1/11/08

Life Lessons

I am obsessed lately with reading the obituaries. I guess it happened when I turned 30. Well, lots of things happened when I turned 30, like gravity, an unavoidable fear of dying, and an appreciation for balance of all kinds. Balance while holding an infant and buttoning Shelby's pants, balance in my diet, balance on a surfboard, and balancing my time. I read the obituaries to make sure that life is being lived long enough, in my opinion. For example, if I scan the pictures and birth years and come across anyone who was born in the 1940s (around my parents' age), I scan it to see how this life related to mine. Were they married, had grand kids. If I come across a tragic end to life, say a teenager, I always read the entire article to find reason for this wrong doing. Recklessness? Disease? I know this all sounds quite morbid, and more so now that I'm putting it in print, but it's the truth. I think I am reading for reassurrance that life won't cheat me. That the odds are stacked in favor of getting it all done before my time's up. So, the book I just finished, Water For Elephants, is narrated by the main character as he sits in a nursing home, forgotten by his own family, and recalls the exciting story of his life after college on a circus train. It reminded me that old people weren't always old. That my parents will some day be "old people". That I will someday be as old as my parents. My grandmother recently said to me, "I used to live. Now, I just exist." It is a really honest statement. At this point in my life, I am truly living. Every day, something different. I had a conversation with a fellow colleague (in the mommy career field) this morning about the book and I was reminded to appreciate the chaos in which we exist, because before we know it...it will be gone, they will be grown, we will have slowed, and life as we know it will change dramatically from this fast paced craziness we know and, when pushed, admittedly love. Carpe Diem, people. It'll be over before we know it.

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