Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Personal Inventory: Taking Stock

It would seem easier to just drift along, letting the current of life take us wherever it will.

 Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream.... 

Life is pleasant enough.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

But somewhere along the way, I have become convinced that life has purpose; that our decisions and actions matter; that it becomes necessary to submit to a little self-examination from time to time.  And what better time to take stock of one's life than, each year, annually, as we open gifts and eat cake.

It becomes more and more difficult to see pictures of myself.  I cringe as I observe the changes that my mind doesn't perceive. I still feel like I can do anything.  But my stamina suffers; my memory suffers; my flabby muscles, flawed complexion, fading color, present a much different picture than the one in my head.

So when did it happen?  When did I get old?  And has age brought with it any perquisites? I cannot deny that I am settling into the role of matriarch, which brings with it a cloak of honor that I hesitate to claim.  As my family gathers around me, eyes filled with love and a desire to celebrate and toast me, I feel a little like a fraud.  Who am I to be esteemed so highly, when I merely feel like a peer who doesn't really have all the answers yet either.

My days are different now.  No longer am I scrambling to keep up with active children. No longer is my schedule automatically filled with others' agendas.  I admit I enjoy this new freedom of choice.  My "must-do" list isn't really all that long; quite manageable, actually.

I do find myself benefitting from these four outstanding young adults in my life, especially as they bring lovely companions to the table with them.  My children are no longer children.  They are comrades-in-arms; they are thriving, productive, talented, active, hard-working members of society.  They are my best friends.  They share with me their wisdom, their joys, their frustrations, their unique abilities.

I feel very blessed.

I am blessed with a personal massage therapist, whose loving hands coax away the worry and stress and aches and pains.  I just wished she lived closer.

I am blessed with a son who will always be in a position to take care of his old mother; who has had a role-model, in his father, who has showed him how to honor, care for,  and love one's dear mama. He calls me regularly and lets me feel apart of his life.  We visit as the old friends that we are.  How gratifying to know that he will always make room for me.

I am blessed with my own personal yoga instructor, who gently encourages as she desires to see me regain the strength that time has threatened. What a lovely dear friend, who has now become a lovely dear neighbor. What greater gift than to share her family's life on a day-to-day basis?

I am blessed with a personal poet laureate.  I am blessed with someone that shares my love of great literature, who thrills with me at the discovery of new and old things to love. Who knew that the best friends come in the form of daughters who view the world from the same eyes?

I have been filled with an overwhelming desire to explore the world, to travel, to see its wonders.  But my greatest desire is to have a traveling companion by my side to share these things with; someone to thrill with me, to ooh and aah with me, to marvel and ponder with me.  I pray always that my beloved husband will accompany me.  I choose him.

This has become more than a blogpost.  The casual reader has my permission to withdraw due to its lengthy nature.

I daily ponder my purpose.  I consider the blessings which have been poured out upon me and struggle to find their best use.  Great books and ideas have filled my head with so much to think about. What is my role in building the Lord's Kingdom?  I have determined that my joy is full as I serve as a teacher.  I love the impetus to study diligently.  I love finding new ways to explore thought, to build upon a foundation of faith, to expand and enlarge my understanding, and to ponder the mysteries of God.  These are the things that fill my days.

I have many challenges, most of them inward.  I fight to overcome anxieties.  I find strength in my Savior.  He doesn't always take away the struggles, but He never leaves me alone to deal with them.

I find peace in beauty.  I try to surround myself with order.  I try to distance myself from the frivolities of the world.

I am weak in so many ways but I look with confidence forward, always forward.  It may mean adjusting to the new pictures of a woman I hardly recognize, but she means well. She knows love and feels it daily.

She tries to live worthy of those that arise up and call her blessed.

1 comment:

Nancy Hamilton Sturm said...

Beautiful. As a mother of grown children and a grandmother, I can relate. I'm sure you've touched a chord in many lives with this post. Thank you.