Monday, October 17, 2011

Midlife...


crisis contemplations. 

Fall is here in full swing. This past week we exchanged our rainy cold weather for a sunny reprieve. The leaves are dazzling and the sky is so blue. The sun is warm and inviting. But I know that Winter is just around the corner. Sometimes it's hard not to dread winter. I don't hate it but it's probably my least favorite of seasons. Early winter is fine, there is still hope of a few days of reprieve here and there. The first snowfall is still magical to this California girl. But after 12 winters in Utah I know that before long the cold will set in, the streets will be icy and the beautiful white snow will become dirty and hard. So today I have a choice. Will I enjoy every moment that is mine today? Will I sit in the sun and soak up its warmth. Will I allow my dread of winter's frozen months to rob me of joy today?
Winter will come as it always does, but some winters are late, some are mild and sometimes we even get a week or two of warm (for winter) weather causing the snow to recede and my heavy coat to be abandoned in the closet. 
And many winters come early, freeze hard and overstay their welcome. 

This year I will be 48. If I live to be 96 which most people don't, then my life is half over. It's fact. I cannot change where I am right now and I don't know what's in my future. Even though I try to take care of myself, the second half (or third or month or whatever) is an unsure thing - no guarantees. Except that at some point I will die. I will leave this life. Death and taxes... you know. 

This past Saturday my friend and her husband were the first to come upon three teenage girls who had been hit by a train. Two were killed, one is in critical condition. Somehow I don't think that they realized at age 7 or 8 that their life was half over. It was heart rending just reading about it, but I was touched by the reminder that each day is a gift. My thoughts and feelings of late seem so trivial in comparison to what their families are go through.

As I think about getting old I don't look forward to possible health problems that come to most with aging. I'm finally at the point were I need to use glasses to read smaller print and frankly I don't like it. 

Events happen that change or end lives in an instant. With some people their bodies continue on after their minds and ability to function have passed. While we should do all we can to prevent disease and stay healthy, ultimately we are not in control of so very much.

So today I need to make a choice. Do I embrace the gift of this day doing what I can to ensure that tomorrow I will be strong and able to function. I will prepare for tomorrow and next month and decades from now but try not to let dread and worry dampen this moment. This moment is a beautiful one - not perfect... the air is cooler than I'd like, my back and neck are sore this morning, I could use a nap too ... but this moment is all I have. It's what my life is made of. Single moments connected together, always moving forward unretrievable. 

Knowing that my experiences in this life are just part of a bigger whole comforts me and helps me to remember that I have many bright days a head... one way or another.

* pictures taken by Jennifer in American Fork Canyon

3 comments:

Amy said...

Wow. I cannot imagine being in their position coming upon that accident. That is terrible. My heart hurts for them and for the victims' family and friends. Definitely puts things in perspective!

Celisa said...

Such a sad accident. It makes me very grateful for the plan of salvation. I hope that the girls' parents find comfort during such a hard trial.

mom said...

Why did I only just find this now Karen? I love your blog!