Tuesday, November 18, 2014

In Her Shoes

So, lots of changes around here.
For instance, I'm showering again.
After a good two years in the tub, I have decided to assume the upright position, and become an underwater breather again.
No, it doesn't happen every day...but it is much more frequent.
Why...you ask?
Well, here is the deal.
I can be showered and getting ready in the time it takes me to even fill the tub.
And once I am in the tub...I waste SO much time.  You might as well just assume that you will not see me for at least an hour one that tub water starts running.
And that is ridiculous.
So, while I was enjoying the fact that we have some killer water pressure in this house, I did what I always do while shampooing....I started to think.
(Some of my most brilliant thoughts have occurred while shampooing.  The only downside to this is that I often then forget if I have indeed shampooed...or if I was just thinking about shampooing...and then I stand there, perplexed while trying to solve that mystery.)
My thoughts were twofold, so I shall write about both topics.

The first sort of flows into the second.  I was born to segue.

So, obviously my mom has been on my mind.  I was actually thinking about what it would be like to be in her mind.  Like, how would I feel if I had to live the same experiences she had.
To be widowed at 47, and raise my last teenage child alone.  Then, to live alone for the next 15 years or so, and find out I had cancer.  Then, to start having memory problems that were severe enough that I could no longer work in the profession that had been the only career I'd ever known (and loved) for over 30 years.  Finally, to meet someone I really enjoyed spending time with, and think I finally found happiness, only to soon be diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and watch everything I knew in my life disappear and crumble around me.
My God....how the hell does this happen to someone?!!
Where is the part where she gets to retire, and enjoy her "golden years" with the husband she has loved her entire adult life?  Where are the trips they would finally get to take together....the trips that they NEVER got to go on, because they were always tied down to the farm.  Where are the weekends and holidays with all the grandkids running around?
Even the house that she called home is gone.  There isn't even one tree from the beautiful back yard she spent so many summers enjoying still standing.
There is nothing.
So, I put myself in her shoes.
How would I feel?
I would feel pretty damn ripped off.
I would feel like life threw all of the work, and trials, and hard years in my face....and then stole the years that were supposed to be mine to enjoy.
And then it occurred to me....I sure hoped that I had lived the hell out of those 15 years before everything fell apart again.
I write about this a lot.  I think about 90% of the self-help books out there address it as well.  We can't wait for "something to happen" and then start living.
Do you feel like you are making each day important?  Living it like tomorrow may be the day you find out you don't have much time left?
I know I don't.  I totally take my time for granted.
I know that I have made some positive changes.  I have let go of the things in my life that were making me miserable...and filled my life with the things that I enjoy doing.
However, I don't make good use of my time.
I am really good at wasting my time.  I think that is ok to do once in awhile.
We all need to just take a day and relax, or put life on the back burner.
However, it scares me to think about the "me" in 5 years.
In 5 years...I will be the age my mom was when she lost my dad.
Right now, Lexie is the age my sister was when he died.
It seems like yesterday, yet here I am....in what was her reality, as far as my "stage of life," and the thought of losing my husband and facing life alone is the most horrifying thing I can fathom.

Those thoughts make me think....am I doing everything I can to make my marriage as loving and fulfilling as I can?  Are Mark and I spending as much quality time together as we should....are we making sure we are taking time to have fun, and not just get caught up in all of the things we have to get done?
I think it is so easy to fall into the trap of just living life....that we forget to LIVE LIFE.
If I lost him today....I would be so mad at myself for not stepping away from the computer or the TV, and pulling him out the door to go out on a spontaneous adventure more often. I would be so mad at myself for being bitchy about the little things he does that annoy me.  Who cares?  I'm sure I drive him nuts...but he never says it.
Why didn't I hug him more...or be the one to initiate a kiss?
Why is it that it isn't until we think about losing someone that we realize how much we would have changed about how we would have lived with them?
It's so easy to be short tempered and mean.  It's so easy to hurt the people you love.
But it won't be easy at all to forgive yourself for doing those things if anything should ever happen to them.
This is something I need to remind myself of more often.
Isn't it funny how mad you can get at your husband/kids/significant other/friends/family when there are right there in front of you....but the second you picture your life without them...your heart immediately breaks in two.

This is what I am going to try to keep in the back of my mind the next time I get annoyed.  And the next time that I think "Ugh, it would be soooo much easier if I just lived alone!" I will stop, and imagine how I would really feel if that ever came true.
My guess is that it is the last thing I'd ever want to happen.
So, allow my mom to be your inspiration.  She is one tough cookie.  The ONLY blessing this disease has brought to her is the fact that she can no longer remember all of the tragedy her life has held.  I don't know how someone could emotionally survive being aware of the fact that they had been knocked down in one horrible way after another for the past 20 years....and maintain a positive outlook.  The whole thing absolutely breaks my heart.

Live each day with meaning.  Don't wait for tomorrow to start thinking about what you need to do to be happy.  What if there isn't a tomorrow?  Mend any bridges that have been broken.  Cut any ties that are holding you back.  Give yourself the little nudge you need to move forward with that idea or thought that has been circulating in the back of your head for awhile now.  Reignite the passion in your marriage....don't let it die a slow death because you have forgotten how to communicate.  Even though it may seem like it sometimes....you can't read each other's minds...so if you need something...you are going to have to say it, or your partner will never know.  Seriously, if you don't talk about everything, nothing will ever get better.  (And yes, I speak from experience.)  If talking gets too heated....write it out.  That's a good place to start.  (God knows I write a lot more effectively than I talk!)


And....important advice learned today:
If you sleep in until 11, then turn on the fireplace, move to the couch, and keep the pan of brownies within reach, you will never want to get up, you will feel completely lethargic, you will want to cry when you think about the fact that you have two rehearsals tonight...out in the cold, cruel darkness, and, you will come to the realization that you just may be the laziest, least productive, time waster on the planet.

SO, get up, and put some serious thought into what you need to do to really start living your life.  2015 is just around the corner.  This is the perfect time to start making some changes, or at least creating a plan.  Don't put if off until tomorrow...because we don't know how many tomorrows we have.  If there is something you really want to do, why wait?  Get that (snow)ball rolling! ;) 

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