I heard Daughtry sing his new song "September" today. I've heard it before, but it wasn't until the words drifted through my head this morning that I realized it could be a theme song for this Fifty decade I'm traveling through.
"How the time passed away..."
It's depressing to think about, and kind of hard to even imagine it right now, but I'm in the September of my life! Up until now I've thought about it as a halfway mark, and it is, but it's also the beginning of the third season. The Autumn of my life. Wow.
Spring - my gosh, it seemed to last forever, didn't it? When I was little, time seemed to stand still. Minutes were full, plump, juicy. I could linger over them, take my time, taste every little morsel. I can close my eyes and still taste them.
Summer - life picked up speed. That's when my juggling act began... work, husband, kids, the laundry, bills... an endless list (that somehow still continues!) I set myself and my dreams up on a shelf. Time for those later; my little ones need me right now.
I wasn't aware of seasons back then. One day ran into another, weeks turned into years turned into gray hairs and wrinkles. But two or three years ago, I felt it - something different in the air, a shift in the wind. A restlessness inside me.
"Of all the things I still remember
Summer's never looked the same
The years go by and time just seems to fly
But the memories remain..."
Remember when you were little and the thought of the new school year excited you a little, even though summer vacation was ending? That's the feeling I had about my approaching 50th birthday. And even though that day has come and gone, and I'm looking ahead to my 52nd, I still feel the same way. I love this 50 decade!
"The days are so long that summer's moving on
We reach for something that's already gone..."
It's a reflective time, for sure, but magical in a way. A time to dig out memories and sort through regrets, tossing those that serve no purpose, but re-filing those that have no expiration date into the "To Do" pile (Drop out of college? Go back now!) While you're at it, take Yourself and your Dreams down from that shelf and dust them off.
One of those dreams of mine is writing. It has bounced on and off that shelf so many times that it has a few knicks in it now, but it's still in one piece and worth holding on to, I think.
"In the middle of September we'd still play out in the rain.
Nothing to lose, everything to gain..."
So I'm writing a book. Not the first book I've written, but the one I want to see through to the very end first. (The characters in my first book are used to me coming and going into their story. They're waiting patiently for me to get back to them.)
And I'm blogging, sharing my thoughts, experiences and whatever else comes to mind with who ever cares to read it. Writing a book is solitary; blogging is more social, but I sometimes wonder when I write a post if anyone will read it and I hope that they'll take the time to share their thoughts about it with me.
Today, thanks to BlogHer, all of this... the seasons, the reflections, the writing, the subsequent reactions from others... all of it came together for me when they syndicated one of my posts, "To the Young Mom on Aisle 7" on their site. (Click here to read it and BlogHer.com and here to read the original post.)
I was surprised at how many comments it garnered - and even more surprised by some of the reactions it triggered in others. Some readers accused me of judging the mom. Huh?
It made me wonder if my writing wasn't clear enough if they'd gotten that impression, but then others obviously understood it was merely a reflective piece, that seeing the mom in the grocery store had sent me spinning back in time to the days I had three little ones tagging along everywhere I went, when I always seemed to be in a hurry, always had so much to do, that I sometimes overlooked the most important "to-do's" that were standing right in front of me, tugging on my shirt and saying Mama.
I have no idea if this mom was guilty of that or not. I know that I was at times, way back when... heck, I still am (just ask my kids!), and seeing her reminded me of that and made me wish for some do-over's.
"Reflecting now on how things could've been... "
Alas, we don't get do-overs. But if we're lucky, we get another day to just do the best we can.
"Now it all seems so clear, there's nothing left to fear."