As I've aged, some things have become clear to me.
Not to sweat the small stuff. Really. I can remember back in my 20's my dad would tell me, it's not worth crying over. I can see now that it really wasn't, but it was back then. All the little things I used to worry about. My mother-in-law not returning the curtains (my favorite - saved up for months for them) she took when I had to move back to the old house after her son divorced me. What I wouldn't give now for the opportunity to trade some of those minutes of anger for a few hugs. I divorced her son, not her.
I worried about my kids not looking cute and not having cute clothes. It is amazing what is important when you are 20. Instead of spending those hours sewing clothing to look storebought, I wish I had a few more days just to enjoy their 7 and 4 year old selves. I wish I could make my daughter believe that these days of having to fight with her almost-3 year old son to go to sleep without just one more story, to pick up, to quiet down, will pass so fast it will take her breath away.
All those times my mom drove me nuts asking questions about who I saw, what they said, what I did......I am so tremendously thankful that I still have her around and am so glad that I can still be interrogated by her.
I used to hate--hate!-piano lessons! I wish I had taken them a little more seriously. Who knows what I could have become! I wish I had listened more to Miss Shaw, my piano teacher. I never asked her about how she learned to play, about her life. I was too much in a hurry to make it through my half-hour lesson for which I hadn't practiced.
It has taken nearly 50 years of wishing my life away--waiting for tomorrow, for next week, for next year--to realize that what is important is today and what I am doing right now. For nearly 50 years I've struggled and agonized over my religious beliefs and honestly, I'm still not so sure about how to, or even if I should, categorize my beliefs into a religion. Because I don't fit. And I don't think that it is imperative that I do.
I believe in God. There is not a doubt about God. But I believe that God is everywhere and is a force found in every aspect of nature. I enjoy many of the services held at the Methodist Church in our valley but I don't necessarily think of myself as a Methodist. I like many of the Pagan notions but wouldn't classify myself as Pagan. And that is ok.
So the secret of life, the secret of my life, is that it is uncovered as I move along. At least that is how I feel about it today. The secret may very well be that there is no secret. The experiences of everyday help to prove or disprove things I thought to be true along the way.