Kiefer, Sorry We Keep Missing Each Other. Call Me.

Is this a midlife crisis? It feels like a midlife crisis.

I keep realizing over and over again that I'm four decades into this life and there are so many things I have not accomplished.

I thought I was working to get somewhere, but I think I passed it. And therefore totally missed it (whatever it was).

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It was probably because I was talking. I miss a lot of things due to talking. Or maybe I mistook it for another stat update from my Fortnite obsessed 10 year old and did that thing where I zone out and say "that's great" as he recaps his skin collection and dance move arsenal. Ahhh Summer.

What started out as two months of hopeful structure, learning opportunities and chore lists has quickly melted down into 1 AM bedtimes and I-don't-care-what-you-do-just-do-it-quietly orders. Year round school, you say? *checking the "maybe" box*

So it turns out, I've had some time to contemplate, you know on those nights I'm sitting in the upstairs hallway policing room escapes and going over all the numbers for the week with my math-y five-year-old, and I've decided that I'm a complete and utter failure, which is a day ruin-er. Let's analyze all the things I planned for my life that I have thus far failed to do.

  • I am not an oceanographer. 
  • I cannot hula hoop.
  • I am not a veterinarian with my best childhood friend, Katie and we don't live in a mansion with dozens of wild animals that run free. 
  • Likewise, we didn't become best friend actresses with our own t.v. show. 
  • I didn't become a Black Eyed Pea, which means...
  • I haven't won an MTV Music Award
  • I didn't meet a vampire on a pier in Santa Carla that looked a lot like Kiefer Sutherland
  • I didn't meet a cowboy who rode in a gang with Billy the Kid and who also looked a lot like Kiefer Sutherland. 
  • I did not win the dance-off to become the new DTV regular much to my strict military father's disapproval. 
  • I never accidentally randomly encountered a New Kid on the Block where I impressed him with my singing, acting, beauty, CPR skills, car maintenance knowledge or by saving him from a rattlesnake.
  • I was never featured on the cover of seventeen magazine on a surfboard with the caption "Surfing the World Wide Webb" with a feature story on the inside where they ask me questions and I give them disinterested bada$$ answers because I'm too famous to care. - (yes, I gave my fake media trajectory some real thought.)
  • Kiefer Sutherland, due to the unfortunate missteps listed above, has not fallen in love with me, which is really his loss and it's too late for him because I am QUITE married (I mean like, we JUST bought our second set of furniture together's serious). 

Hold on. I've had to pour some wine to cope with my downward spiral.

I spent a LOT of the last few years feeling like I missed some boat that everyone else got on *waves from the shore while muttering resentful comments* Wasn't I supposed to have accomplished...something?  I mean, like a GRAND goal of some sort that everyone could see and that would some how justify my entire existence? Was I standing at the $1 bins at Target with my $6 coffee when opportunity knocked on my door?

I've recently realized though that one of the gifts you get when you lose someone close is perspective. I didn't ask for it and would give it back in a nano-second, but since I didn't get the choice, I look at it as one of God's jewels for the brokenhearted and hurting. Perspective. Sometimes you need something or someone to flip the lens of your perspective so you can really get a better look at all you seem to be dissatisfied with.

And my perspective shifted to see all the things I've done in my life that no one would ever really
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notice. The things that I've always wanted and I've gotten. There was no mountaintop experience for the things I value most. And thank goodness - because though amazing to behold, a mountaintop moment is fleeting and once-in-a-lifetime-ish. It's all those little moments in my day and week when I was experiencing deep, exhaling joy and satisfaction. I think it's just a general appreciation of the journey...yes even though Kiefer and I have chosen different paths.

Here is what I've come to value about my life recently.

  • When my boys are laughing and playing together - I mean, like really laughing - not fighting, not arguing, not manipulating - but really and truly enjoying the brother relationship. I feel such deep joy watching my kids that it makes me want to burst. 
  • When I start to miss being younger but then I remember how full of angst and doubt and fear I really was and I realize that from this point on, I get to enjoy life confidently and with the deep contentment that only those with war wounds (and a few wrinkles) get to experience. 
  • That first cup of coffee in the morning - it's the BEST. 
  • When your spouse catches you off guard with a joke and you find yourself laughing as hard as you did when you were first dating. 
  • Quality time with my sister and mother. Mom has always said, "You get one turn on this earth." She and my dad squeezed every drop of experience out of their years together and true to form, she's continuing to pursue life even when it's emotionally hard. 
  • Girlfriends - I think in your 30's you are in this underground bunker of child rearing and it's rare to have the trifecta of time, energy and money to spend on quality friendships, but when your kids get a little older, you begin to see the possibilities again and I LOVE the support and laughter and reality checks I get when I spend an evening with girlfriends.

All in all, I think the most exciting thing about life is always the possibility ahead.

So maybe we'll look different,
a little older,
a little worn.
Maybe we'll feel a little stiffer,
resent the 20 year old on the elliptical next to us at the gym,
go up a size or three,
start eating for fiber, instead of taste,
pick a smaller beverage on a road trip because when did I start having to pee so much?

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But all that means is we have no more excuses to see life for what it really is...these amazing, heart-
singing moments that sometimes catch us off guard and give us incredible emotional experiences that are the direct result from our desire to create a life of connection rather than just accomplishment. It isn't groundbreaking but we all fail to see the beauty in front of us sometimes because we have heaped a disproportionate amount of expectations about what life should look like instead of enjoying what it actually does look like.



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