Wednesday, January 4, 2012
50-year-old Carrie would have a library in her house, one with the built-in ladder, four walls of nothing but books and a comfy chair. 50-year-old Carrie would have a music room with a grand piano, and she and her musically gifted children would all play it beautifully. 50-year-old Carrie would have "real" furniture - not just a mattress and box springs, but a proper bed. There would be matching night stands and dressers, a short one for my husband and a taller one for me. I'd have an office with a desk, credenza, doors that close and all kinds of really amazing things would come out of that room. I'd probably have my Ph.D in teaching, and be teaching teachers how to teach children - especially exceptional learners. I'd have traveled extensively, my passport having been stamped from all kinds of exotics lands. I'd have learned to cook, bought real art and had it properly framed, I'd have crystal and know how to pick out a bottle of wine.
48-year-old almost 49-year-old Carrie is realizing, if she doesn't have it by now, hasn't done it by now, hasn't been there by now, she probably never will. It's not like I won't ever travel or learn something new, I might, but then again, I might not, and that's okay. I finally realized that what is gone is not the dream, but the striving. I simply don't want to strive any more - not for things, not for adventure, not for accomplishments.
At almost 50 I want less, not more. Less stuff. Less acquaintances. Less high-maintenance relationships. Less drama. Less obligations. Less busyness. Less involvements with things that aren't important to me. I'm all done forcing things. In fact, that reminds me of a Toeless Terry story - she had a friend going through a divorce, and she asked him why. He said, "The woman forced flowers to bloom." I've never forgotten that (and I'm fairly sure there were bigger troubles in the marriage than forced flowers, but it does beg the question, what is the point in forcing things?).
So, I don't consider it being resigned, giving up, quitting, being lazy, any of that. I consider it being content with what I have. Letting things happen. Allowing. Accepting. Being grateful for what is, and not with my eyes on the horizon for what might be.
* Photo from http://www.sitepoint.com