I remember getting out of bed in the morning to muscles that didn’t ache and joints that did not crack and pop. I remember being able to see without the thick-lensed glasses I fumble for on my bed stand. I remember not needing a minute to loosen up, my feet screaming from their heel spurs, before I answer my children’s calls from their beds. In fact, I remember the time before children. An actual alarm clock woke me then. If it was not set, I would sleep the morning away.
My body doesn’t rest like that anymore. These past forty-one years have taken their toll. Though I consider myself healthy, I cannot stop the effects of aging…or the trauma of childbearing….or the enduring back, leg, knee, and foot pain after years of running. I imagine carpal tunnel will soon set in with all this writing.
But I don’t live with regret. Life has been abundant. I am amazed by the life that surrounds me: a marriage that grounds me, two healthy children who inspire me, a career that consistently challenges and fulfills me. I have certainly made mistakes in this life. But even the mistakes have fed the abundance for what they have taught. When I took that job where my boss turned crazy and whispered to others of my incompetency, why did I let her whittle away my self-confidence? Why didn’t I quit sooner? I would now. When that boy’s hand found my inner thigh under the table and slowly moved to that place I knew he shouldn’t touch, why was I so surprised? And why didn’t I say “Stop!” I would now. Why did I, in my young rebellion, rage at my mother, tell her I hate her, and push her, hard, away from me? I wouldn’t now. Wisdom has been born from my mistakes. Failure has led to my growth. Abundance gratefully rises above the pains of my past.
Aware of my daughter’s cry, but not yet fully awake, I kick my legs out of the pillows I have used all night for lumbar support. I knock the bed stand and hear my glasses fall to the floor. Bending is a nightmare. My hamstrings are so tight. I can’t see a thing. Swishing my hands like metal detectors along the carpet I search for those damn glasses while my daughter cries and cries. On my knees my body remembers everything, every ache, every jab, every taught tendon. Every one of those forty-one years travels with me as I search. Finally, the tip of my finger catches the ear of my frames and I jump up in triumph. “Mommy! Mommy!” She cries. “Coming! Coming!” I shout in return as I take off towards her bedroom in glad pursuit of the rest of my life.
**This post was written in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge.