I accidentally grew up
Without any effort at all, one month folds into the next and summer arrives, gives way to Fall, the leaves disappear and a new year is upon us and in these wrinkles of time, I am nearly 50 years old.
It came quite by surprise. There were no inspirational talks I can thank for getting me to this nigh on chronological milestone. No quotes hanging on the walls of my room, reminding me to grow and grow up. Perhaps you could say...
"It was one of the best days of my life, a day during which I lived my life and didn't think about my life at all." Jonathan Safran Foer.
So, it just happened. I grew up, quite by accident. I grew into this middle aged woman with silvery strands of white hair and I thought the other day, how very strange this is. I scarcely remember how I did this, yet here I am.
As I wring my hands and pace the floor in anticipation of what is next, I read the scraps and memos of scrawled out notes, reminding me to be happy. Find Joy in the Journey, one yellow note reads. There's even a sign on my wall, I walk past daily, a gentle reminder that 'We can do hard things', except, someone added the letters, i-s-h to hard...'We can do hardish things' it reads now. I laugh at the half truth of that. I'm not even sure most days that we can do the hardish things. Reminders and fantastical thoughts urge us on, coaxing us to rise to the life we have been given; and grow! Grow spiritually, mentally, and emotionally; catching up to what should surely be 50 years of wisdom.
It's not quite as easy, 50 years of emotional work. Why is that? Why is it, that happiness cannot be counted on like aging that happens without one bit of attention or intention for that matter? Why is it we have to work and sweat over the small things like joy, peace, contentment, gratitude, kindness. We have to pencil those virtues onto the To Do list, of another exhausting day, or the dandelions of distress and despair flourish?
I don't have the answers. I keep expecting things to be different, as I continue to allow the most distressful events, take up the center of my heart and soul, while the things that matter, fall along the tattered, raveling edges of the day.
Wouldn't life be lovely if were accidentally happy? Content? At peace, no matter what? What if we accidentally accepted God's will and all the struggle and dis-ease was not something we had to go "through", it just was....And it really was just fine? Why do we convince ourselves that sad and hard life events are just something we need to get through and then everything will be fine?
What if there are no 'events', life just is? It's not something to get through or endure...til the end. What is the end and we think it's the end when we 'get through' one thing, only to be disappointed when there is a yet, 'another thing' to 'get through' and the end becomes this carrot on a stick we chase incessantly.
Maybe, the rhythm of all the paradoxes we live through, give way to this beautiful life we don't have to run from, take a vacation from and all of a sudden, quite by accident, we've lived the best life, without thinking about life at all?
That would be the best life, really!