We’re turning another page of the calendar and my mind keeps turning over questions I’m trying to answer.
Days that once passed with barely a tick-tock now sound as loud as the chimes on the grandfather clock that hung in mama’s house. They clang and echo urgency: now, now, not tomorrow.
I’m searching for answers to questions I’ve never asked before. I’m feeling burdened by the privilege of decision.
As Mary Oliver posed:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
When was the first time you asked yourself that question? Do you remember? Was when when you were deciding which college to attend? Whether or not to work outside the home when babies came? Or did that question not appear until loss came? Infertility? Divorce? Financial devastation?
I am 60 years old and I’ve never asked myself that question until now.
It is hard and the answer seems to be illusive. Or, perhaps, it’s that I’m looking for a simple answer and life is rarely simple.
Today I have a job description and title. In two years both will fade and being the planning-take-charge-first-born that I am, I’m trying to figure things out now. How will I know when there is no role being assigned?
I accepted the titles and roles of wife and mother with great joy. After nearly 40 years the wife part still seems to have some mis-steps for me. Again, I blame the take-charge-first-born person previously referenced. The role of mama fit like a custom made pair of jeans. (my comfort clothes).
Other positions and roles came my way. I wasn’t looking but they found me and life was lived without a thought to what I would choose. I’ve believed God had paved these paths for me but now it feels a little like a dead end with a sign that says “No outlet”. I know that isn’t true. But it’s an unfamiliar path. I can’t see much beyond where my feet stand.
What if the answer isn’t found in a title? What if it isn’t found in doing but being?
Blogger, Heather Caliri suggests this is the question we should ask:
“If you had to name three words that summed up the kind of life you wanted to live, what would they be?”
Happy? Contented? Safe? Honest? Peaceful? Joyful? Energized? Faithful?
Perhaps a shift in perspective is needed. Life isn’t given to us to be title-holders but light-bearers. I don’t need to lay down one to be another. A change of the calendar has nothing to do with who I am and whose I am should always inform what I do.
Have your three words come to you? I’m still mulling over my third word. I need to let it settle down deep and work it over in my head and soul before I share them. But soon, I think.
Yes, what a wild and precious life it is we’ve been given by the creator of life Himself.