Saturday evening on my walk out with my husband, I ponder the deeper aspects of my life. (There's something about moving side by side that makes it easier to have such conversations than when we sit across from one another.)
I wonder aloud if I'm just going through the motions of living.
I seem to engage attentively in my day to day activities in the world "out there." And yet I can sense that there is a lot of inner upheaval brewing. I feel unsettled. I feel like I'm "waiting" for something. But what?
I could say I'm waiting til our adult daughters "land." Will they continue to live in Chicago? Will they marry the fellows they're currently with? Will our younger daughter find employment soon?
I'm also waiting to see if my 83 yr old Dad passes his stress tests in order to undergo major surgery to remove a tumor. He's fast losing weight and not doing well. I'm not ready to think about life without my papa.
My husband (and I) are waiting to see if he still has a job this fall. As layoffs continue, we grapple with living amongst economic uncertainty.
Underneath it all, I'm waiting to find another "rock" of stability to show up that I can stand on. Since I entered the decade of my 50's, loss and impermanence play a much bigger role in my life. I can no longer pretend that earthly life goes on forever. Loved ones pass on. My body doesn't look like it did 20 years ago, or even 10.
As loss continues, my yearning for deeper connections increases, perhaps as a way to replace dear loved ones that have transitioned on. That includes a desire for a deeper relationship, not only with people, but with God.
I question what I'm doing. I wonder if I should be doing something else, something "more" with my life. I have far more questions than answers. I sense this shifting ground may be a permanent part of the landscape of life in middle age and beyond.
And yet . . . what I need to remember, and what my wise friend, Deb I. shared with me today, is to stay present, and focus on experiencing joy. Joy is the reason!
Your life is right now! It's not later! It's not in that time of retirement. It's not when the lover gets here. It's not when you've moved into the new house. It's not when you get the better job. Your life is right now. It will always be right now. You might as well decide to start enjoying your life right now, because it's not ever going to get better than right now--until it gets better right now!
The above quote provides good advice. I have been duly chastened. But not silenced. We human beings come equipped with emotions that require acknowledgment and expression. There is a time for me to cry in my beer. And a time to blow my nose and move on with life.
Right now I'm ready to move on. Until the next time when I am called to cry in my beer.
[Photo Credit: "Miss Duckey"]