Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Trains of Thought

It's quite possible that approximately 35-39% of my current lifetime has passed. When I see it in digits and symbols in front of me like that, it has the potential of being frightening. I mean, should I have accomplished more at this juncture? (Guess not, since everything unfolds exactly as it should, when it should, aye? Cheers to that theory!)

The other morning, I was driving to work, stopped at a stop sign, when I caught sight of a much-older woman driving in front of me, on the perpendicular street, sipping on what I guessed to be some variation of a coffee libation. Was she going to work? I'll be darned if I'm that age and still working for The Man! I mean, seriously… if I’m even close to that age and even out in the world at that time of day, it had better be the day of the week I don my purple hat and meet up with a group of sassy cohorts for some early-morning debauchery. I can only hope that’s what she was up to.

These thoughts, plus countless others, sprinted through my mind even before I pressed the accelerator. As I drove on, I actually got a bit giddy at the thought that so much more living is still ahead of me. I mean, if life begins at 40, like “they” say, then I’m good as gold!
Then my thoughts hopped onto a different train: to me as an old woman, looking back on this life. Will I feel accomplished? Will I feel secure in my endeavors and efforts, and will I be content with where I end up? Who will be integral components of my life at that point?
Then, of course, Mind had to catch a connecting train, to one that led to Mom. I often think of what her life was like at the stage where I currently find myself. I’m pretty sure she had already brought her first 5 kids into the world when she was my age. Parallel lives, definitely not! (However, it somewhat gives me hope that I may be able to conceive up ‘til I’m about 44; buys me more time in that department, I suppose.)
I have to wonder what goes through her mind on a daily basis. Having been diagnosed with a terminal illness… in pain and/or discomfort most days… possibly hanging-on to a past that can’t be changed or resurrected. She’s not exactly a talker, to say the least; not about personal past or family history, anyway. She’ll make a comment here and there that sparks curiosity in me, but I never get the full story. “I don’t remember details like that,” she claims.
Here I am, a third of the way along my path, while Mom can look back on the path of (this)Life a lot further than she can look forward.
“If you realize that all things change,
There is nothing you will try to hold onto.
If you aren’t afraid of dying,
There is nothing you can’t achieve.”
- Tao te Ching, chapter 74
The morbid part of me just can’t help but wonder what it will be like to look back on more time than I can anticipate lying before me…

One day, I’ll know…if I’m lucky.

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