halfway there?

Posted: November 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

I am currently 47 years old.  I work in senior housing, so I know a lot of people who are 94 (twice my age) or older. 


I had a new-to-me thought this week:  I considered the road behind me, which feels like MANY lifetimes, MANY Karens, MANY viewpoints and varying levels of understanding, MANY rounds of healing and change.  47 years has been a long, long time and if I told stories here all day, I couldn’t begin to even touch on most of it.  And I realized:  I could easily have 47 more years ahead of me.


There could be as much still left to live, as I have already lived.  This thought is shocking to me.  While in the past, I have often been stuck in perpetual teenager mode, the truth is that at this point I don’t feel 17 anymore.  I can remember so much, I understand so much more.  For heaven’s sake, I AM A GRANDMA. 


And I might only be halfway through this journey here on earth.


On one hand, that is encouraging. 


After all, I am a newlywed and I want lots and lots and LOTS of years with my G. 


After all, I am LOVING having adult children, and I am looking forward to knowing them and loving them and walking beside them, even if only from afar, through the various passages.


After all, I want to see my grandbaby and any other ones that are yet to come, growing up and doing life.  I want to know them as “real people” that they become, beyond the so-adorable-you-could-just-die phase. 


After all, I’m in the best zone ever with my parents, and I want the years of this zone to stretch out long, long, and longer.


After all, I’ve got a lot of friends and family who, I’m guessing, will be even niftier later than they are now…that’s a high level of nifty!


On the other hand, it’s kind of overwhelming. 


I have been so many versions of me.  Will I level out and just be the “today” Karen from here on out, or are there that many more versions to come?  How tiring, to consider it.


There has already been SO MUCH CHANGE in my life.  I’ve lived at so many addresses.  Seen God so many different ways.  Had so many different “forever” plans.  Will there be that many MORE, in days to come?


There is already so much I can’t remember.  Will I know ANY of it at 94, that I know today?  What will be held and what will be blotted out of my memory? 


I have sat with a number of people around 100 years old.  I notice this:  when you are that old, most of the people you love have gone home before you.  That’s a lot of grief to bear, and a big potential for loneliness – so much that part of me thinks maybe we are wrong when we say how tragic it is when someone dies earlier than we expect.  Tragic for WHO?  For them…really…?  Or for US? 


I don’t dwell on it very long, as it’s kind of a whirlpool drawing me down.  I have lived long enough that I am no longer so prone to HELP something suck me under.  For today, I will focus on the many reasons to focus on living WELL, whether that’s for another day or another half-century. 


And for today, I will remain mindful:  those old folks I am dealing with are already at the other end of that dilemma.  Perhaps I should treat them with the great respect they ought to have, just based on that alone, eh?


Just thinking.


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