Thursday, December 31, 2009
Why was I always in a hurry? Why didn't I stop to enjoy things more? My elders warned me of this but I didn't listen. Did you? I blew off their warnings with a brush of my mind and hand, never realizing it would someday come to a screeching halt. Of course I've always known that everyone passes on eventually but I didn't have time to think about such things because I was busy making memories. Now, I wish it had not all gone so fast, even though it didn't seem fast at the time.
It really was just a few weeks ago when the kids were young, precious, and innocent. However, the reflection I see in the mirror tells me otherwise. It has certainly been a great ride, but my face and body tell the real story of how many years it has truly been.
Where did the energy and beauty of my youth go? It all went into trying to be a Super Mom, a Super Housekeeper, a Super Volunteer and a Super Wife. I got by on less than five hours of sleep every night because I had things to do and there were just never enough hours in the day to get everything done. I always used to say that I'd get plenty of sleep once I'm dead, never realizing I was pulling the plug on my youth. I took care of everyone else before even thinking about me (which I seldom did). I suppose I'm still that way, really. But, I don't think I've ever actually achieved any of those titles (which strangely doesn't bother me now).
So, as I watch another year go flying past me, I force myself to stop and reflect on my life which probably isn't the best idea but I'm going there anyway because that's just the way I roll these days. Although it can often make me sad to reflect, it also lends me strength to realize all of the things I've accomplished in the last decade, even though I never achieved perfection. I try to not stress out over my many mistakes but I find that difficult to do. Inside, I want to go back and do things over even though that is just ridiculous to even think about. I want to take back all the things said in the heat of anger. I want to relive the times I was too weary to do what the kids wanted to do because I'd stayed up all night trying to beat Mario Brothers or Zelda. What a waste of life that was. But more than anything I want to relive all the good times.
My dreams haven't changed much over the years but I try not to think about them so much anymore. Wishing for that which I will never do or attain is, I believe, detrimental to my health. No matter how much I want things to be perfect, they will never be perfect. I can't take back anything and I can't roll back time and that is reality. All I can really do now is try to be a better parent, a more loving wife, or a stronger friend, even if it's too late. And it's never too late, is it?
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've learned to live life as if tomorrow is my last day. Never pass up the chance to tell those you care about how much you love them. Watch what you say in the heat of anger. Always sleep on your back and never go to bed with your makeup on (the top two pointers for avoiding wrinkles for which I am the *Don't Do* poster child). Be as kind as possible to everyone but don't be a doormat. Your family is always the most important thing no matter what, but sometimes you need to put yourself first too. Find at least one or two things that make you happy, and do them often. Life is too short to be around people who don't like you or vice versa (but with family it's a fine line). Having a pet you love makes you human which ultimately makes you live longer. Hmmm... Did I forget anything? Oh, and take the best care of your teeth that you possibly can. It's really a drag when you lose them. Don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff. Eat well. Drink wine. Be happy. Laugh often. These are the things I've learned in 57 years.... or not.