This has been an interesting week. I've had some good conversations with friends and family - some conversations that surprised me and some that were just so very good to have.
One of those conversations has me doing a lot of thinking. It was with a guy I've grown close to. Men look at things so differently.
My friend celebrated my birthday with me a little late because he was out of town on the actual day. He brought me lunch because I just didn't feel like being out and about (it's this freaking gray sky/trying to rain thing). The gift he gave me was very sweet and interesting - or at least my reaction to it was. Funny that I can still surprise myself.
There was a time not really too long ago that if someone I liked a lot gave me a certain kind of gift, I'd get all analytical about what it meant. (Why this gift? What does it mean? Is he trying to tell me something? How am I supposed to react?) I guess I've either finally grown up or just grown calmer. Whatever it is, I just took the gift as it was. It's just a gift and it's nice and very thoughtful, very me.
My friend was so pleased by my reaction that he shared a "guy thought" with me. He told me that I had apparently learned something that it had taken him longer to learn: relationships are only as complicated as we make them. Ours is not complicated. (Well, it is sometimes, but only when I make it that way.)
Like I said, I thought about our conversation long after it was over. I started to think about how I really have changed. I thought about things I wish I'd known a long time ago.
One thing I wish I had known is that sex is not complicated, but feelings are. Knowing that could have saved me so much heartache and worry and maybe one of my marriages.
I wish I'd known that age has nothing to do with death and dying. Not to make light of it, but any one of us can drop dead at any second - whether newborn, middle-aged or elderly.
I really wish I'd known that some things just don't matter one damn bit. Things like walking around for a couple of hours at work with a poppy seed stuck in your teeth or a booger hanging half out of your nose. And I don't mean that it doesn't matter in that whole "in a thousand years..." way. I mean that if people aren't gracious and empathetic (there's that word again) enough to not make it a big deal, then fuck them.
I wish I'd known to be kinder to people when I was younger. I wasn't always un-kind, but I had my flip, selfish, dismissive and cruel moments - sometimes toward strangers. We just don't know the effect we can have on another person.
I wish I'd realized how much I meant to certain people at certain times. (I once had a girlfriend get married. I was invited to her small, at-home wedding. I was late. She'd held up the ceremony for me to be there. I didn't know how wonderful a gesture that was. I probably took it too lightly.)
I used to lay across my mom's bed and have long talks with her. Sometimes the talks were about nothing and sometimes they were deep and important to one or both of us. I wish I'd told Mom more of my secrets. I told her a lot, but not everything.
There is one wish that I could possibly make come true. I wish I could go back to some of the people who are/were in my life and tell them some things. I'd like to apologize to some of those people, thank some of them, hug some of them. I probably won't ever do this, so does that make it not a real wish?
I am learning from my wishes. I am trying to do more now so that I don't have to wish for later on. (I refuse to use the word "regret" because that would mean we all should be born not quite human and full of mistakes. Mistakes are part of living and make our moving from moment to moment real and interesting. Hope that made sense.)
There are so many things that I'm glad for that I can live with all those "wishes." I'm so glad for the people I know and love. I'm glad for the relationships I got right. I'm glad for today. I'm really glad that I got to see this age of 51, even though when I was 21 and 31 and even 41, I didn't even want to imagine being 50-anything. I'm damn glad that, so far, my 50's are not half bad. Not really bad at all.
I am 51 and happy most times because when I look up at the sky I still think, "Wow." Hell, I'm glad I'm still here to think it.
I'm glad I still giggle, snicker, laugh too loud and flirt and crush and have girlfriends and like junk food and love music and dream dreams and have hopes and want things and fuck up and fuck around and go ga-ga over babies and cry about weddings and movies and want to do crazy things with my hair and sit in the sun and have deep conversations about stupid stuff and have places I still want to go and things I still want to do and see and taste and feel and know about.
I'm still so glad to be alive and I sure hope God is listening.
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