Recently, I wrote a blog about how marriage made me lazy. It did. But hear me clearly, I LOVE IT. Our family has taken to binge-watching a show on Netflix called Meat Eater. We’re total carnivores at our house. You can be offended if you want, that’s totally up to you, but I don’t hide it from anyone. My husband has been a hunter since he was a kid, and now my son is hunting as well. In fact, pre-knee injury I was all set to go out and hunt also. All that aside, we’re watching this show. Last night, the host was nestled on a mountainside talking about how his life has changed in the last 10 years. What brought him to this awareness was the comparison of how much his life had changed. When he sat on that mountainside, he noticed how nothing seemed to have changed at all for the mountain. It spurred a lot of thought and a little conversation between us about how much life has changed for all of us.
I remember it well. Running the track at Midtown Fitness, because I still worked there, the morning of my 40th birthday. I was thinking to myself how crazy it was that I had been divorced for five years and was still not in a relationship I would actually think of keeping the rest of life. When I got divorced, I never thought it would take me five years to find Mr. Wonderful. I had just stopped dating Mr. You’re the Funnest, Sweetest, Greatest for my ego Guy Ever, as I thought it was time to get serious about moving on with my relationship life since my divorce. So, I was turning 40 and totally single, which, not gonna lie, I was not good at. Being single, that is. I was a traditionally raised woman who was taught that unless I had a man to take care of me, I was in trouble. So, I was turning 40, and apparently in trouble. Running that track I waltzed my mind from the “oh no” to all the things that were great about my life. First of all, I was running the track. I was in good physical condition, strong, healthy, vibrant. I had an incredible 9-year-old son who was the light of my life. I had a strong career despite the recession and was surviving it while some of my colleagues were going out of business. I was working almost full-time doing bodywork while I was just starting to get my reading/coaching practice off the ground. That process was so much slower than I wanted, but I was afraid, being the sole financial support of my household, that if I changed my practice too much, I’d lose business and sink the ship. I was not going to let that happen. I was driving my old blue Outback. I took that car everywhere! Christian and I did one road trip every summer together and had a blast. In addition to that, she carried me/us safely from place to place during the week and to fun little getaways on the weekends. I loved spending time in Bayfield, Ely, Grand Marais, any cute little nature, artsy town I could find. My family largely was happy. Healthy? That was another thing. My brother was still alive, but very ill with cancer. The end was coming, we just didn’t know when. It ended up being an incredibly hard year. He would hit the skids and then bounce back, again and again and again and again. He passed away a few days before my 41st birthday. In my 40th year in the spring, my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and went through treatment, which is somewhat ongoing. We had two family members treating cancer at the same time. It was tough.
My little house kept us warm and safe, it was, and still is my refuge from the world. I had my core group of friends, most of which I had had for much of my life, but was in a place of wondering if I had outgrown some of them. The conversations weren’t as fulfilling. The more I got to know myself, the more I wanted to know others. Really know them. The surface, complaining, drama crap was old, and I was tired of it. I didn’t exactly know where I belonged, but I was certainly beginning to know where I didn’t. That too is a gift. I had developed some new friends but didn’t have as much time with them as I hoped and wanted, so support systems were up in the air.
Fast forward 10 years. Holy toledo! While I still live in the same house, my office looks completely different as I’ve remodeled every inch of it. HELLO! I’m married! Oh, I didn’t take the direct route unfortunately, I had to try a couple of other guys before Clarence and I started dating. I had Mr. Nothing is Right in my Life Ever, Mr. It’s So All About Me and Mr. You’re Just Here to Make Me Look Good. Exhausting. Oh, I forgot Mr. I’m Just Not Ready Yet. By the time Clarence started thinking I’d be a nice addition to his life I was so oblivious to men that it took me months (not exaggerating) even to notice that he didn’t just want to be friends anymore. I’m a little slow. But, clearly, he figured out how to get his point across because, well, we’re married
My practice is totally different! I work exclusively from home, except when I’m invited to work from some other cool practitioner’s office in another town, or am leading a retreat/class somewhere. I read/coach people full-time and get up most days with a sense of “pinch me, my life is awesome”. I’m human, so that’s not every day, but it’s darn close. I am surrounded by empowering women who love their lives and are so connected to who they are, what they stand for, and what they’re doing with it. I am never far from a pep talk or just laughs, support, and great WooWoo talks. My son is 20! What?! Yes, he’s a man! He’s still the greatest adventure of my life and a ton of fun and perspective. I have two more kids! They came as a very welcome part of the package with my husband and I am a Gramma to boot! It’s a riot! While Clarence’s kids were adults when we got together, I still have the joys and sorrows of parenting, but I get to take a broader-based, objective viewpoint, and well, I don’t have to worry about telling them what to do and being wrong, because they’re adults! I had always dreamed of having more kids, I just never thought it would happen the way that it did.
I’m not nearly as thin, and my health has struggled a bit in the last 10 years. I still enjoy the fact that I can do what a lot of women never would/could in the first place. Life is full, plain crazy sometimes, and I love it. My weekends in small towns because it’s all I could afford have been replaced by a lake home and trips to other countries. Actually, I still love me a cute little nature, artsy town, that will never change. Dreams come true folks.
I am grateful, and because of that, my life is great filled. Perfect? Heck no. But what’s perfect anyway? One person’s dream is the next person’s nightmare, that why there is room enough for all of us to have what our unique dream is. I guess that’s another big change in my life in the last decade. I am way more forgiving of myself. While I still have great dreams and desires, I don’t take myself as seriously as I used to. Not everything is a “must”, I’ve learned to rest when my body says it needs it. I’ve learned (ongoing learning) to be forgiving of what I can and can’t, or just really honestly don’t want to, do. I’ve learned to pay attention to myself! I have come to know what is for me, what isn’t, and to take a stand if I need to. And, let lots and lots of things roll off my back. I’ve learned to be a duck. I’ve learned to step back and ask myself questions about what’s in front of me, and not let what is behind me cloud the eyes I look at the situation through. I’ve learned to say no without believing I need to give anyone an excuse or reason for the no. That’s grace right there! I’ve learned to admit what I don’t know, and ask for help, or guidance or instructions when I’m unsure. Whew. This aging thing is hard sometimes, but so worth it!
I still remember the 40-year-old, and the 30, and 20 and so on. She’s still in there. But, I love what the last 10 years have brought me and my life. The review process can be hard, bring grace with you. Do it. Take a look, make a list if you have to. Where were you 10 years ago and where are you now? What has changed? It’s so easy to get lost in the day to day that we forget to see where we have been. It’s no good to live in the past, but please, give yourself the time to look behind you once in a while to see how far you’ve come. Our critical self can lead us to believe we’re not getting anywhere, but oh sweet one, you are. Look back and see where life has taken you, and where you have led yourself to.
That thing that you thought you’d never live through? You made it and you made the best of it. There has been heartbreak for sure, but there has been incredible joy and fun. What I have now, I know in 10 years will look differently. Change happens, always and forever. The mountains may not show it, but we do, our lives show it.
I appreciate the view in the rear-view mirror, and I love where my feet are planted right now. I’m excited to see where this ever-unfolding journey will be in another decade.
Find your mountainside and enjoy all the views.
Blessings Galore, Anne