For those of us who have reached maturity (I’m still waiting), and have had to start life over (yet again), admitting that we are less than what we once were, is humbling.
Slightly used and damaged can pretty much describe almost everything in my house … including me.
When I entered into a relationship with my now fiancé, I considered myself to be slightly used and somewhat damaged goods. His response to me was “Who isn’t?” Good point.
As I saunter through the third act of my life (please God, let this play run indefinitely), reflection brings me to admit that I’ve made some mistakes in judgment along the way. I have, at times, chosen the wrong person to love, the wrong business to build, the wrong car to buy, and the wrong friendship to lean on. It’s been exhausting.
I never lost hope, figuring that it would all work out in the end. Surely the mistakes I made along the way would undoubtedly make me smarter and stronger. Truth is, I should be a freaking genius by now!
Getting older doesn’t guarantee that we’re getting smarter. But most of us benefit from life’s heavy doses of lessons learned often dished out to us like a sledge hammer. And while I admit that my spring chicken days are over, truth is, what I have now feels way better.
It occurred to me that a lot of my favorite things are old. Princess phones, glass Coke bottles, Silly Putty, Radio Flyer red wagons, lunch boxes with matching thermoses, Archie comic books, Fizzies, Bosco, The Twilight Zone, and the Helms Bakery truck. Oh, man, I’m in heaven just thinking about it all.
If you are of age (whatever the hell that means) it’s likely you will reach your 6th decade slightly tattered and somewhat spent. It’s what happens when your heart makes the rounds, kids come and go, you take risks, fail and succeed, all the while falling down and scraping your ego along the way.
The past 2 months of hiatus has taught me to slow down. Unable to walk, I was actually brought to a halt. My visions of having glorious down time to read the stack of books on my nightstand, watch movies I’ve been dying to see, catch up with old friends on the phone were all for not. Medication clouded my concentration and ability to focus. I was forced to just be. If you knew me at all, you would know that it felt like a death sentence.
I never really got accustomed to doing nothing. I guess it’s just not in my DNA. Relaxing is awesome. Relaxing without a book, a project or a conversation is not something I’m very good at. So I used the time to take stock and plan and plot my coming year.
As it turns out, I’ve managed to find a sweet spot in life. Happiness is mine each and every day. I love the life my Steven and I are building together, and I love my work and my wonderful clients. The future looks bright.
Still, there are changes coming. Big ones.
Changes are good and the way of life. But keeping tabs on those used and tattered things that helped to mold my attitudes are equally important to me. That includes the best friends a girl could ever hope for. If it weren’t for you Susan, Cynthia, Mickey, Lee, life would be so much less the effort.
I will be grateful for those things in my life which are slightly used and damaged. Because they are the best of what was, and the promise of what is still yet to be.
And that includes me!
Happy New Year, my friends. May we all grow slightly used and damaged together!