The sun was streaming through the big windows in the late afternoon and feeling a little tired, I stretched out on the puffy leather couch. It was peaceful with the rays of the sun warming my body, children laughing outside, Bella scrunched next to me softly snoring and the tinkling sounds of water in Turtle’s tank.
Glancing around, I saw pieces of me…I’ve lived and existed. It is an indisputable fact.
The living room, dining room and kitchen all meld together into one big room making my view of “things” more expansive.
I see the blue Lazyboy rocking chair where I rocked and nursed Alyssa all those years ago. It is looking a little raggedy on the edges, but so am I.
Standing proudly on top of the edge of the microwave in the kitchen, I can see the wooden doll purchased about twenty years ago. Even though my eyes can not read the message written on the country blue heart she is holding, I know that it says, “Housework Makes You Ugly.” Boy did she ever get it right.
The whole reason I’m so tired is because I have been cleaning all day. I spent most of my time in the kitchen cleaning everything from the freezer, refrigerator, microwave, and the cabinets. I used the edge of a knife and a thin cloth to clean the tiny cracks and crevices of all the appliances. Then when most of the torture was over, I got down on my hands and knees to scrub the floor. I wanted to “see” the floor and the only way is to get really close to it. Yeah, I’m feeling quite ugly because I worked up quite a sweat and my hair is a bit….shall we say, frayed.
Glancing further around the open rooms I can see the two photos of Alyssa hanging above my computer. My mind breaks out with Stevie Wonder singing in my head…
“Isn’t she love-ly,
Isn’t she won-der-ful
Isn’t she pre-cious”
Yes, she is Stevie and I feel so happy knowing she loves me too.
“Isn’t she pret-ty
Truly the an-gel’s best
Boy, I’m so hap-py
We have been hea-ven blessed
I can’t believe what God has done
through us he’s given li-i-ife to one
But isn’t she love-ly ma-a-ade from love”
My eyes travel upwards from the photos where there is a sign decorated by a silhouette of a chandelier that beckons me to “Live the life you’ve imagined.”
What Is The Life You’ve Imagined?
“It’s never too late,” is a falsehood. There are definitely seasons of life and sometimes it really is “too late” to accomplish something that you’ve dreamed.
Let’s take an example from my own life. I want to be pregnant twelve times. I heard you gasp or was that the the soft thump as you fainted on the carpet? It was always my dream to have as many children as there are eggs in a carton.
I could still have twelve children because I could adopt or find a surrogate, but I can not be pregnant and give birth to eleven more. Therefore, that “dream” will go unfulfilled.
I’ll give you another example of something just as tangible. I want to be married one time and it last throughout the rest of my life. Guess what? It is too late for that one too because my ex-husband and I were divorced eleven years ago. Strike two on living the life I’ve imagined!
Maybe it is just a stupid saying that everyone clings to so that we don’t have to face our failures?
No, I don’t think so and I’ll tell you why I don’t think it is too late to live the life I’ve imagined.
It is true that I won’t give birth to twelve children or live my entire life married to only one man, however, look at what I have already accomplished. The most important of all to me is that I did actually get pregnant, felt the pains of labor, pushed through the pain and gave birth to a beautiful, intelligent, charming and loving daughter. Alyssa gave me the opportunity in motherhood to experience everything that I dreamed of and I didn’t have to be a mother to eleven more children in order to have those experiences.
As an added bonus, I also had the opportunity to raise my niece until she was twelve years old and in a way, raise my sister too since they both lived with me. My niece, Brittany, filled my life with love and a motherhood that I had yet not felt since she is five years older than my own daughter. So I have experienced the joys and thrills of motherhood which I feel has molded me into a better person all the way around.
Would I still have enjoyed being the mother of twelve? Sure! I do not, however, think that I was “ripped off” just because my dream was a little altered. Just as Sara Evans sings, “I could not ask for more,” so it is with being a mother to Alyssa.
As we mature, learn and grow, so do our goals for life. I will not be a concert pianist, sing with Elvis Presley, become the center for a women’s pro basketball team or perform as Clara to Tchaikovsky’s score for the Nutcracker ballet, but I can be successful and fulfilled in other areas.
The key is that I take the time to imagine a new dream with obtainable heights instead of dwelling on opportunities lost.
That was a really profound statement. Guilt and regret can fly out the window now. Right now! Every day is a fresh start and new beginning.
Remember, the key is that you take the time to imagine a new dream with obtainable heights instead of dwelling on opportunities lost.
Do you like how I slipped that statement in there twice and only changed one word? It means the same thing for both “you” and “I” and it is important for our futures which is why it is worth repeating at least twice.
Where To Start
Maturity brings with it experiences passed and wisdom from failure. Without having messed up a few times in our lives, we would never know the deepest emotions of joy and thankfulness.
There is a price to pay for that wisdom. Outwardly, the skin begins to wrinkle like a Shar Pei, but not as cutely. Of course, the hair either falls out or turns gray, eye brows thin or grow bushier, the ears and nose grow inordinately larger, and there are diseases, aches and pains where vigor and energy used to rule. Although our mind is brighter and our soul more stretched in comprehension, the body disintegrates.
There’s no time like the present to start living the life you’ve imagined because the body is going to just keep on falling apart. Before you realize, you will be an “older person” who is a lot like Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® floating in fresh milk with joints that sound like snap, crackle and pop each time they move. It isn’t going to get any easier, so get moving now while you still have some energy left and while the wrinkles aren’t hanging in your eyes blocking the vision.
Make a list today of the life you’ve imagined. Write down everything your heart desires including the things you may believe or know are impossible.
No, that isn’t stupid.
See, I CAN hear you. (grin)
I know you don’t feel like making another list, but you are already sitting at the computer, so just type it up right now while you’re feeling a little inspired.
Tomorrow we are going to use the list, so don’t mark anything off and don’t make it too short. List at least fifty things that are the dreams in the life you’ve imagined.
Go ahead. I’ll make my list now too so you won’t be alone in this task. Oh yes! Mom, this includes you too and I don’t want to hear you complain about it.
It’s too late, she’s already complaining that “A list is unnecessary at my age,” but don’t listen to her.
Mom, do the list……Now.