OUR STORY

The title of this one actually came to me before anything else – that’s never happened before. When this title came to my head, what I thought about was our life’s story. When you get older you tend to think too much, actually, about the past. And so that is what came to mind – my life story.

I thought first, which is probably most logical, about do-overs. There are none but what if there were. I know I have a lifetime full of do-overs, my children not being one. But I wonder how far back we would go. I would probably go back to my teen years. I would have not been so “popular” oriented, wanting a lot of people to like me and be my friend, but I would have studied more. Don’t get me wrong, I love the friends I made, I would have just studied more and tried very hard to conquer Algebra. I would have learned Spanish for sure. Had I done that I would have been in the college plan and, consequently, I would have gone to college and taken courses on interior design and became an interior designer, hopefully. That’s what I wanted to do. What I dreamed about. If I had done that, I would have worked while married and hopefully made enough money to put my children through college, or most of it anyway.

I would have tried, though my mother wasn’t keen on the idea, to listen to Ms Flora, our neighbor as a child, and became a Christian earlier in life, but I’ll leave that “do-over” to God because His timing is perfect. I’m pretty sure a LOT of my decisions in life would have been much different and maybe I wouldn’t have as many “do-overs” I’d want to do.

And speaking of children, I definitely would have been a better mom. For one thing I would not have had a house built next to my parents – that was a huge mistake, believe me. They liked pretty much nothing about how I was living my life and consequently there were many, many “discussions” that had we not been next door, would not have happened. I think we all would have enjoyed going to “grandma’s” and having them come over much more.

I guess from that point, there are several do-overs in my 40’s and 50’s I definitely would do. Decisions about how to raise my children, not being so strict. Decisions about moves and how to live life. As I look back, I think somewhere in there is when my deeper depression started. Looking back, I actually believed it started in my teen years, like most, but I never really got over it because that was something not really recognized back then. The decisions I made back then probably landed me where I am now and how I tend to handle my life now instead of a better way, a way that brings more happiness.

So, getting back to the story idea, mine sure wasn’t a “happily ever after” – yet. But it sure could have been worse. Unfortunately, at this time in my life, it’s very difficult to think about a “story” of my life before this part started. I wonder how many people are put in the position where they have to start their lives over and go in a different direction for their story. Especially if they are elderly.  I know there are probably many and for all kinds of reasons. But I don’t want to go into details as this is my story to tell so I’ll tell it how I want to. And that’s the kicker. How I want to.

I’ve never had the opportunity to live alone, as my favorite aunt did for years. When you spend your lifetime caring for others and doing everything for others and each and every move you make and decision you make is for others, it’s just an odd feeling not to do that and realize you can do for yourself for a change. Wow what a feeling! Let me interject something right here, though. One of the do-overs is that I would have given a part of my younger days when I was able to do things, to myself. I never thought about what I wanted or wanted to do unless asked. It was just the way I thought life should be and I was so wrong. Doing for myself occasionally would actually have been doing for others because I would have been more content and happy.

Getting back to being selfish and thinking about myself, I do have my sweet best friend in the world I look after, Buddy, my Chihuahua – I definitely can’t leave him out because I tell many he is my life, but that’s like the emotional or heart part. Anyway – it seems I’m even doing it while trying to write my story – thinking about others. I guess that’s the way I was brought up – think about others first and their needs before mine, even if it put me in an awkward position, was not fun or fair, if I didn’t want to, and so on. Thinking about putting the ones I loved and cared about first. Those that were the most important in my life. That’s pretty much what my life was about.  Did that kind of treatment return to me – not much, actually. On occasion, but I’d say for the big things in life I wasn’t given a choice so I had to go along with the choices others made. That’s why doing what I want to feels so strange.

Being retiRed, of course, adds to my freedom. I wake and get up when I want to in the morning – no alarm clock. I watch what I want to on TV or a DVD instead of someone else deciding. I stay up as long as I want to. I eat popcorn in bed while watching a movie at night. I eat what I want to when I want to instead of trying so hard to figure out what somebody else liked and would want.. If I were not partially disabled I would go where I wanted to go and when I wanted to as well, because I can. That’s a LOT of freedom to get used to for someone who has lived their life as I have. It’s not how I would have chosen to live out the rest of my life by any means, but, again, others made those choices and landed me in this position of living out my life alone. So, the only thing left is to make the best of it and catch every moment of joy and good thoughts God sends to me. And He does send them. He sends blessings my way with someone to help with things like groceries and getting the mail. People you’d never think about – like the maintenance guy. The neighbor across the hall takes my trash to the dumpster unless someone happens to come along and visit and does that or other little things around I’d like done. However, I don’t get many visitors but I think that’s okay, too. Buddy sure only likes a couple of people to come. LOL

So, I’m living a life I guess most live when they are much younger, but better late than never, right? I feel that way sometimes and then I wish I had my life back – the one I thought I was going to have, the one that was stolen from me. But that’s not my story and we’ll never know how that one would have ended. I guess it’s like a piece of jewelry that was stolen. You find another to replace it, even though it was not as special as the one stolen. That’s the piece you have to wear so you make the best of it. You try to make some good come of your new life – at least I’m working on it. I try to think of the things I can do instead of the things I can’t do and the things I am missing out on because of the life that was stolen. Like I always try to say, it could be worse. Some days that’s hard to say because it seems like the worse, but then I remember this life story could be worse. And I’m make a new life story instead of the one expected.

I tried to think of an object as I usually do that a life story would be like, but nothing came to mind. Maybe because objects aren’t living a life story as we do. Maybe because objects don’t feel life from total, utter joy to the worst heartache and despair there is. It’s hard to think of any object like that. Only a person can be like that. Only a person can have those feelings and all the feelings in-between. But a person has to ask themselves in the end of their story, were some of the decisions they made worth the consequences they brought because each and every decision or choice made brought about consequences in their life story. There are no real do-overs, but are there decisions made that can have partial do-over and made right instead of continuing. I think so. I see some that I could have at least partially turned around and maybe the consequences wouldn’t have been so harsh.

Well, we make those choices of how we want to live our life story. Whether we want to be happy and live the life we know we should and God would be pleased with or just have part of what we were looking for because what we were looking for was not actually there and God would not be pleased. Only each individual person can make those choices to end up with good consequences or not so good consequences. Me, no, I didn’t always make those choices that pleased God and brought about good consequences, that’s true. Maybe earlier choices in my life actually did bring about these life story consequences, but I guess that’s for God to sort out in the end.  But, now it’s up to me to make a choice of what kind of consequence I’m going to be living with. One choice brings me continued depression and despair and another one brings about at least some happiness and joy until the end. I think I’ll choose the latter. I don’t enjoy wrong choices. I pretty sure the latter choice will be the right one. And no matter what comes or goes, what choice I make, I know God will be by my side – even when I don’t feel it, He’s there. And it brings Him honor to make those right choices and for all He has done for me, I think the least I can do is make the right choice for the ending of my life story on this earth – cause there’s a whole new one waiting for me in heaven.

So, ever thought about your life story and how you have “written” part of it? What kind of life story are you “writing” now? Most importantly the question is  –  is the life story you are living presently pleasing to God?

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