When I Stop and Listen

“The magic of each day lives in the unknown. It’s waking up as one person, and accepting that when night falls, we may be someone else entirely. So, when you ask what my story is, forgive me—-I’m not quite sure yet.” ~J. Raymond

I went to a birthday dinner last night, for a former coworker turned friend. In fact, I have become friends with several of her friends as well. It’s funny, how two decades separate us. The children of her friends whom I have met, are around my age. They all call her “Auntie,” I just call her by name…

Last night, sitting at dinner, listening to the chatter of older women, I had much to consider, especially with everything on my mind…

  • “I have a greater appreciation for life now that I’m older.”
  • “When I was younger, I used to say some things, but now that I’m older, I still say some things, but mostly I don’t bother.”
  • “I don’t get so worked up over the little things. Life is way too short.”
  • “I just live for today, it’s such a blessing. I’m just grateful to be here.”

What do they know that I don’t know? Do I have to be 50+ to figure it out?

Driving over to the restaurant, I was in tears. That morning, the day before – I am afraid to admit, I believe I have become a bit overwhelmed with the latest events. Life is too short to get so worked up over little things, I know. But, is it such a little thing? Even if not, it’s something I probably need to let go. And, to live for today, the theme for the year… A lesson I may actually take the year to learn.

“There is no tomorrow and there was no yesterday… you must fully engulf yourself in today.” ~ Noel DeJesus

I made the foolish mistake of looking back to yesterday. As if my life would have been easier, different, or better somehow, if only… It’s only when I feel like it’s two against one, that I wish he were back by my side. If only for the feeling of having to stand alone. To save me from my foolish tears that fall without warning. But, my life is just as it is supposed to be. Everything always works out fine in the end. 

She’s widowed now, the birthday girl’s mom. I love spending time with her. I hadn’t planned on going inside, or staying as long as I did… But, I’m always glad to have gone and spent time with these lovely ladies.

“Do you have any family here?” No, just my children, their dad and stepmom. Well, her family is here. “Oh, you’re like me. It’s just me, L &R. My mother told me after I left home, that she knew I was alive but she thought of me as dead to get through. After that I made sure to call home often.” I’m so sorry. That’s very sad. Yes, I speak with my parents often. (Now, I’m wondering if it’s not often enough?)

As a parent myself I consider my own children, and not seeing them for years. It would devastate me! How would I survive it? When I barely survive the weekend! When they went to Texas for two weeks, I nearly died! I’ve seen my own parents about 1x a year since 2014. Although, no trips home are planned for 2019. Maybe they’ll come here! But to the think of your child as dead? (I wonder if that’s what mom did when she left?) Separated by close to 50 years… It was a different era back then, it was a different time.

When I took a break from my troubled thoughts and took the time to listen; I learned a valuable lesson about life – maybe two. I learned that there is a value in each day. A value in the relationships we have an the connections we make. Life is much too short to allow these relationships/connections to be effected by situations that at the end of the day really amount to naught.

I also learned that it doesn’t matter. “It” can be a host of a things. “It” can be whatever is holding you back, whatever is getting in your way, whatever is preventing you from having the best life ever. Not only does it not matter. But, it gets better.

*Original Photo*

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