Last night was my wedding anniversary, and if you know my husband, it's surprising he was a trooper and willing to have it at Disney. He was raised in the OC. The house he grew up in not far from here, but he hasn't been a fan of the theme park since oh, maybe, early twenties. Last time he went inside was 1990. Ah, but we compromise in marriage, so anniversary at Disney, kids in the park with my grandson and me in the hotel waiting for my husband to return from his "rummy"(that's what I call his old friends from college) lunch. The first college he graduate Fullerton Community College. Never let anyone tell you, you can't build a future starting in community college. My husband had an amazing career and there is no Ivy League seal on any of his degrees.
This morning we took a long walk on Main Street Disney outside the park, just watching families, then having breakfast burritos on a restaurant outdoor patio. And I'll confess now, Bloody Marys, too, at 7a.m. but heck we're on vacation right.
I see myself as those younger women racing toward the park trying to keep up with their children. But that's not who I am any more. I came face to face with that when I bumped into our kids going into the part as we were leaving the Main Street area. For a second I looked at my daughter Tracy, and went, oh damn, that's her not me, not a mirror but my girl all grown up, before she raced off after baby hugs before he disappeared into trouble.
The experience of this week has left me overly emotional and overly introspective. Somewhere along the way I stopped being who I see in my head and I got...more mature...slightly seasoned...OK, hell I got old. This week has made me think of the prologue in The Girl in the Comfortable Quiet. I am the girl in the comfortable quiet these days. The one who sits back and watches as life happens around her.
Copyright © 2015 Susan Ward
The older I get the less I feel a part of my own story. I don’t think that is unique or strange for a woman in her forties. I hear it all the time from my girlfriends, how they slowly disappear and get lost in their marriages, their children or their careers. I don’t know if that is what’s happened to me. I don’t like to overly analyze it. I am quieter now and I savor the quiet in me.
I watch more sunrises and I stir the pot less. I’ve learned that things happen around me, because of me, and to me, and there is not much you can do or really have any true understanding of which kind of event each is. I breath, I watch the sunrise, I love, and I cherish my tokens and my tears, kissing them both thankfully for they both are a part of me, bringing me here to where it is comfortable to be less a part of my own story.
As badly as I have done many parts of my life, it was never because I didn’t love. The old cookie tin in the closet holds both my love and my regrets.
I pull out my tokens and tears one by one and I stare at them, these pieces of meaningless nothing to others that are markers of the milestones of me.
It is good, very, very good that none of us can truly see the future. It is good for all of us that the future, no matter what we see, is really black. I could not see the future, a heartbreaking and frightening thing, at eighteen. I can’t see it at forty-two, now a comfortable and quiet thing.
I listen to my family return to the house, bags being dropped, children running the halls looking for me. This is my life, the core, the everything that is me. It is a perfect place for me to step back, enjoy living, and be less part of my own story.
It is peaceful to be in that place where the most significant parts of your life are not the parts you actively live on your own. They are the parts shared with you, the part of others you try to mend, the moments you are no part of and yet the catalyst for them to have been.
I sit back in the quiet and I let life, even my own, happen around me, where it is comfortable...
Copyright © 2015 Susan Ward
And as I finish my next "Girl" book, The Girl in the Mirror, I sit in the quiet and watch my own girls and my life happening around me.
As ever I wish you Peace.