Things that matter most…

There are some bad things that happen to you in your thirties…

  • you find yourself saying, “Is that little Josh driving his mother’s car? Didn’t I just babysit him last Thursday?” and Little Josh is actually driving himself to his wedding!
  • you find your first grey hairs (I did- two of them…today!)
  • you notice that your skin is slightly creased in places- and there is no straightener to get those crinkles out!
  • you stay up late on a  Friday night (as late as midnight) and you’re still paying for it on Wednesday!
It’s sad but true! Life marches forwards at break-neck speed and you get dragged along with it! But there are some positives too! Like the fact that you’ve finally worked out who you are and who you want to be;  you know what you want out of life and, more or less, how to go about getting it, and  you’ve worked out what is important. The short list goes like this (in no particular order):

  •  Family! I understand my parents so much better since I became one, the price they paid, the reason they chose some of the things they did for me and also, what an ungrateful little brat I was as a teenager! My mother would be so gratified to read that…I think her standard line in my teens was “Just wait till you have kids.” Turns out she was right…most of the time! I appreciate what my brothers are to me, the connection that I have with them and the love I feel for the men who have known and loved me my whole life (lucky me!)
  • Family! I was blessed to have worked in the community in a job that got me into people’s homes, people from all walks of life and of all ages. The thing that impacted me most and often brought me to tears, were the pensioners who, despite their own ageing bodies, cared for a husband or wife with dementia who often did not even recognise their own spouse. As I sat with these veterans of the school of life, many of them would reminisce about the years that they had at home when their children were little, years remembered with the golden aura of their youth. It struck me then and reminds me now, that when there are so many wrinkles in my face that I need to peg the folds of skin back so that I can put mascara on my lashes (if I have any) that I will remember these days, the days when my boys still throw their arms around me and tell me I am the world’s best mum just because I made chocolate cake (with icing) for dessert and when a picnic underneath the dining room table with candles and soft drink is the highlight of the week. I made the decision years ago that the memories I make in this phase of my life won’t be “I wish I had read to my kids/played with my kids/gone bike riding with my kids/baked misshapen cookies/painted/made cubby houses with my kids” memories,  they will be memories free from regret and so rich that they will feed me and, if I am lucky, hurt with the sweetness of them.
  • Friends! I am so blessed to have friends who have seen me ugly cry, who have seen me 30kg overweight and cranky and sick…and who still love me! I count myself wealthy because there are people in my life who rejoice when I succeed, who let me cry with them when they are sad, who make me a cup of tea and tell me it’s ok when I mess up, and who tell me when I need to pull myself together. They keep it real, they keep me grounded and they inspire me to not settle for less than I am worth and they allow me far enough into their lives to do the same for them. We laugh together and play ping pong and watch bad movies and eat great food together and wipe each other’s kids’ noses and share secrets and sit quietly together. We have each-other’s backs and make room for each-other’s growth and strengths and weaknesses. We do life together!  I may not have a nice house or a fancy car or designer clothes, but I have A-list friends! Honestly, A-LIST!!!
  • Faith! I know what it is that I believe and what I want to pass on to my children. I know what I am convinced of and where there is room to grow and change. I know how to be tolerant of others bust maintain my integrity and convictions. I know enough to know that you can never judge a book by it’s cover and that God will surprise me whenever I think I know who He is. I know that I have so far to go…but that the journey is all of the fun! I know that it is good for me to surround myself with people who have strong beliefs and who think about the world, not just live in it. I know that I need to be a part of something that is bigger than me or my family.
  • Shoes! I  know that there is no excuse for wearing a pair of shoes that will hurt my feet for any longer than I have to…no one ever looks under the table at a wedding!
  • Bikini lines: if you’re looking at mine in too much detail, you deserve what you get!
  • Wrinkles: They are proof of life and women who wear theirs with pride are infinitely more attractive than those who try to hide theirs…Really? Should you looked shocked at 65? Didn’t they tell you plastic surgery would cost that much?

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. embejo
    Jun 05, 2011 @ 22:21:06

    Nice post Ari. So far I quite like the 30’s. I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two in the past decade.



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