What is the Meaning of Life?

29 Mar

blogwaterpark

I’m not sure if it was my mother’s death that prompted it, or perhaps being on the wrong side of 45, but I make no secret about that fact that I am experiencing a severe mid-life crisis.  It’s not just the fact that I am wearing powder blue eye shadow like its 1975, or that I bought a snappy little convertible Audi (red, of course) or that I have re-discovered the push up bra.  While those things are obvious (and pathetically cliché) in all seriousness,I have also found myself searching to live a more  thoughtful life.  As the mother of young children who is often tossed back and forth in a sea of banal household routines (lunches, laundry, drop off, pick up), sheer utter chaos (9pm Sunday night someone announces they need 17 egg-shaped, nut free, homemade sandwich cookies to contribute to snack tomorrow) and extreme forms of torture (ever step on a lego during a midnight bath room trip??), it is easy to reel in the years on auto pilot, doing but not seeing, acting but not feeling, living but not aware.  I’ve been making a true effort to absorb more of every thing around me, live vividly (thus the blue eyeshadow, perhaps?????) and really be thoughtful of what is happening instead of just being in robot survival mode.  Not easy, but I’m trying.

This week for spring break, my friend Sheila Castellano and I took a last-minute road trip to New Hampshire for a mini vacation. Five kids in tow, we decided to hit an indoor water park. The kids were thrilled, and we were stoked to see they served booze so we could enjoy an adult cocktail while the darlings splashed about. The day was exhausting.  4 flights of stairs up and down for the water slides, (helloooo, I’m 47 years old!) running here, running there,  swimming, jumping, following the little darlings everywhere with scarcely a time to enjoy a cocktail or the grotto like hot tub provided for adults. I’m not going to talk about how one kid almost broke a nose, or how one dropped a deuce in her swimsuit, or the other that had to be rescued by a life guard, but  I do want to share  a moment of clarity I  had, in an unlikely place.

The girls favorite part of the water park was the wave pool. Graded like a beach, every 10 minutes or so a horn would blast warning its occupants that the pool would simulate the breakers of the ocean. Pulling you in, spitting you out, back and forth, being tossed around, the girls would squeal with delight the minute the horn sounded, and run for the “shoreline”. I had just sat down after 8 or 9 consecutive trips up the stairs with an inner tube on my balanced on my head, my thighs were throbbing like jello.  I was about to order a glass of wine, when they scampered up to me, each grabbing a hand, begging me and dragging me towards the man-made shore.  I begrudgingly hauled myself up on my still shaky hamstrings, and hobbled in. The waves started and they each held on to my hand, jumping and howling with glee. As the intensity of the waves grew, we got drawn in deeper, and they clambered closer  to me, eventually climbing me like a water-logged tree trunk. One little strawberry blonde, slippery, meatball in each arm, they held on to me for dear life as we were tossed about  in water up to our shoulders.  My legs ached with the burn of 1000 stairmasters, while one of them grabbed my ponytail like the reigns of a horse, and the other dug her toes into my hipbone, as if it were a rung on the ladder of her own fleshy tree-house.  I was standing there praying for it to be over, when I remembered my promise to be more mindful. Instead of waiting out the torture, I stopped, took a deep breath and FELT what was happening. In my right arm, the little one moved in and grabbed my cheek, planting a wet kiss on me while laughing and squirming with delight.  At my left, the big one was yelling “More! More!” and was beaming the most genuine, delightful grin. They giggled and chuckled in my ear, and it was a moment of pure joy and childhood elation.  As I watched the girls in their delighted state of euphoria, a warmth spread inside of me. Like a  slow-moving wave, I felt my affection for them grow inside of me, and just for a moment life shifted into slow motion, and time stood still.  I saw them in all their innocent splendor, the joy they felt just “being”, and my love for them exploded. Something clicked and for the first time in my life I was AWARE of what unconditional love felt like. Just pure 100 percent love. Not love because you expect love back. Not love fuel by sex. Or money, or power, need, or reciprocation. Not a desire to fill a void left by my own childhood, or to make up for what I never had.  Just unfiltered love.  Not loved tinged by fear: fear of the unknown, fear of uncertainty, or mistrust, or of being alone or what is going to happen when it ends.  Genuine, unadulterated, 100 percent pure love. Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved them, but that love was over shadowed by other emotions too – at their birth there was also wonder, fear of the unknown, worry about health etc.   Even though it runs in the background,   love get swallowed up by daily activities, and  is overshadowed by responsibility.  But at that  moment  love came shining thru in the foreground, and everything else stopped.  The ache in my hip. the pull of my hair, my weariness took a back seat. Warmth, and gratitude came rushing at me as the clock stopped ticking, stars smiled at me, and something spiritual tapped in. At that moment I was grateful for every choice I had made that led me to these children. And in the middle of the White Mountain Valley of New Hampshire, in a 2nd rate water park  at 47 years old, I felt blessed and God spoke to me and said, “This my dear, is the meaning of your life”.

Amen.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to give up my Sephora addiction any time soon, but I can promise you this: I’m going to take more deep breaths, live a vivid life and just FEEL things more often. I hope you do too.

Thanks for reading and thank you to all that repost this on facebook or share the link with friends. xoxoxox

Copyright 2013 livelaughloveliquor

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18 Responses to “What is the Meaning of Life?”

  1. elroyjones March 29, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    Life would be so much better if we would all remember to stop, at least once a day, and absorb the moment.

  2. walkingpapers March 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Very nice reminder. And super timely for me, as I just lost my own mom. Ouch. When does that stop feeling like a ton of bricks?
    Good luck with rest of mid-life crisis!

    • livelaughloveliquor March 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

      I’m so sorry for you loss. I want to lie to you and say it will stop feeling like a ton of bricks, but it doesnt. it just stops feeling that way on a DAILY basis. big hugs. reach out to me if you ever need to talk about it.

  3. Lisa Boucher Cabral March 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Love this, Christine. I’m happy you had this moment of clarity, especially in THAT moment. Mine usually come when my little guy is sleeping. LOL!! 🙂

    • livelaughloveliquor March 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      yup. favorite time is when they sleep. love ya lisa, sorry we couldnt meet up this week. xoxoxox

  4. Dana March 29, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    What a gorgeous post. I’m embarking on my own commitment to FEEL and DO things instead of always just THINKING about feeling and doing things. I hope you get to experience many, many more moments of unadulterated love, joy, happiness, and BEING.

    • livelaughloveliquor March 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

      thanks dana! It takes some practice but the pay off is BIG. Best of luck on your embarkment as well. xoxo

  5. Melissa Sully Watters March 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    Love this Christine! You are a magnificent writer. If you haven’t read “One Thousand Gifts” yet (Ann Voskamp), you should, I bet you would love it!

  6. Julia March 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    I too lost my mother on Feb 9th this year. I know I should be grief-stricken, but I’m actually at peace; she had dementia/alzheimer’s and was 80 yrs. old, living in a nursing home at the time. She lived a very full, productive life until the “disease” hit her about 6-7 years ago. She only knew the “love” of ONE man, our dad who’s 40th anniversary of the year he passed will be in July. They had eight children! It was so joyful to me to realize that she was going to be “in heaven”, if you’re a believer of such a place, reunited with the LOVE OF HER LIFE, for eternity! Now, one can think, “oh, I’m so sad, I don’t have parents to talk to or to go visit…..yateh, yateh, yateh”. Look, in life there are two things for certain, 1) you will live for awhile, 2) you have an expiration date, you’re gonna die! However, the undeniable fact is this: What you do, how you feel, about your life ~ Is entirely in your control, yes it is…..don’t argue the point. We all have choices, albeit sometimes we feel backed into a corner, forcing us to do things we don’t want, or have never done before. Life isn’t supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to be hard work, you are making decisions every day that not only affect you, but the people in your inner circle: family, friends, strangers even. HOW YOU CHOOSE IS WHAT MATTERS, and what ends up affecting others around you. Make wise, thoughtful choices, reap the rewards of those choices. Make the wrong decision, be prepared to endure the consequences. Joy is earned as a reward for having made a better choice. This wisdom comes from a lifetime of making tons of mistakes, and learning how to do things the right way to avoid the dreadful outcome of being stupid, especially when you know better!!! Unfortunately, I find more clarity the older I get…so fret not, Epiphanies should not be ignored, because that moment of clarity you have been given is a gift, and a proverbial smack in the head, sent to you to wake up and pay attention. You are supposed to absorb the knowledge from this “heaven sent clarity” and change that which was meant to change. In your case, it was merely your outlook, to view your circumstance differently. Once you did, your reward was that euphoric feeling of love. Do not fear aging, 45 is just a damn number. How you feel – energy levels wane, unless YOU do something about that, and you KNOW what that is! Aches & pains come with ageing (yes this is acceptible spelling), did you think that this ole frame was gonna stay as elastic, resilient, & flexible as a childs ~ but you KNOW what to do. Denial of one’s mortality is plain foolishness. Rejoice in the things you DO have, & look forward to the uncertainty of aging (also acceptible form of spelling!)….think of each milestone as a NEW ADVENTURE ~ & with your witty perspective, I know you’ll get the last laugh, I BELIEVE!!!
    A dedicated for life FAN!!! Love you momma!

  7. Barbara Rieger March 29, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Christine, I couldn’t resist and did click to the left where you said “Pretty please.” After I posted you a long reply on your wall, I just read all your responses after your blog. I want to make a little comment. The photo of you and your Darling Daughters should be on the cover of a magazine. Thank You for sharing and taking the time out of your already busy life to bring so much to others through your writings.

  8. She's a Maineiac March 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    Loved every bit of this post. I’m finding it easier to let all the other stuff go and just BE here and now, free to really feel emotions and savor the moment. I’ve meditated for years and this has changed my life and how I view things in so many ways. I hope you continue to find that peace of mind. Blessings to you and your family.

  9. madamestyx March 30, 2013 at 3:51 am #

    Loved this post! At 45 all I can think is how the heck do you have energy for little ones! Mine is 13 and thanks for the reminder that I need to enjoy him even more while I have him with me.

  10. chef mimi March 30, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    What a beautiful post. I hope more young moms read this. Seriously important to get. Congratulations!

  11. Sabrina March 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Always funny, always worth waiting for and always inspirational, likely in ways you don’t even realize! Thank you for all of this!

  12. My Parents Are Crazier Than Yours March 31, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    Blue eye shadow like it’s 1975!!!!!!! Please write more.

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