It didn't start out like that. In late spring, family members and close friends began mentioning to me (as if I didn't know it myself) that "The big six-oh" was coming up this year, and they were wondering what was I planning to do. Not necessarily an absurd question to be asking me, as I am known as the person most likely to plan an over-the-top-full-tilt-boogie event to celebrate anything from engagements-to-new-babies-to-painting-the-picket-fence.
And, as I said, at first it didn't bother me in the least. Birthday-shmirthday. Another opportunity to gather family and eat cake. (or cupcakes.)
But then September came.
And suddenly I became acutely aware of time, and how fast it goes.
How your choices define the path your life takes. How, over the last ten years (ten years) I had made decisions on the fly more often than not, partially because I had never really made big decisions like finances and job layoffs solo, and partially because I was in survival mode, working hard to not lose all of my marbles. I would constantly regularly occasionally throw caution to the wind and wing it, and now, when I looked back, all I could see were my wrong turns and hiccups, and oh-my-what-the-holy-moly-were-you-thinking-when-you-did-that moments, all playing in my head like a really bad lifetime-television movie that just magnified my seemingly endless list of apparent poor life choices.
(Did I mention I have an over-active drama gene?)
Why did I call out ten years as a marker in time?
Because, September 30th of this year marked an anniversary of sorts for me. You see, I became suddenly single exactly ten years ago on that day. (I first shared it here.) Time is a funny thing, you know? Like, I can remember that moment I discovered I was suddenly single with laser-like clarity, as if it were yesterday afternoon. Truth be told, when I think of that precise single moment, it still takes my breath and I feel an oddly weird sensation in my heart, just for half of a nano-second. Not a feeling of love lost anymore, but still a vivid memory of the feeling of sudden realization that I was truly-alone, and this was really happening..to me....and oh-my-Gawd-I-surely-will-die-because-I-am-a-couple-girl-and-I-thought-we-were-going-to-be-together-for-forever-and-ever-and-I-don't-know-how-to-do-anything-but-that.
Yeah, I remember that moment clear as day.
Even though my life is pretty danged sweet now, for some odd reason, realizing it had been a decade kind of paralyzed me. All of the less than stellar wing-it-life-choices and on-the-fly decision moments, and days, months, and now years, seemed to close in on me, with each one more magnified and multiplied in an incredibly harsh light.
I was acutely aware that I couldn't have a do-over.(There's that drama gene again.)
I gave it a half-hearted try, (okay, I didn't) and I couldn't see anything remotely resembling a successful moment for myself in those ten years. (After all,I was knee-deep in a poor-poor-pitiful-me party by this point.) The best I could see was a that-choice-was-not-as-bad-as-that-other-choice-I-made view of things. Now, a new decade was fast approaching.
I felt like I was going to cry when I thought about it for more than a minute. (Okay, I did cry.)
The calendar turned from September to October, then November, and quicker than you can say drama-queen, December was here. I spent the first six days of December talking to God (mostly during my alone time in the shower and in my car on the way to and from work....do you do that?) about how much I felt I had messed up in the last ten years, and how, oh, how...how...was I going to fix it? I continued to fret about it and talk to God.
Yesterday was my sixtieth birthday.
I woke up with a new attitude, which I am quite positive was not from within me, but a birthday present from God. I felt happy, with a renewed excitement to see what awaits me in this next decade. I understand now that there is no need to keep looking back, except to see how far I've come, and I see, once again, that I am right where I am supposed to be.
#60isnotforsissies #lifeisgood #livelifeforward #Godisgreat