My life is a carousel ride, a never-ending ‘round and ‘round, busier and busier, sometimes steadier than others and as dizzying as it is at times, I can’t seem to get off the carousel, nor most of the time of the time do I truly want to. I may change horses, get a different vantage point, but generally I’m going ‘round and ‘round at a pace that can be daunting at times to others.
While some of what I do appears altruistic, it really is more selfish than anything else. Even when I’m doing something for others, I’m doing it for me. I’m getting pleasure out of it. The by-product is that I get to help someone else, support something or someone in an organization or effort, but in the end, I reap far more. That’s what it’s about; fulfilling my own life in ways tangible and sometimes intangible.
I bite off more than I can chew, although I’m getting better about understanding my own limitations. As I remarked earlier tonight to a friend; there’s many a time I sign up to do something good for an organization that I wake up at what feels like an ungodly hour (although it might feel a bit late for someone else) and wonder what ever possessed me to say I’d do such a thing. What’s wrong with me? But in the end, I’m glad I did.
I’ve lived a fairly solitary life for quite a long time. Given the amount of activity that I’m involved in and the people I do many things with (let alone my family), that may seem like a bit of a foolish statement. But I mean on a personal level – I’m on my own. I have four children, my mom and countless friends – but I don’t have anyone that I’m sharing my life with as a couple. While this sometimes is a bit of a concern for me because I miss having someone special in my life, I also wonder what it would be like to lose the freedom I have. My kids are grown. There’s no one to answer to, no one to confer with when I change my mind and make a split decision to do something totally different than what I had planned to do. After a life with many restrictions, as every parent and partner often has, there’s a bit of delicious freedom that I embrace wholeheartedly. I’m not sure I could give that up or would even want to.
This is a time in my life that many people warned me about. My children are now older as am I. I heard whisperings of empty nest soon to come and there were those that felt I became a Big Sister because my children were getting older and I felt twinges of loneliness. While I do miss my kids tremendously as they move further on in their own life paths, I do not feel as if my life has diminished in any way. I have even more time to do many of the things that I put on hold or hoped to do ‘someday’ and much of it I get to do with my kids as well still. As my responsibilities have lessened in some areas, I’ve quickly filled those openings with other things that mean something to me.
While the carousel spins ‘round and ‘round, sometimes at a breakneck speed, there are times when I am purely exhausted. Most of the time, however, I am exhilarated that I get to have all of these experiences; that my life is so full with so many good things. I am a lucky woman that is grateful for the ride.