Friday, July 25, 2008

What Would I Have Said?

Sometimes as night begins to fall, the activities of the day completed, the house suddenly quiet, I find myself looking back over the years -- not in a bad or negative way at all, but just with a certain curiosity. I wonder if anyone would have told me fifty years ago when I was twenty-five and working in Dallas, Texas that when I would be getting ready to celebrate my seventy-fifth birthday I would be the mother of four grown children, that I would be living in Seattle, Washington with one of them -- what would I have said? I suddenly found myself laughing out loud and thinking that was exactly what I would have done then -- laughed. "Me, get married? Have kids? You've got to be kidding, right? I mean, Seattle wouldn't be bad, but no thanks, to the rest of it." And yet here I am, seventy-five in a little over a week and I am the mother of four and I am living with one of them in Seattle, Washington and it's working well for both of us. And the others have done well, too. We're scattered all over the country, but thanks to the internet and cell phones etc. etc. we stay in close touch.

I frequently wonder if other people look back over their lives and wonder how they ended up where they are now -- not in a bad way, but just curious. What were the dreams, hopes, plans? How many lives turned out just as they had planned them in their late teens or early twenties? How many find themselves in amazingly different settings than they would have thought possible fifty years ago?

Maybe it's how we begin our journey into our future that determines how far that journey takes us from where we started. Maybe we've become a very different person from the twenty something woman or man that we were. Do we even really remember who we were then? Are there many, who like me, played another role for so many years that we're not sure which one is the real one? I believe that I do know who the real me is now and she isn't that twenty-five year old from Dallas, Texas. For one thing, I've made peace with who I am, who I was and who I hope to be on the other side of seventy-five and that's a very, very good feeling. Still, sometimes I wonder how many lifetimes it took me to finally reach this place?

Well, whatever, it's been a great journey and I'm happy to be where I am. I have so much to be thankful for and happy about. I still have an enormous amount of curiosity about so many things, I still get excited about things that happen every day and I can laugh and have my breath taken away at the sight of a full moon, a bouquet of flowers, a piece of music, a beautiful piece of art, the mountains that surround us here and the water! And I have my health. Oh, I know, I get stirred up over politics, I worry about the country, about the enviornment and grit my teeth over the Republicans, but at the end of the day when I get very still, I know what's real and what matters.

Yes, it's been a marvelous journey in spite of some bumpy roads and it's not over yet. Who knows how many more lovely surprises are waiting along the way?


Judy said...

I know that I am not that girl of 25 and sometimes I think I am like a cat with nine lives. My life has been so different at so many times during my journey but I would not trade any of it. I think I know who I am today and that is where I want to be. Like you, I am so fortunate to have my children, grandson, and health, that I am thankful every day. What a great post.

Mortart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mortart said...

I wish you a very happy birthday. You write so eloquently that it's a pleasure to read your blog. And congratulations on raising the lovely family pictured in your previous post. (I'm the anonymous "author" who mistakenly erased my original comment.)

Rain said...

On a superficial level, my life is a lot like I would have thought it would be. Under the surface, it's much different. I don't think I had many expectations for what it'd be other than the usual idea of getting married and having kids which most women among my friends also figured was how it would be. I guess mine was more or less based on what I had seen. At a certain point, it veered from that in a lot of ways but I am pretty satisfied as it is. I have ideas for what I want in the future but not with a firm plan. More or less I try to be open to what comes along and ready to grasp new opportunities as you mentioned you are.

Velvet Sacks said...

I could identify with this post. I know exactly how I, a lady of definite liberal leanings, ended up here in Louisiana (the land of the good ol' boys), but sometimes I still can't believe it. I'm 65 now and have been here 30 years. I've finally accepted that my purpose in being here is to try to change 'em, one mind at a time. Wish me luck.