Almost a year has passed since that March day that I began to see again. I’ve spent a lot of time with nature, and I’ve observed the subtle change that takes place between the noticable change. I’ve had many ah-ha moments as I’ve reflected on my place in this puzzle called life. It’s been an interesting year of rest and rebuilding. You don’t spend 30 years with your nose mostly to the grindstone without suffering some collateral damage. I have minor corrections to make and old habits to leave behind. Don’t get me wrong; I wasn’t awful. I have my redeeming traits, and I’ve had a wonderful, blessed life. But my single biggest regret is that I could never just be in the moment and revel in the simple pleasures that life gifts us with every day. My mind was always one step ahead and consumed with deadlines, planning, and tasks. If I could do it all over again, that’s what I would do differently. If I could offer one single piece of advice to anyone, that would be it. Live in the moment.
2013 was the year of opposite extreme, and my year of respite. Instead of constant work, I’ve been busy watching the seasons change; smelling the rain on a breeze; and, engaging with nature. It’s been life-changing, and the quiet time sitting on the banks of the creek and the pond has inspired me to find a lost passion and bring it back to life. It has also shown me the web of relationship to God, to people, to nature, and to myself. I have watched nature cycle through the change of all the seasons, and it has reflected back to me the reminder that all of life is in a constant state of flux. We can resist it, but it still happens. My lesson learned is to go with it and to find the redeeming moments along the way. And, there are always redeeming moments.
I am confident that if we live in the moment, life will end with far fewer regrets, so it’s been my motto as I move forward. I won’t say I’ve mastered the concept, but I am moving in the right direction. The funny thing is that when you make a change, it seldom happens with precise adjustment. Like the pendulum on a clock, we swing from one extreme to the other before finding that comfortable cadence that leaves us balanced …just as much in the middle as on either extreme. In 2013, I let responsibility slide. It hasn’t been pretty, but it’s been freeing to know that the world will not end if a bill gets paid late; or if you forget to pick up the cleaning; or if there is no milk in the fridge. I no longer clean my house from stem to stern every week, and no one has died from infection.
As I move into 2014, I feel the pendulum moving to center, and I’m hopeful that the wisdom gained in living my first 50 years will prepare me to live out whatever time I have left on this earth with a heart of joy and fully present. I still have the opportunity to be a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, etc. I still have the opportunity to chase old dreams and new ones. I’m embracing change, and I’m choosing a new response that no longer allows me to fear the unknown. I am certain that I will stumble along this new path. I’ve had skinned knees before, and I trust I will again. Regardless, I am choosing to welcome whatever lies ahead with arms wide open. For the first time in many years, I feel the excitement of the adventure, and I can hardly wait to see where it takes me.