I’ve seen the movie, “Eat, Pray, Love” – many times in fact. The first time I watched with awe as the main character abruptly decided, I need out. (Now, I’ve only seen the movie, never read the book. I usually find the book more appealing than the movie, but we’ll go with it.) The next time I watched this movie of escape, I wanted to live the experience of suddenly having the means to go, to travel, to search, for a year of my life.
I thought, at the time, I could truly relate!
Ya right, who can really do such a thing? I was a mother of 4, still raising a couple of those kids at home. If I wanted to run and seek some longing I didn’t know I had, I needed to live the first 35 years of my life differently. She wasn’t a mother of four, and she suddenly decided she didn’t want to be married. My decision in marriage was, “how much am I willing to invest in my marriage today?” Some days were better than others.
I’ve learned over the last few years, that our lives weren’t much different than any other. Were there days I would have preferred an airline ticket to Bali? Or pizza in Rome? Of course. Life is hard. Marriage is work, kids are an unending maze of hills and valleys, ups and downs. Add in owning a home, career, the need to keep the kids fed, and paying bills and dealing with education, and you are set up for deep cravings of pizza from somewhere other than Pizza Hut!
But now here we are! It’s a new day. I’m covered in love, on my knees in prayer, and trying to eat better than I did 10 years ago! I will take it in that order too! I’m in search of the ‘me’ that was always here, hiding in the closet, waiting for the door to open and the escape to begin.
I’m not off gallivanting around the world, so where am I?
Well, this past weekend, I went out on my patio. I sat and watched my hard working husband, of 17 years, building a new patio. I helped here and there with small tasks. We talked at times, and other times, we shared the space of silence. I took my mother for a stroll along my mile of beauty-Boulder Creek. For the first time in years, my mom was out hiking! (Health conditions don’t allow her to do this often). I also took advantage of my basement, where it remains cool when the temperatures are near 100. I washed clothes, like I have for most of my life.
Where am I? I’m home. Where I belong.
I didn’t board a plane and go anywhere. I sat right there in my own house, and I feel more relaxed and refreshed than I have in years. Whether I was folding socks or watering the rose bush, I was actively participating in a life that I’m trying to make sense of.
Not actively regretting a life I cry over!
I can’t help but wonder if the character in the movie had children, would that have changed her travel plans? If she had been in her 40’s and not her 30’s, would she still have gone? I am desperate to read the book now. To find something in there that I might understand. At one time, I thought I could relate. Today, after examining my heart, my mind, my priorities and my interests, I know I can’t relate to that particular story at all.
Maybe we all reach a point in life that leaves us unsure, or longing for something more. Maybe we even believe we can fly around the world awhile and all the answers will eventually come. I’d love to travel, but I’d rather go empty of internal conflict and uncertainty. With no offense, I know both scenarios can bring peace.
For me, today, I know my peace is found right where I stand.
For there, God stands with me.
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