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February 26, 2013

Living a Life While Watching a Life

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/living_a_life_while_watching_a_life/

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Do you ever take stock of your life?  I don’t really look at my life in terms of an arc of time, but I am aware of how fortunate I am and the blessing I have been given.  I am also aware of my struggles and how certain aspects of my life are difficult.  It is that awareness that leads me to gratitude for the good, and courage to face the challenges.  Life is both simple and complicated.  It is so easy to get in a rut and feel sorry for yourself.  It begs the question, am I worrying so much my life it is passing me by?

Love gives me strength.  The love of my family, my child, my boyfriend, my friends, and myself, sustains me when I am feeling weak.  I am lucky to have love and joy in my life, but lately I find myself thinking about my fear more than my joy. It’s not fear of something specific, just fear of making mistakes I guess.  I am struggling with decisions about my career, how I parent my child, how I stay connected to my family when they are far away, and how to accept that I have found love and don’t need to test it.  

I have been wondering if I am so busy getting through life, that I have forgotten to live life.  Someone I have known for over 20 years died today. She was in her seventies and had been sick so I knew her life was coming to an end, but I am still in shock at her passing. I had not seen her in many years, but we spoke regularly, and at every crossroad in my life she was there to guide me.  I suppose my fear today is in knowing that I will need to talk to her again and she is gone.  It is a very sad day.

I have been thinking about my son and if I am being the best mother I can be to him. He is my only child and I have raised him alone so I am overprotective and a bit of a hoverer.  I know I need to start letting him go, but I am so fearful of his going off to college that I want to hang onto him every second that he is in my home.  I am excited for him to start his adult life and I am thrilled he will go college and follow his dreams, but I don’t know how I will breathe when he is not under my roof and in my sight.

I have been thinking about my family and if it is time for me to go home. Not for a visit, but to live.  I lost my father and want to be with my mother more.  I miss my sisters so much that it hurts.  I miss my brother and feel like I am missing out on watching his kids grow up.  They never knew my dad and I feel an obligation to tell them stories so his memory is kept alive.  I left for an extended vacation to Los Angeles 22 years ago and told my parents I would come home soon, but I am still here.

I have been thinking about my boyfriend and wondering if love can be real if there is no definition. We are in love and that is all.  That is everything. We are not getting married, moving in together, or having a baby.  We are simply two grown ups who enjoy being together.  We share a remarkable friendship grounded in love and have built a life together. Even though we have only been dating a year, there is a history being built.  There are ups and down of course, but luckily the view is good from both locations.

Maybe the lesson here is not to worry about where we are in life, but rather to enjoy the view.  When you are on top you can look down and admire where you have been, and from the bottom you can look up and dream about what you will see on your way to the top. My friend once told me if I spent all my time worrying about finding happiness, I would be too busy to know I found it.  My friend was wise and lovely.  She gave me light in the darkness, and reminded me that I was worthy of happiness and love.

While the circumstances of our meeting were unfortunate, I will be forever grateful that this remarkable woman came into my life.  I suppose it is human nature to evaluate your life when someone you know dies.  I feel sad and inspired, angry and happy, grateful and resentful.  I am blessed to have loved and her and lucky that I was able to tell her how much.  In our darkest times can come truly wonderful gifts and she was a gift to me.  I will forever keep her in my prayers and do my best to honor her teachings.

I want to be able to live my life and watch it at the same time.  I want to live it in a way that leaves me exhausted from joy, not stress.  I want to watch it so that I will always remember all the happiness and blessings that have been given to me.  I want my son to look back at his childhood and smile at the journey we took together.  I want my boyfriend to know that he is a dream come true.  I want my family to know that even though I am here, I see them in my dreams and love them from deep in my heart.

Raising my son is the hardest and most rewarding job I have ever had and taught me what love is.  Being in a relationship with a man who makes me better is exciting and intimidating.  Being away from my family is painful and lonely.  Working everyday is exhausting and challenging.  Creeping up on 50 is interesting and weird.  Sharing my life with all of you is scary and important. I would not change a thing because when all the pieces are put together they create a life worth living and the ability to always keep the faith.

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