Sunday, May 30, 2010

45 in 45

In 45 days I'll be 45. This is the thought I awoke to yesterday. It roused me from a hazy dream and as I laid there trying to go back to sleep because I could tell from the dim light seeping through my eyelids that it was way to early to get up on a Saturday, a disturbing thought hit me like a tsunami. In just 15 years I'll be 60.
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.
This is becoming more of a ramble then I intended. I'm going to end this on a positive note. Dolly Parton. She's 64. She's sweet, simple, kind, honest, accomplished, loved, and beautiful inside and out. Granted, some of the outside beauty may have been helped by some plastic surgery. But, still...I mean, just look at her. 64.

How I got from parental failures to Dolly Parton, I'm not quite sure.
I do know that the present becomes the past in a heartbeat and the future is affected by that decision we made just a moment ago. So every moment counts.
And I'm fermenting daily.

Aged Bottle, signing off.


Tracie said...

I think about these kinds of things too as I'll be turning 40 in a few months. I hope you have something awesome planned for your birthday celebration!

Diminishing Lucy said...

And fermenting beautifully.....

JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

Do you smile alot?

Do you have anything you want to do? Do it.

That's where I am in my life post-apocalypse.

Lori said...

I do smile alot. Actually, I laugh alot too. Thank you for reminding me to acknowledge that! Come to think of it, my kids laugh alot too, so that's a very good thing. I needed to remember that. Thank you.

Tree said...

LOL I had to laugh at this line...

"I'm fermenting. Perfect."

If you're fermenting, then I'm deteriorating!! LMAO I will be 47 this year. We've all done things we may not be proud of in our lives, but in the end, I'm sure Fred and the kiddos are very proud of the decisions you've made and the things you've done to protect them. I think you're pretty awesome, and I don't even know you like that! LMAO

Unknown said...

Fermenting, hunny, it's like grapes into wine. I think that's how they make it anyway.

Ms. Understood said...

I've never linked getting older and fermenting. It made me giggle at the idea. They say you get better with age; that's what I'm going with.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! Sounds like you've probably done far more good than harm. ;)

Savira Gupta said...

Every line/wrinkle on your face is a journey you have made and accomplished in your life.... I sometimes compare myself to fine wine with age it gets better..... Enjoy every moment