Okay...this post comes with a warning. I just finished reading an incredible book by Lori Nelson Spielman...called The Life List. You can guess that it has made me very reflective. That was my BEWARE REFLECTIVE warning !!!
Without going into the full story...a must read....it made me wonder what my Life List would have been at fourteen years of age. In some discussion at the end of the book the author shares that she had made such a list, and found it years later. Many of the things she had done, but alas...many she hadn't. She further stated that between fourteen and the mid twenties our dreams do change...not because they aren't good dreams but that we have so many other influences enter our lives that make these changes happen. I'd like to quote that part: quoting Lori....
"I chose fourteen in part because that was the age I wrote my life list. I also think fourteen is a pivotal age, that sliver of time between childhood and womanhood. Sadly, what we gain in maturity is often offset by a loss in confidence. I was a high school guidance counselor for eight years, and it was always sad for me to witness the students' gradual loss of dreams-especially my female students. I'd have girls come see me their freshman year full of hope and confidence. They'd tell me they were going to be doctors, lawyers, astronauts. But for many of them, something shifts in those next four years. They lose their mojo. I hate to say it, but all too often it was a boyfriend who changed them. I saw girls morph into the person he wanted her to be, and forget their own dreams. Now, I'll see my old students-these same girls who had big dreams-working at a local convenience store, having forgotten all about that young girl with big dreams. At fourteen we dare to dream of things that at thirty-four we have abandoned."
Okay...I haven't found any life list from my early teens....kind of wish that I had. I became a teacher..partly because of my sweet old teacher neighbor, Mrs. MacDonald who said I was the Durnford girl who should be a teacher. She saw something in me I guess ! As a young girl there were probably lots of other things that I could have done...a teacher I became and I did love that work.
I converted to a new religion as a young twenty year old. That kind of makes sense to me as I had always been reflective on who God was, and why He was needed in my life. Finding the Gospel of Jesus Christ answered that reflection/dream and gave me great direction and purpose to my life. Some of my immediate friends, and social life changed with that decision. In the process of conversion, I received a very special blessing called my Patriarchal Blessing which has certainly been a part of my life journey, and that almost feels like Elizabeth's motherly input to Brett in the book. This blessing has made me reflect on the dreams/ blessings that Heavenly Father has made available to me. It has been an amazing direction in my life.
LOVE...Marriage....how puzzling these can be for us all. I was no different. I actually ran from my husband when he first pursued my love and attention. I do remember that change of heart on my part when I allowed my heart to give him a chance. He showed me the queen that he felt I was, and in his own quirky ways he still does. After thirty-eight years, do I wonder if he was the right one....heck yes....but when I did chose to marry him I also made the choice to make him the one.
We have had so many good and not so good experiences between us.....but HE is the one. We created four amazing children, and our lives have been blessed beyond measure. Love will always have mystery for me.
MOTHERS....I had the best Mom...I miss her so deeply that when I pause to think about it, it hurts like it was only yesterday that I watched her leave this world. While she wasn't quite like Elizabeth in the book ( I loved this character)...my Mom was always there for me. She didn't solve my problems but she was aware of many of them, and I always felt her love and unconditional support. How I wish that I could go for a walk with her, or sit and watch Wheel of Fortune with her....such memories.
I will acknowledge that I feel closest to her when I attend the Temple. I almost feel like I can hear her, and sometimes see her. I always want a closeness to my children. Interestingly, when I think of each of my children as individuals...I recognize a different relationship with each of them...some closer than others...It will be my 'rest of life' mission to get closer to each of them, and for them to always feel of my love and support.
Well, the day is passing by and I could reflect so much more on my life, dreams and decisions. I have a good life. I have been blessed in so many aspects of that life. Could it be different..for sure !However it is my life and I will continue to reflect at moments like this and then head off to face another day! The present...that's what they call today. A 'gift' for sure, and I'm grateful for what it will bring my way.
Go read this book...well written ( her first novel), a bit of foul language ( just warning) that was sadly appropriate to the situation ( never could understand why foul language ever is needed)
Enjoy today and say thanks for the gift!!!
PS...I had some photos to upload but computer is giving me grief....I'll ignore it for now...sometimes the best ploy!!