In my teens, it was really important to date a guy with a nice car who was popular enough to help me climb the social ladder.
In my twenties, he had to also have a good job/money, as well as be able to dance well. But he didn’t stand a chance against my career ambitions, which always took precedence over love.
In my thirties, I disappeared (perhaps from disappointment over my less than successful 20’s) into the false safety of what I believed to be my holy calling. What was important was doing God’s will and learning how to abandon my own. I detached from people, places, and things – including my own thoughts and feelings.
My forties ushered in with an abrupt realization that the previous decade had largely been a sham. It became important again to have fun. To try and make up for lost time. With zeal I launched back into my lost career and tried to take as many vacations as possible. Washed down with huge quantities of red wine.
Here we now are, past my mid-fifties. How can it be?
It was just yesterday I was hoping Randy Crowell would ask me to the prom. My QVC auditions feel like they occurred last month. My wedding…and subsequent divorce. Such landmarks, now ever diminishing with each passing day.
My fifties? These years awakened me to what is really important.
When you have little, it’s easy to think that having stuff will make all the difference.
Finally being able to pay the bills on time and not overdraft my checking account used to be really important. Now it’s a non-issue, thank God.
The next evolution involved being able to buy those Jimmy Choos. Or that baby blue car of my dreams.
What did I learn?
These are momentarily joyous, like the sugar rush flooding my bloodstream after downing a creme-filled donut.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love me some creme-filled donuts. White creme, not Boston cream, for those who care about the particulars.
But the rich stuff? The really important stuff?
I have discovered the deep and satisfying joy of sitting on the couch next to someone who holds my hand.
Cracking up over a stupid meme on Facebook and sharing it with a bestie.
Taking an impromptu trip to the beach to wiggle my toes in the sand and enjoy the setting of the sun.
Rubbing my mom’s feet at the end of a long day of her doctor’s visits.
How could I have been so blind to what was really important?
Hindsight offers perspective.
For me, it boiled down to settling my own worth. When I finally did that, I no longer needed to find it in cars, or boyfriends, or career wins, or designer shoes. I no longer needed to hide from life in a flurry of activity or spiritual pursuits.
Settling into our own worthiness is the great awakening.
And now, a brand, spanking new Word of the Week:
May our eyes be open to see…what is really important.