By The Bride
I’m still not sure what hit me or why it hit at the time it did, but I took to my keyboard to capture the emotions welling within me. Life’s been too busy with school and work and family and all the stuff that makes it full and makes me tired. I haven’t written much in a long time. That’s why this burst was so unexpected. I knew I had to get it down. Here’s what I wrote:
I’m almost 49… just shy by four months…I thought my life would have been different somehow.
Instead of starting a new career, I thought I would be ending a long career.
I thought my family would have been closer–coordinating calendars and marking days when we would all gather, immediate and extended, all together, enjoying babies and elders.
I thought, somehow, that I would be enjoying endless vacations to Mexico and Hawaii with my husband…sometimes with the kids, sometimes without.
I thought somehow that I would be smarter, less like a kid and more like an adult. I thought by now, that I wouldn’t be afraid of the ocean or snowboarding. I thought I would still be enjoying happy hours a couple nights a week, knowing that two glasses of wine–and not four or five–is okay.
I thought at 49 with our three oldest children planning weddings, that we would have the financial security to be able to pay for all three weddings.
I thought, somehow, that life would be easier, like Sunday mornings or walks in the park. I thought at almost 49 that I would be comfortable in the skin that I am in right now. That I wouldn’t care about my breasts, my legs, my butt, my arms.
I thought at almost 49 that I would remember where I left my keys instead of remembering every single line of some random ’80s pop hit. It seems that remembering where I left my keys is a little more important right now.
I thought, somehow, that I would be more interested in today than what may…or may not…come tomorrow. I thought, at almost 49, that I wouldn’t be so selfish. I thought I would be more selfless.
I thought, at almost 49, that the people around me would be less judgemental, less mean with their words and anger. That somehow I’d be able to not care about mean words and those that judge me. It wouldn’t matter, so I thought, at almost 49.
I thought that I wouldn’t be scared, at almost 49, of the future and even of death.
I thought God would be present and that I would be present enough to feel His presence. I thought my spiritual journey would be paved with smooth, shiny concrete that I could walk upon with bare feet. I didn’t think my spiritual journey would be paved with rocks and stones so uneven and bumpy that bare feet would hurt walking across the path.
I thought at almost 49 that hot flashes and mood swings would be something still out there in the future. I didn’t think that at almost 49 the hot flashes and mood swings would be hitting me across the face, spreading throughout my entire body, a constant daily, reminder of the change in my age and walk into middle years.
I didn’t expect at almost 49 that I would be applying anti-wrinkle cream and counting gray hairs on my roots. At almost 49, I thought I would be able to stay up past 9 p.m. I didn’t think I would fall asleep on the couch nearly every night, too tired to make it into bed.
I didn’t think this would be me at almost 49.
But, at almost 49, I didn’t think I would be as strong as I am, most times. I didn’t think I would be as funny as I am, most times. I didn’t think I would be as active as I am, most times. I didn’t think that I would laugh out loud, tears falling down my face, most times.
I didn’t think I would be passionate about continuing my education, pursuing a degree that matters, most times.
I didn’t think at almost 49 that I could respect a person as much as I respect my husband, most times. And, that I would be able to call him my best friend. And laugh with him.
I didn’t think at almost 49 that I would think often about my four kids and how proud I am of each of them. Of their lives, the adults they have turned into, the partners they are bringing into the family. At almost 49, I didn’t think that I would want my children to have better lives and be better people than what I imagined I was when I was their age, and I didn’t think knowing this would make as happy as it does.
Just shy of 49, by four months, I didn’t think my life would look like it does now, but at almost 49 I’m happy, most times. And, I’m content with my looks, my sense of humor, my intelligence, most times.
At almost 49 this is what matters, most times.