It was 11:07 PM when I first walked into the kitchen. I finally stop watching TV (though Sunday night is filled with TV favorites) and got up to DO something. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t done anything all day; it had been a productive day on many fronts — I’d made a chicken and broccoli salad that I took to a friend’s to lunch and help reorganize kitchen cabinets — a fun job for me and helpful to her.
I’d gone to help the once-husband unpack a carload of our daughter’s stuff that he’d just helped pack and drove to his house to unload and store; and I’d decided to see (via email) if it was possible to arrange a weekend reunion with some college friends in a city where none of us lived.
I had my lists of to-dos (getting ready to leave town for my nephew’s wedding) and among the many items was making a tomato tart. I had tomatoes freshly picked from a friend’s neighbor and now there was a possibility my friend and her family might come for dinner and I didn’t have any idea of what I would make. But the tomato tart would come in handy. I needed to get up and make it.
While I was slicing the onions and sautéing them (with olive oil and the lemon thyme I’d just cut from my little garden) I started thinking about a question someone asked someone else in my presence:
“When were you the happiest?”
That was some question. It wasn’t a question I’d ever thought about answering.. And while I was trying to think of my answer to that question, surprisingly the answer just popped up — “Now.”
That was surprising. There were so many happy-s in my life: Happy when I met my husband; happy when we got married; happy when I had my kids; happy at so many times but (and this was “but” big) all those times I was happy, I was also saddled with stress and/or worry. Always. My other twins: stress and worry.
All of those happy occasions in my past were times when I was in control, managing a lot, taking care of a lot — people and things. I was orchestrating my life and theirs. No one asked me or demanded I do it. It was my mission. It was what I thought was my lot in life and I was pretty good at it but it wasn’t great for my relationships and it wasn’t ever carefree.
Now most of my day, my every day, is spent only on taking care of me.. It’s a pretty easy job! For the most part I feel happy and content. I may have times when I wish I weren’t alone and times when I wish I had a partner to do things with — things like listening to music, dancing, or trying out a new recipe on. And I’d like to be working some, but that hasn’t worked out yet but still — for the most part, life is good and I’m not worried! I just signed a new lease (Has it been a year already?), my physical issues are behind me at the moment and I don’t have much stress.
I’ve never lived this way before. Living this way now is really a gift; and whatever it cost to get this gift, well, I guess right now I’m feeling the payoff. It was 11:30 at night and I was doing exactly what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. That is my life these days. Amazingly.
It’s been two long years of real transition but right now — I think I’m starting to edge into the phase of what might become my new normal.
I’ll keep you posted.