Recently, I looked around at my life and said, "This is not the life I planned." I didn’t plan to be divorced, still single, working past retirement age, and looking old despite my best efforts to look ageless. At first, I felt tricked; I had my life all laid out and was content to sit back and check off the highlights on my life list. Then, “life happened,” as they say.
My journey is now less a perfectly guided tour and more a pilgrimage to discover who I really am. I learned about choices: I can go with the flow or navigate my own stream. I learned about forgiveness: Okay, you didn’t go along with my plan, but I will not carry resentment in my backpack. I learned about family: I held on to marriage for the kids, for “family,” and I thought divorce would destroy it; but, family is all about commitment to one another and one less uncommitted member did not destroy the family of me and my children. I learned about self-value: I’m still “me,” still okay; maybe even better. I learned about faith and trust: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Source, Creator: I threw myself into grace and unconditional love and felt cared for, protected, guided.
The path I didn’t want, and suffered to avoid, became the place where I found my strength, courage, creativity, and joy. Someday soon, I will step off into retirement, a strange descriptor for a stage I fully expect will show me what being truly alive is all about. Bring it on!