"We are on earth for a finite amount of time, and time is a manmade perception. We perceive time passing through change-- seasons, aging, things like that. So to expand our time on earth, we must incite as much change in our lives as possible." - Humans of New York.
On the eve of my 40th birthday, my mind is full of thoughts. I understand this is the time when many focus on all that's left to be done. Where a mid-life crisis might insue. Oddly, my mind wanders to all that I've done in this short life of mine. Of all the changes that have expanded my time here on earth.
I married and divorced. Became a mother and lost a mother. Bought a home and foreclosed a home. Became a millionaire and declared bankruptcy. Was a child and am now a caregiver. Lost a business and started a business. Reflecting back, I realize I've lived an entire lifetime in my forty years. What I find most interesting is that almost all of my most memorable moments were never ones that I planned for when I was young.
Life just gave them to me.
Dancing at the Rainbow Room. Birthing a second child at home. Driving in foreign countries. Building a life on the California Coast. Owning a business. Saying goodbye to my mom. Swimming with dolphins. Falling in love more than once.
The best gift I've received through these years and through all the changes was learning where my strength resides... inside my heart. My heart carries me through the waves of pain life brings and reminds me of the joy that surrounds us daily. My heart reminds me to live.
"I once was lost, but now I'm found." I've sung that lyric to my children almost every night of their lives, soon to be thirteen years. Funny the reason. It was one of two songs I knew by heart when my first son was born. Amazing Grace was one of the first songs I learned to play on the piano, and I enjoyed singing along. Little did I know those eight words that hid in my childhood song would come to mean so much to me. There are still nights that tears steal from my eyes while I sing to my children. I'm reminded of all I've done. All I've endured. All the beauty that's graced my life and all that I've found, and the tears come from my heart that is overwhelmed with love. Love for all that life brings. The joy and the pain.
I lived a lifetime before I turned forty. I have no doubt I will live another entire lifetime in my next forty, and I can't wait to see what life brings.