Friday, March 19, 2010
"This, too, shall pass" is right up there with, "Trials are what help us grow as human beings" as things that we know are true, yet are so hard to remember when we're in the midst of it
Looking back over half a century of bone-headed moves, pure rotten luck, and the ineffable tragedy of losing people I loved, I can honestly say that I wouldn't have skipped a single one of them because I *did* grow, and grow straighter and stronger, because of each of these "oddly right" endings. But going through some of them was unmitigated hell.
I used to wish I had a Tomorrow Button, a button I could push to make the current day and its challenges disappear into the past. Now, though, I realize that not only would I be about 104 by now (deferred gratification never being my long suit, that button would have gotten a righteous workout) but I would still be essentially the same person I was at 20.
I was a whole lot better looking then - skinny, lots of hair, gorgeous skin - but I was also self-involved, greedy, short-sighted, reckless and more than a little crazy. (Now that i think about it, those last two may still obtain.) Thirty-odd - some of them very odd *rim shot* - years later, I've gotten my share of mental and emotional scars, but those scars have etched out a person I never would have suspected was possible. Not that I'm wonderful and perfect and all that silly stuff, but I realized that I've learned compassion for others and a willingness to share - stuff, money, strength, ideas, whatever.
When I was 20, I had so much going for me - all the temporal, worldly stuff was going great guns - but I was miserable. Now I have a heckuva lot less in many areas, and a few hefty challenges to lug around daily, but I'm (dare I say it?) *happy*. Both my girls came home to enjoy my birthday with me the other day and although neither one shopped for me (one because of school, the other because of finances) I didn't feel the least little bit overlooked or shorted. All I wanted was my family, and I got that gift.
And I listen for the gentle whoosh of angel wings and I hear them, and they comfort me.
Oh, and yesterday's closing line, "It's all in the playing" is the title of a book by Shirley MacLaine. Should have attributed it. My bad.