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By “My Midlife,” you’d think I’d have it all together. Grant it, everyone has the same amount of minutes and hours in a day, days in a week and month, months in a year. But do you ever notice that some people do more extravagant and wonderful things with their lives than others?
Some look like they’re living a “How to…” book on how to do their life. They are the people who married at the right age. Gave birth to the most polite children. The father works hard all day and still has the energy for family time and their children’s extracurricular activities. And the mom, not only works a full-time job, has dinner on the table, is there for the children both in and after school while manning a position on the PTA and labeling their non-allergen organic foods for their kids’ lunches. Whew! And that’s just home life of the ideal family. But are there really perfect people, families? And are they doing it – life – perfectly?
I watch and read the news daily. And today our society is more broken than fixed. What makes it seem like some people have life more together than others? From “My Midlife” experience it seems like a lot of it is the choices that are made. Many people seem to make priorities and criteria in their lives and don’t back down. As a Christian, I see the people around me making the choices to place God first, family next, their jobs follows and whatever life offers. It falls into place thereafter.
But is it through life’s example that we learn perfection? I come from strict parents. They gave warnings and punishment when needed, provided curfews and rules. They had to know who I was with and when I would return home. We ate dinner every night at the table with no calls during dinner or after 9 pm, unless someone was dying. And there were many family trips where I studied in the backseat. See my parents didn’t graduate from college. They did take classes here and there at the community college level, but they wanted more for the next generation.
Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, I wonder if we’ve lost a sense of perfection. I will tell you my story. I was a worrywart and a very anal-retentive child – always worrying about people and animals, making sure I was never late, doing things perfectly or as best as I could. Actually I strived for perfection in all aspects of my young life. I lived my life knowing that there were repercussions for anything that I ever did. I pretty much lived my life making sure to color within the lines.
But the older I got, life happened. Some decisions became my decisions, instead of my parents’. Laziness or overbooking my expectations caused things not to be on time, none the less perfect. Like one of my life mantras, “Pick your battles,” I also pick which crisis is most important to fix at the time. As an adult, my God’s gift of strategist came into play with multiple life aspects. Our society became more of a balancing act in a circus, far from the organized Catholic school room where choices were just A and B.
I don’t know if perfection is still a thing in today’s society. Oh I know, in the writing world there are certainly rules of writing. And in math, there is always only one answer. However, even the process of figuring those math problems out has changed drastically.
In “My Midlife,” my summation is that perfection is to the beholder. My life is far from perfect, but I know that my needs are met. And when it comes to life’s hard decisions for me or my family, I can make them. You see, though I had the foundation of being a worrywart and a very anal-retentive child, I grew up. Life challenges such as losing a parent, construction on a couple of homes, being married and divorced, having health issues, adopting and loosing pets and gaining and loosing friends has molded me into the woman I am today. Fortunately, because of the parents I had, because I was a worrywart and anal-retentive, and I’ve been on the journey that was offered to me, I’ve picked up skills and perspective on the way. In my heart, I know that I don’t have to be perfect or so hard on myself. See, along that road I also met religion. I met a God who sent His son down to be perfect for me, in place of me. Though I started that relationship earlier in my life through Catholic school, I actually chose, or was called to get baptized right before my thirtieth birthday in the Baptist church.
So though I don’t have it all together. And I’m in a continuous effort to maximize the same amount of minutes and hours in a day, days in a week and month, months in a year. I’m trying to do more extravagant and wonderful things because my life is messy perfection!