ceremony
  10. first fight

and the list goes on.  I was there for all of those, and I was and am so grateful. Mid-life has many challenges, but the good news is that most of us are young enough and healthy enough to endure the tough parts and enjoy the positive experiences. I guess what I didn’t realize looking back is that I should have been celebrating the obvious:  my good health, my flawless complexion, my wonderful career, my steady husband, all the material things I took for granted, the marvelous trips I was able to take and the energy to juggle it all.


    If you are in your “middle years,” take time to look at some of these things and celebrate the obvious. The time doesn’t necessarily fly as you’re living it, but looking back, it’s like a nano-second. Our journey’s joys and regrets depend on the choices we’ve made. Some were brilliant; others may have been devastating. Sometimes the latter produce future joys you could not imagine.