The story of my recent life. I like that phrase. It makes more sense than “the story of my life,” because we get so many lives between birth and death. A life to be a child. A life to come of age. A life to wander, to settle, to fall in love, to parent, to test our promise, to realize our mortality- and in some lucky cases, to do something after that realization. ~Mitch Albom
I am approaching 47. This weekend we lost Whitney Houston. She was 48. In the last few months it seems more and more of the people I knew in my youth have slipped the leash of this life and moved on to whatever is next. Some, like Steve Jobs, will be remembered for their impact on the world. Others, like Whitney, will have their soaring vocals played back by someone, somewhere, for as long as there are humans. But those I will carry with me for the rest of my days are the ones who held a place in my heart, who impacted my life and my family in real and personal ways. Last month we lost my big cub’s preschool teacher to a stroke. She loved my boy hard. A cancer survivor, she inspired me with her unyielding love of life and her unfailing love of all the children in her care. Most every day you can still go to her facebook page and see that a friend is missing her.
So now you’re thinking, why are you walking this dark path? Recent events have me thinking about what each of us must do with our time together and how we will be remembered. Those that know me well have heard me say, only half-jokingly, that I am deep into a mid-life crisis. What started at 40 as the feeling of time slipping through my fingers like water is finally trickling to a halt almost 7 years later. My last grab at youth has evolved into the realization, deep in my bones, that everything is going to be all right. I don’t need to live a hundred miles an hour in order to be happy. I just have to find the happiness in every mile.
So wherever you are in your recent life, coming of age, wandering, falling in love, parenting, testing your promise, or like me, coming to grips with mortality, I hope you will love this place you are in and find joy and contentment. Because whether you know it or not, every cup of coffee or meal we share, every mile we ride, every lap we swim, and every terrible rendition of karaoke you get me sing stamps itself onto my heart. You are my blessings and a small part of me is the time we spend together on this journey. Your strength becomes mine. With every mile you teach me and every person in your life what it means to be strong and determined. This is the value of this crazy, beautiful, difficult triathlon journey. Your children, your spouses, your parents, and your friends all see the amazing woman you are. And it is this strength and your kindness that I see when I look at you. For me, this is your legacy.
I am simply looking for a companion with whom to spend my days, a companion who will cherish as much as I the stupidity of living in the moment, and spend every dull, amazing second with me. ~Heidi Julavits
Train safely, stretch, eat well, hydrate, sleep.
Safe journey. Wind at your back.