I went to the mall the other day. In one of the junctions there is a Starbucks kiosk with umbrella-ed tables (indoors which I thought odd) on the backside four seats per table. As I passed by, I saw an older woman sitting with her husband. She was wearing white pants that had china blue floral print on them, a blue button up shirt, navy sandals, and white pearl jewelry. He was wearing a blue plaid shirt and khaki pants with sensible brown shoes.
“Your pants are fabulous!” I commented to her.
“What?” She asked while leaning forward to engage in conversation with me and my friend.
“Your pants. They look like they belong on a tea pot. I really like them.”
“Oh yes. I think I got them,” She looked at her husband searching for the answer. “at Kohl’s. I think I gave $13 dollars for them.”
“No kidding? I just really liked them. Your outfit is very well done. I admire good style when I see it.” I smiled at her. “And your outfit fits nicely with hers too.” I comment, including her husband in the mix.
“After 55 years of marriage, it’s kind of a given.” Despite our gasps of appreciation and admiration, he continued. “She has better taste than I do. What she buys, I wear.”
“Oh stop! He hates shopping. That’s the only reason I buy the clothes.” She chuckled and ribbed him with her elbow to the amusement of my friend and I.
My friend struck up a conversation about long term relationships with the woman while I stood rather awkwardly. I stepped over to be a bit closer to the husband.
“Fifty-five years? That’s pretty impressive.” I said.
“You know what I learned?” He waited. I realized he expected a response.
“What did you learn?”
“I worked my whole life. I spent weeks away from home making a living for my wife and family. I completely forgot to live my life. And now I’m old and I don’t know who she is other than I married her.”
I panicked. Had his wife heard that? (No, she had not.) Had anyone else heard that? (Apparently, just me.) I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say so I nodded my head as if I understood. It was a bubble that only he and I belonged in at that moment.
“If I had to do it all over again, I’d have vacationed more and learned more about her. Now I just follow her around because she knows how to live better than I do. I’ll probably die before her and I know she’ll just keep on living.” He said with a sense of regret and remorse in his voice.
At the table next to theirs, a younger man, college-aged maybe, paid attention just long enough for the bubble to burst and then we were being drawn back into the wife’s conversation with my friend. With a pat of hands and a parting smiling wave, we left the couple sitting in the mall and carried about our shopping.
There are conversations we have with a variety of people in a variety of situations on a myriad of topics, but every once in a while there is a message given by something…bigger than us. It’s so powerful that it can take weeks to chew about and identify the flavors. They are never without the spice of truth seasoning the breath of omen.
Breathe. I hear it. Breathe. Live. Breathe. Act. Breathe.
I work in a factory right now. It’s a means to an end. I like the people I work with, the work is not difficult, the hours are long, but I know this isn’t my way of life. This is how I can support my family while working towards living my life. But I see the people I work with accepting this as if it were their only fate. Others are exactly where they belong and want to be without questioning whether there is more to life or not. It baffles me why they never ask the questions I do. Is there more? Is there a meaning to what we’re doing?
Live your life right now. Could you heed his warning? Right now, could you just begin living or would you have to figure out how to do that like he seemed baffled about learning how to do? Could you take a deep breath and jump into the pool of understanding that your destiny may not be where you currently find yourself? I have and I could, but I wonder just how many others couldn’t do that because they have no idea how deep the water actually is in the Life End of the gene pool.
Breathe. I hear it. The steady inhale/exhale that is necessary that so many take for granted until they can’t any more. There are more ways than one to quit breathing life.
I’ve seen people who have negative thing after negative thing happen to them in constant battering waves of despair against their psyche. They do not seem to realize that it is life attempting to guide them towards another direction. They just keep plodding along, heading the wrong way and wondering why everything seems so dark. If you find yourself walking on this path or feel like you are, what is it you’re missing? Are you following your destiny or plodding along? Are you working for a living or are you living? Breathe. Listen. Act.
Who you are and what you’re supposed to be doing has been whispered into your soul all your life. Heed the wisdom of your own knowledge. Embrace the path that’s destined to be yours. Believe that with the changes you’re making, things will get better. If you feel yourself wanting to make a right turn because that’s how you’d normally go, turn left. If you find yourself wondering if you should still be in this relationship, you probably shouldn’t be. Whatever questions you’re posing, if you’re unhappy, truly unhappy, with whatever is going on in your life, change. Take YOUR life by the reigns and guide it instead of reacting to circumstances that you probably created for yourself. Act.
You don’t need the drama to remember that life is now. You need to be able to actually live it. Get rid of the negative that surrounds your thoughts, your relationships. And you say, “I can’t do that because…” then you’ve already lost. Don’t be afraid. You already know what you’re supposed to do. One step to the right and you’re moving a different direction.
I’ve heard it said that life begins just outside of your comfort zone and have tried it enough times to realize that it is indeed. Live. Step a bit to the right of where your path would normally go and discover something new that you’d not noticed. Take a different route home from work. Try a new restaurant that you’ve been meaning to. Today is some day. Some day is today. Right now is your chance to live.
I’ve seen people with brilliant minds come into a place where they seem to accept that this is life. It’s not that they don’t know there is more out there, they just give up fighting for it. They resign themselves to the mundane.
There is something to be said about stability. I know, for example, that I can depend on myself for at least a chuckle during the day no matter how badly the day goes. I know that when I see my husband, I feel better and have come to depend on his just being around me. But when those things become taken for granted. When these events are just how things are without change or fluctuation other than minor differences, I feel like I’m missing out on something big, don’t you?
One step to the right and the perspective changes. Bringing flowers home instead of the empty lunch bucket makes a difference. Sending a random message to a loved one to remind them that you’re thinking of them makes a difference. Writing an article to remind others to act is making a difference. Whatever you do, do something. Don’t just talk about it, do.
Breathe. Live. Act. It’s just one step to the right to change the direction.
I LOVE this piece. I see a lot of dad& me in it, yet we are doing all we can to live rather than just be alive. Good job.