“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Mother Teresa, misery-fighting fire brand
It is the kind of thing mid-life women daydream about when they are cleaning sinks or making tacos or trying to meet a work deadline, but I know I will probably never buy a house in Tuscany.
That is Frances Mayes’ story. Not mine.
Likewise, it is unlikely I will buy a farm and raise fancy sheep in order to produce naturally-but-exotically colored yarn. That’s the story of a certain pastor’s wife, straight from the pages of Victoria. Not mine.
But, I do have a story. A story that traces through beaches and kitchens and newsrooms and woodland trails and is uniquely mine. And, I’m trying to actually live in it, rather than drift off into a fantasy of what might have been or what will unlikely never be.
Living inside one’s story is such a struggle in today’s world that I asked my husband to take this picture of me — a frozen slice of summer 2019.
It’s a summer of trying to write with a house full of family. A summer of knowing that tectonic shifts are headed our way. Our daughters are nearly grown. Our house is very big and very “historic.” I work in an industry (journalism) that has morphed into something I couldn’t have even imagined when I started in my 20s. And, to be honest, I’m not sure that I like it anymore.
So, I’m reading my life story very carefully. That includes the really hard parts that I’ve already been through and that I might have edited out if I had been the sole author. And, the wonderful parts that I might have dragged out for several chapters if I had sole control of the pen.
Like King David, I can say at mid-life that the “lines” have generally fallen in pleasant places. And, that gives me hope that the rest of my story will be just as interesting. A page turner, perhaps.
Will I buy a house in Tuscany? Again, probably not. But, my grandchildren may one day be entertained with the story about how I learned enough French in 2019 and beyond to make a trip to Quebec more interesting. Or, how I prayed my way through a career shift.
Or, well, who knows but God? He’s never failed to surprise me — in spite of my best-laid plans — and I imagine this will continue. I’m OK with that.
I will live in my story, MY story, until the last line, which I hope reads something like: “And she went to heaven, where she saw Jesus face to face and lived happily ever after.”
I don’t think so. 🙂