>MYSTERIOUS WAYS, OR MIDLIFE MESS

>There is a theory that each of us lives exactly the life we choose; our every decision, every action brings us step by step to the place where we stand.  That’s cold if the place where you’re standing doesn’t have much of a view.

*snork* couldn’t resist this one
In the beginning (defined here as 1982), it was just the two of us:  My husband and I were two crazy kids in love, sharing a second-story apartment with four cats of various colors and sizes. Both the dress code and general atmosphere were casual;  there were cookouts and bottles of wine shared on the flat roof outside our living room, we saw the current movies in the theater, bought the current music, and entertained friends on a regular basis. The spare bedroom was lined floor-to-ceiling with bookshelves, and all was good. 
 
Seeing this hedonism, God chose to smite us first with demanding jobs, then with children.  We adapted, we adjusted, and we accepted these new responsibilities with the sincerest desire to make the universe proud.  And once again, all was good.
 
Many, many years later, we find ourselves standing on a precipice.   Below is a life with grown children, retirement benefits, and the chance to uncover long-buried interests to see where they might lead us.  It’s a steep drop– rocky, craggy, and more than a little frightening.  Surprisingly, we arrived here much more quickly than we’d ever dreamed.  My husband and I have the opportunity to redirect our lives at the ages of  57 and 50, and as exciting as that might seem,   I’m just not sure we’re ready.
 
Let’s return to the theory that we each live exactly the life we choose.  Big words like self-determination and motivational theory become important here.  I can’t say I chose everything that’s happened to me in my lifetime; in fact, I remember building barriers against certain outcomes and praying that others wouldn’t come to pass, only to be reminded that we can’t control everything and that God works in mysterious ways.  I’m sure my husband would say the same thing about his circumstances.  And yet we chose each other, and in doing so, we chose to become so densely intertwined that the experiences of one are deeply felt by the other.  In that choice we’ve always found our strength.
 
It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention, but I say sometimes it’s just a real mother.  Call it God working in His mysterious ways or call it a midlife mess, but there’s a lot of reinventing going on around here.  Is it by necessity or by choice?  I’m not sure, but thankfully I’m not alone.
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