“Margaret, life is about compromise.”
That’s what my dad used to tell me from time to time.
Considering the massive amount of wisdom I’d accrued by the age I first heard him say this, probably around 20 or 21, I remember feeling that my father’s early health problems had colored his thinking. I silently shook my head, and believed he was focusing on the negative — on what you gave up in life. I was sure that with enough effort, and maybe a little good luck thrown in, you could achieve exactly what you wanted.
wo years ago, I sat down to write a post about marriage.
When it appeared on The Huffington Post, over 200,000 people agreed with what I had to say.
In honor of my now 26th anniversary, celebrated quietly but with great joy recently, here are those thoughts — slightly revised. A lot can change in two years. So it’s nice to realize, I still believe these things.
So far, every decade of life has had its own unique flavor.
My 20’s. I needed to finish growing up, something that took me a bit longer than I had anticipated.
The 30’s? I was fixing the mess I had made in my 20’s.
In my 40’s, my mantra became, “If not now, when?”
I felt like I finally had it together, and was approaching the world like Evelyn in “Fried Green Tomatoes,” shouting “Towanda!”
I can’t quite believe it.
This is my 200th post.
I’ve come to love sitting down in front of a blank screen, the little cursor blinking an early morning hello at me, and trying to convey either something that I have talked with patients about during my week, or an idea that might be helpful to someone who’s dealing with mental issues. Or just life.
They say hindsight is 20/20.
I am gaining perspective on the decade I exited a year or so ago. In some ways it was my least favorite. In some, one of my more dear. If you can have favorites for that kind of thing.
So what did I learn?
Many articles that focus on living well in midlife preach the importance of keeping the umph in your step.
They feature people who have changed careers from stock broker to sculptor at 50, walked the Appalachian trail at 60, or learned how to sky-dive at 70. (Not exactly middle age anymore, but you get the drift.)
We traveled this year for the holiday.
Not to see family, but to be family. It was inspired by friends of ours that were doing the same thing, and the fact that this will likely be the last time our son has several weeks off at the holiday, at least for the near future.
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