I was told the other day by a good friend, whom I respect very much, "You are not getting any younger. You need to decide what you are going to do with the rest of your life."
At first it bothered me, for two very obvious reasons:
1) Am I old? - I didn't realize!
2) Am I not fulfilling my life? What is wrong with where I am at?
After pondering this statement for a while, I came to some very important conclusions. First, I let what other people say and think get to me WAY to much. And, I know my dear friend had the best intentions, and he was trying to inspire and motivate me, but I am perfectly content right where I am. For now.
I am a list maker. I have lists and sticky notes, every where. I have so many 'chores' to keep organized, not to mention just the ideas and dreams that rush through my head on a per minute basis. I make these lists to keep me organized, to keep me focused. I budget and plan out my tasks for the week. And, If I accomplish half of what is on my list - and stay relatively close to my monthly budget, I am doing ok.
I have been applying that same principal to my life. I use to plan, plan, plan exactly how my life was going to come together. Instead, I watched my life unfold and fall apart. I would pick it up and do it again, and the same life unraveling would happen. As all of us have experienced, life happens. More often then not, it doesn't go 'as planned'. It is how we react and respond to those life happenings that actually change the outcome of our life. It may not change what actually happens, but it impacts our perspective - and it impacts the lives of those who surround us. So, I make mental notes of all of the things I want to do in my life; be it going back to school, a different career choice, places to travel, how many children I want to have, to crafts and food I want make. If I can accomplish even half (maybe a quarter) of my long list, then I know I am doing ok.
I can say, most often with a smile, This was not the plan :) My life, as I see it, is so much better then I could have ever listed out. My life is unfolding as it should be. And there are days when it seems to be far from perfect - when in actuality, every day that we are living is perfect. Through cars that won't start, alarm clocks that got ignored, trains when we are already late, sick kids, grocery store tantrums, and bottomless piles of dirty clothes. That is how I know what I have is perfect. I know because running late means I have some where to be. I am needed. I have a turning 3 to quickly, healthy little man. I stress out about the occasional fever and ingrown toe nail - how lucky am I? I am healthy. I can walk, I can run, I can breath, I can see and I can hear. I can experience life. The good and the trying. I get to live it. I get to be present in it.
"Far from what I once was, but not yet what I am going to be"
So, the statement / question that my friend posed doesn't bother me any more. I know where I am supposed to be. It is right where I am. I know the direction I am headed, I walk it one step at a time. The destination isn't determined because I may detour and end up somewhere perfectly unplanned, which to date is exactly how it has worked so far. I am doing my best to live in the present and look forward to the future. I know that whatever life gives me - We will make it the absolute best, because we decided to do so.