Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Looking Back

I turned forty a few days ago, so I guess that means it's time for my mid-life crisis.  Isn't this when I'm supposed to examine my life and go a little nuts?  Trouble is, since that's kind of my natural state I'm not sure anyone would notice.

Unfortunately for my family and friends, I haven't freaked out about turning forty (so they don't get the fun of teasing me).  I've been seeing white hairs here and there for a few years now.  And physically I feel like I'm eighty.  I don't understand what the big deal is.  I don't understand why I'm supposed to get all worked up about one more day passing, or one more year.

So I can't give you the big meltdown.  But I will take this opportunity for the obligatory life examination.  What have I done with my life?  What happened to my dreams?

I think back and try to remember those dreams I had as a child. 

The first thing I remember wanting to do for a living is teach.  I wanted to be a teacher.  From the time I was young and the first teacher touched my heart and inspired my mind.  I wanted to do that.  I wanted to open up new possibilities for others.  I wanted to touch their hearts.  And while I may not have pursued this occupation professionally, I have had many opportunities to teach.  I have touched lives and inspired minds.  And I have discovered the added benefit that those things go both ways.  I can learn and love and be inspired as much as a teacher as when I was as a student.

The next thing I remember wanting to be was a therapist.  I'm guessing I was about 12 when I had a vague idea of what this meant.  I wanted to help people who were having a difficult time.  I wanted to help people make sense of the craziness of this world.  I wanted to make people feel better.  And while I did not pursue this as a job either, I have had multiple opportunities to do these things for people.  And the more I've learned, the more I've grown, the more I've understood that this is just like with teaching.  I always get back as much as I give, if not more.

The other profession I considered is lawyer.  Now I admit, that's because it was one of two potential professions that my dad said I was allowed to go into.  I didn't like needles, so being a doctor didn't have much appeal.  But being a lawyer sounded good.  In high school and early college, I thought this would be my direction.  I could fight for truth and right.  I could defend people.  And I could argue.  Needless to say, I've had these opportunities as well.  And a side effect of learning to argue and debate was that I learned to see both sides of an issue.  To understand different points of view in a shared experience.  This has benefitted me many times in many situations.

But even as I changed my mind again and again about a job, there was one thing that was always there.  I always wanted to be a mother.  From my earliest memory, it's the strongest desire I've ever had and it's been with me my whole life.  And I have been so blessed in this.  I have five wonderful children.  And they almost always like me.  And I have never regretted putting them before everything else I wanted.  Not for an instant.

I call my life so far a success.  Even with the things that are hard, I am happy.  I am content.  I am pleased with the direction my life is going.

So where's my sportscar?


Kazzy said...

No plastic surgery or trip to the Bahamas or anything? You are well-adjusted, no matter how much you like to be self-deprecating. Being mostly comfy in our own skin is the ultimate goal, dontcha think?

Jessica Grosland said...