“I want your life.”
Startled by the sotto voice I looked up from my chair and said, “S'cuse me?”
A man not much younger than me stood a few feet away on the sand looking down at me and said again, “I want your life… Sitting on the beach, reading, a cup of coffee in hand in the middle of the morning. You look pretty relaxed.”
I laughed and said something like, 'I'm not quite done with it' as my compatriot ambled away as one must walking on the soft sands of South Texas.
Sitting back and reflecting I first thought, if he only knew…
But then my work on meditation and mindfulness pulled me back into the moment in an instant before I careened off the cliff of self-doubt and I realized in that moment I want my life too.
All of us suffer trials and travails and upsets: some of mine have been minimally detailed here in earlier writings (I saw minimally because my age and progenitors preclude too much self-absorbtion) and as such there is no reason to detail them again or further. In fact, one of my post-beach gifts to you dear reader is to get back in the sunshine to the normally optimistic space I occupy with my writing.
No more whining.
In that moment as I sat on the beach, a balmy 82 F, the sun midway through its morning arc, the relentless waves rhythmically reaching out to me I wanted my life too. I realized, again through the benefit of awareness that reflection can bring, I want my life all the time even if I don't enjoy every moment.
I got my college degree, belatedly – I was one of those fulltime students with a family you hear about – because I had a moment of awareness one morning at 3am as I was working a job I hated in the freezing cold without the proper tools. That moment, still so clear, propelled me to do what I needed to make something out of my education and hence career.
My career excelled when tough bosses gave me tough love clearly iterating they wanted more and believed I could do it. Über demanding? Yes. Unfair? Never.
I found my beautiful second marriage becuase I was so disappointed in my role in not being able to make the first one work. And while I have more work to do, I know now what partnership is all about.
And I learned patience through the trials of raising children who often had different ideas about life and learning. Yet now I reap the joys of adult children, all independent, who love me unconditionally despite my flat spots as a parent.
All of those challenges I needed. All of them I wanted even if I didn't know it at the time.
The point dear reader is this. While an individual moment can seem to be less than desirable far from what we truly want, taken collectively moments make a lifetime. And each moment leads to another and the fabric we weave with all of these becomes a life.
I want all these, good moments and bad, for altogether they make my life.
And, as I told my friend on the windswept beach, I'm not quite done with it.