"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Monday, January 14, 2008

Life reflected

I have a birthday later this month and I make it a time to do an annual life performance review. Most people do this New Year's Eve, but I am a bit of a contrarian, you know.

Last year, when I turned 57, I was prepared to die, but I wasn't suicidal. The last kid was out of college, employed and loving her new business enterprise. Older child was married to a great guy, both employed and very happy. Parents were in good health for their age and self-sufficient. Hubby content as always. I was semi-retired and enjoying a less complicated life.

I had traveled to most every place I truly wanted to see (except #1 daughter's new digs). I knew I'd never have time to read all the books I wanted to read - I am a realist. I had had a successful business life, a good marriage and good health, and comfortable home. I volunteered in community organizations and enjoyed a wide range of friends. I was pleased with where I was at that moment and what I had accomplished. I had few regrets.

Life was certainly good, and for a fleeting moment it crossed my mind that if I died that day, it would be OK because I was so totally satisfied with my life. I had accomplished what I wanted, I was no longer responsible for anyone, no one absolutely needed me, and everyone around me would be just fine whether I was here or not. Although I did hope they would miss me.

It was very liberating to feel that way - to truly be at peace and fully satisfied with one's life, at least for one brief moment. I imagine that those moments when everything seems to be in perfect sync are rare, but I hope that someday I will experience that feeling again. I am betting that that they occur more often as one progresses into the last third of life.

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