The Lives We Live

Below are my incorrigibly random thoughts from earlier today. Bouncing around in my head, ping-ponging from one side of my brain to the other for whatever reason. So I typed them up to shut them up. Maybe someday I’ll elaborate and polish these thoughts, but for now I can relax and enjoy my Zac Brown Band concert tonight!

We can never be born enough… E.E. Cummings While getting ready this morning, thoughts of my life were crowding my mind. Or should I say thoughts of my many lives… I feel as if I’ve lived several lives, each one special in its own way, but each one giving way to the next. When a part of your life is over and you move on to the next it’s almost like that same person doesn’t exist in the present anymore, just the memories and what you have learned. And from each of those lives there was much to be learned.

Being a child seems a lifetime ago. Several lifetimes ago. Sometimes it feels like that never happened; that I’ve always been as I am now. Some would say, “but you still act like such a child.” I laugh and think to myself it’s true. No matter my age I think that child is and will always be within me. Don’t let this shell fool you; I’m still a 17 year old girl. You learn in each lifetime, you just don’t realize it. What I learned as a child was to be carefree, live in the moment, enjoy each day for what it is. Into adolescence and young adult life, however, you are just impatient to get on with your life and grow up. What a paradox these two lives are! You cannot live in the moment if you are impatient for what may or may not happen in the future.

My life as a mother is ongoing, yet ever changing. When you have children you realize you underestimated just how much you could love another person. I love you my children, you are the jewels of my life!! You also realize, if you hadn’t before, just how much your own mother loves you. Thank you Mom, I love you! A lifetime of raising children, busy with their activities and loving every minute of it, leads to a “what do I do now” moment when they are older? Time to get a life. Well, another life…

Life as a non-traditional college student, attending classes while my children were also in school, since I had put my education on hold while raising children. Working at a few jobs throughout my life, but my main job was being a mom. It’s what I had always wanted… to be able to stay home with my children when they were young. Grateful that my life afforded me that opportunity. When I did finish my education, I had a business degree (cum laude no less!!!) and certification to teach business classes in high school.

Being a high school teacher was another lifetime. Being a teacher gives you a whole new appreciation for the teachers you had during your lifetime as a student. And how much those teachers cared for you. The students I taught throughout the years brought me endless joy as well as consternation. Their enthusiasm always contagious, keeping me feeling young, stoking that 17-year-old in me. Getting to know such diverse characters and watching them grow, hoping I had some small part in what they become. Caring about each and every one of them. Ah, a lifetime ago. I think about it often, though.

The life of an elementary school administrative assistant a much different life. Being a part of a new school from practically the beginning, watching 5-year-olds grow into tweens heading into middle school. It was a hard life that first year, working in the office of a new school, very few staff, so I also was the makeshift nurse. Where I was practically never sick while teaching in the high school, my first year at the elementary school I was sick often. One cold after another, several bouts with bronchitis, and even swine flu. After that first year, I think I was immune to everything and haven’t had much more than a cold here and there since. Those elementary kids are a germy bunch… but what a life. What a joy to know those developing kids and their parents. This is one of my most cherished lives so far! So, why did I leave this life? Well…

Throughout all these lives my own children were growing up, living their lives. Going to college, getting jobs, moving out. Getting engaged and married. And making me a grandmother. A grandmother! This was a life I had been looking forward to for some time. To make the most of it, I left my job so I could be the one to take care of my granddaughter each day while her parents worked. Again, my life afforded me this opportunity and I am grateful. It’s hard to put into words how much love I have for this beautiful little girl. Being a grandmother brings to light the love your own grandmother had for you as you think about all the wonderful times you had together, and vow to be this and more for your own grandchildren. Thank you Grandma(s)! I love you and miss you!

E.E. Cummings said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” Well, I am working on it. I don’t know that I’ll ever grow up or ever fully become who I really am. But that is what living is. Living and changing and growing and evolving. This lifetime here and now I am enjoying each day through the eyes of a one-year-old. The joy and wonder of her is exhilarating. This lifetime here and now I am exploring my own life and wants and dreams as well. As I have in every lifetime in some respect. I think I am just more acutely aware of it now.

Living my life on Facebook, and laughing about it. Yes, it’s a whole ‘nother life out there. People with interests similar to your own that capture your attention and you become acquainted with them over the years, even good friends. A Facebook life. Who would have thought something like this was possible years ago while you were busy living your earlier life. Amazing. Daunting. Amusing and entertaining. An addiction that steals your time if you are not careful! Something that definitely adds interest and a new dimension to this life. Without it I may have never discovered my desire to write, to create, to dream…

A lifetime of love. And what has been constant throughout these lifetimes? The one thing that grounds me, takes care of me, encourages me? No, not diet coke. The unfailing love a wonderful man. Best friend, confidant, lover. Husband, father, grandfather. Through what will be 34 years of marriage this summer this man has been my life and will continue to be for as long as we both shall live. Yes, I feel as if I have lived several different phases of lifetimes each wonderful in its own way, but this lifetime, as a wife, is ongoing and evolving and I cherish every moment of it. It is this lifetime that has made all the others before and after possible. The adhesive that holds all the aspects of my existence together. You let me be what I want to be, whatever that is at the moment. I love you, D

To quote E. E. Cummings once again: “today may I be me, smart, serious, happy, frustrated, impatient, joyful, running, sleeping, smiling, eating, trying, believing, listening, being and becoming.”

Yes, each day in my life may I continue to be all these things!

Author: sjmais

What can I say, I'm a ginger and Grammie extraordinaire. Trying my hand at a wee bit o' writing just for fun.

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