I turned the BIG something “O” this year and just thinking about that number is still scary. It has taken months to accept; months of doldrums. Maybe not for the reasons you think, at least not primarily for those reasons. Sure, I wish my skin was firm and my back didn’t ache, but mostly I wish this milestone didn’t push me a little closer to the ‘twilight’ years.

That sounds romantic, doesn’t it? Like a prelude, a soft, cozy whisper of night – when in reality, it’s a warning kneel! I want to say, whoa, hold on, I’m not ready! But . . . at the end of the day, I just pray there’s enough time.

I’ve done a lot of reflecting, of wishing for a do over, another chance. A chance to be a better mother, a better daughter; to have a different career, get more education, to do bigger, more meaningful things! One minute you’re struggling to get dinner on the table and the kids ready for bed, then the next thing you know, you’re an empty-nester and the house is way too quiet. One minute, the world is your oyster, the next you’re a discarded shell.

I’m lucky to work at a job I enjoy and I hope to be productive for many more years. I know I’m lucky to be healthy, capable and active. It’s scary how quickly that can all change. Still, there are dreams, goals, milestones I’d hoped to reach but haven’t so I guess that’s put me into a tailspin.

At a leadership meeting recently a co-worker was teasing our mutual boss for saying “At the end of the day” a lot – and he does use it often when speaking of “the bottom line.” But as they joked, it was as if the words were flashing inside my brain and though I’ve heard them often, that day they truly hit home.

At the end of the day . . .

And as I approach my own ‘end of the day’ I realize my mom was right when she told me that “no matter our age, we always feel the same inside.” Or at least the part of us that makes us who we are – our thoughts, our souls – feels the same – a little wiser, a little wearier, but basically the same. The same hopes and longings, the same needs. We still want to be loved, cherished; to be seen as valuable. We want security, to help others; to be accepted, to enjoy special moments, to laugh, to have ‘enough’.
At the end of the day, we realize what’s important – and that those we love, those that love us, our human connections – the ones that take care of us and those we help when they cannot help themselves – at the end of the day, that’s all we really have, it’s all that really matters.

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