Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Turning Forty With An Attitude Of Gratitude

I've heard this song thousands of times since I was a little girl. Today, I get it.
Time In A Bottle
If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
Id save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with

If I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I've looked around enough to know
That you're the one I want to go
Through time with
I have arrived at the realization that life doesn't go on forever. Isn't it funny how, when we are young, time goes by so slow? We have all of our goals and dreams in front of us and we are so impatient to see them come to pass. Remember how slow time passed? Such as ... waiting for the ice cream truck, waiting for Friday to get here, summer vacation, the Holidays, and yes, our birthdays. Remember when you didn't think your sixteenth birthday would ever get here? Then, your eighteenth, your twenty first. I stopped feeling all giddy about birthdays around the age of twenty seven because I knew I was approaching thirty and thirty was the year I was supposed to have this and that accomplished, or, at least thirty was to be a benchmark for me. Wait. Didn't I just turn 30 last year? Where did those 10 years go? In those ten years, a lot has changed. Physically, that is. My situation is still the same though. ::sigh:: I'm a planner. There is nothing worse or more depressing to a planning, control-freak than not seeing those plans achieved. A good friend sent me a card that reads, "Forty is Fabulous." I needed to hear that and more importantly, I need to agree with it. Because I've been feeling that for me, Forty is Failure. Forty was the big one in my eyes. (Imagine how I'll feel at 50 and so on if I keep this up) Since I hadn't achieved any of my goals, (except for having a baby, that is, which is the best thing I've ever done) by the time I was thirty, I had given myself another ten year grace period to make those dreams come true. Well, as of yesterday, those ten years are up. Ten years ago, we moved here to save money for our "dream home" and I'll be totally honest with you, we haven't saved one red cent. I had planned to go back to work, but I was living in denial, thinking that Stephen's health was going to improve and maybe he'd "grow out of it." One positive thing has happened over the last decade: I've accepted the truth. Acceptance of imperfection is hard on a perfectionist. I've mastered that one. Took many years of depression and a few years of self-abuse and within a hair of complete self destruction that I won't mention at this time, but I have finally accepted my hand and even more, I appreciate it. Yes, I said that. I appreciate it. I feel that nothing is by accident. Even when we don't know who we are, where we are or where we're going, God knows. He also cares. Not only that, but he has it all under control IF we let go of the reigns. Whew! What a relief! It's a relief to let go of a life that I totally screwed up, trying to do it all myself and put my future in the hands of someone who does have forever on their side and who is actually capable of miracles. The pressure is off.
So, what started out to be the dreaded fortieth, wasn't so bad. I had hoped for some kind of epiphany and I choose to see the bright side. I wasted so many years dwelling on the future and reliving the past mistakes, I forgot what it's like to live in the moment or how to enjoy it. Stephen has taught me to do that again. Like I said, when you're a planner, a control freak, it's hard to let go. But that is my new goal in life. My goal is to enjoy, appreciate and take one day at a time. Learning and growing in spirit. Spending time with my family and friends. My new goal involves dwelling on things that really are important and I want to let go of the pressures of society. Materialism. If you don't have "things," if you are what society calls, "poor" and you allow it get you down and let it identify you, you are just as materialistic as someone who has it all and keeps wanting more. I choose to let go of stuff, or the desire thereof and concentrate on family. I want to spend my time enjoying life, not regretting it.
 ~ Maybe now that I'm letting go, the writer's block will subside. Maybe I can finally finish that dusty novel on the shelf that I gave myself till age forty to finish. (?) Well, it's a thought. No pressure. If it's meant to be, the words will come to me.  Meanwhile, I will sign off of here, and register my son for seventh grade today! Maybe take him to his favorite restaurant. McDonalds. 
Forty!?! Bring it on! I can handle it. :-)
Edit: Hah! I have to tell you this. After I signed off and went to the middle school, the bank,  McDonalds, etc today, I turned on my street and heard a thump, thump, thump ... I had a flat tire. My cell phone was dunked in a glass of iced tea (twice) by you-know-who (Stephen, for those of you who do not know) and I had no way to call out for help. So I drove the doggone truck in the driveway and um, it was off the rim. (oops!) After repeating several bad words in front of my child's tender ears, I took a deep breath and remembered that I was going to start looking at the bright side. Tomorrow Stephen has an appointment in B'ham with his cardiologist. Thank God this didn't happen tomorrow. It didn't happen while on the busy highway earlier today. (I swear, the tire wasn't even low when I left the bank!) When I said, "Forty, bring it on!" .. I think it heard me ...
Thought for the day:  Be ready and willing to back up what your big mouth says. Oh, and, if you cuss in front of your child, you should pray for forgiveness in front of them too, so they know that you make mistakes and need forgiveness from time to time, just like everyone else.   


my78novata said...

ah happy b day. im 44 and man it sucks!!!!!!!! glad you see the bright side. share it with me lol

indigosunmoon said...

What a beautiful picture of you and Stephen!
You are both just adorable!
Flat tires are awful!  I still don't know how to
change one, and I'm 44!
Love ya,

wfhbear said...

I think you have lost you writers block. This was a very good, thought out entry. Meeting our own mortality is not a fun thing but, it does release us from the long term goals that always plague us. Yes, it is time to "Keep it simple". Press onward with those things you truely love and want to be around. Put those other goals and wishes to the rear to use as sleep dream primers.  But, remember that you are loved and that you love. That is the key to life. My Regards and a hello to Stephen, Bill.

jamcs605 said...

Happy Birthday Mia, the picture of you and Stephen is priceless.  The hunch back cat is so funny.  I just love the antics of cats.  I had trouble with turning forty too, it was the pits for me but now I'm turning 66 this year and it's the bomb...I'm loving life.