Wasted Time?

You never thought you’d be alone this far down the line
And I know what’s been on your mind
You’re afraid it’s all been wasted time

Wasted Time – The Eagles

After raising children and ending a relationship–a total investment of over twenty years–when all that had been my norm disappeared and I found myself alone, it was difficult not to be overwhelmed with a sense of dread and to feel as if all I had devoted myself to had moved on without me.

I had been left behind….cast aside.

Yet if I’m honest with myself, if I shift my perspective, if I strive for a bit of objectivity…I can understand that the last twenty plus years should instead be viewed as a job well done. I was lucky enough to bring two beautiful children into the world, and privileged enough to raise them–to witness the amazing young adults they have become as they begin to make their own way–and leave their own mark–on the the world. I continue to share a bond of friendship with their father. We have lived the adventure of parenting these children whom we loved one another enough to create. We could never cast that journey aside and pretend that the bond we shared never existed.

img_2640And now? Well, now it is time for me to make my way in the world as I see fit–not as society dictates. I already did all of those shoulds and have tos. I jumped through all of the socially constructed hoops before I understood the concept of social construction–school, college, graduate school, career, marriage, motherhood–now there is just me. Older, more reflective, perhaps coming to terms with my own mortality as autumn arrives and the days grow shorter.

There is still work to do. I must support myself. Yet there is also life still to live. Returning to the northeast–returning home after a lifetime away–to help care for my mother, to reconnect with my sister, and to build my own space and place on the lake that has soothed my soul since I was three years old. New adventures await me here now–different mountains to climb, food to savor, languages to learn–all in my own time, for my own growth, for the love of my self.

Another love has come and gone
And the years keep rushing on
I remember what you told me before you went out on your own:
“Sometimes to keep it together, we got to leave it alone.”
So you can get on with your search, baby, and I can get on with mine
And maybe someday we will find , that it wasn’t really wasted time

Wasted Time – The Eagles

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