Tag Archives: musings

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