Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Wrong Map

There are days when I think that I must have taken a wrong turn in my life. I think that somewhere, somehow, the map I was given was the wrong one; that when Life Maps were handed out, the file clerk rather than the cartographer was on duty and I've been given somebody else's map. Sometimes I think that somewhere out there, some woman is leading a glamorous life filled with designer clothes, cocktail parties with A-listers, weekly massages, manicures, and pedicures. And that woman? Sometimes I believe that she got my map.

I find myself frustrated and ungrateful for what I have. I snipe at my husband. I gripe at the children. I crumple my heart into a woe-is-me heap. Surely, I think, this cannot be right. Surely, I think, I was destined for better things, higher things, nobler things. This, I mutter in my head, cannot be IT.

And then, Life catches me and socks me in the gut with its beauty.

"Hey you!" Life yells. "If you were at some A-list cocktail party, you would miss the beauty of walking hand in hand with your daughter. Soon she won't beg to hold your hand. If you were holding court with drinks in hand, your hands would be too full and your mind would be elsewhere. You would miss this."

"Yo, Knucklehead!" Life calls. "You have a man who has loved you faithfully for many years. He loves you deeply, provides for you generously, and would give his life for you. He doesn't care if you are wearing fabulous clothes. He sees you for what you are and he loves you anyway."

"Yoohoo!" Life trills. "Manicures and pedicures are nice, but they don't last. After a couple of weeks, your hands and feet look rough and chipped and you have to start all over again. But look at those children! Now there is some stuff that will last! Sure, sometimes they're aggravating and they drive you to distraction, but they are a legacy. There's some future there. That's the real deal."

"You have IT," Life whispers. "What is better, higher, nobler than being a helpmate and mother? What else could you want? There are plenty of people who would trade places with you in a heartbeat. Yes, things can get messy and loud and out of control. But sometimes there is laughter and hugging and hand-holding and whispered 'I love yous.' Sometimes there is undiluted joy. There may be days when you have to take things moment by moment just to be able to stand. But know this: the messiness of the day-to-day will fade and what will be left is the purity of the love that was shared."

"You have the right map," Life reassures. "You know, the file clerk might have been on duty, but the Cartographer has everything in order. Hang on to that."

I am...

I am.

blog comments powered by Disqus