Thursday, September 27, 2012

On Being Present

I am 38 years old.

I am going through a mid-life crisis.

Mountain Man is too.

There is total upheaval.

Things we thought that were, simply, are not.

We are standing on a precipice, not leaning over at all, but the toes on our exposed feet are gripping the edge.

The wind is howling all around us, and clinging to our legs are our children and family of friends. We are gripping each other and to all of them tightly, knowing that before the shift comes a time of gripping onto the past.

In front of us lives the future, and behind us, spread out like a picnic quilt, lies the past. Our past together, and our separate pasts. Each memory a square of joy, or beauty, or pain or longing. But we aren't looking back. We are facing forward, each of us holding up to our eye a straw. You know, the kind you drink soda through.

As I look through my straw, all I can see is the teeniest, tiniest view of what is to come.
It does not comfort me.
But I believe that my view is the entire world--and to me it is.

Mountain Man is peeking though his straw too. He can't see much either, but from time to time we break from straw gazing and look at each other and smile, trying to reassure and convince one another that the view is magnificent.

Magnificent, I tell you.

Like looking through a glass, darkly.

Really, we can't see the future.
And the past is, well....past.

When we remove the straws from our eyes we are free to look into each other's eyes, hear our hearts beating wildly, and feel our children clinging to us. Because I stop trying to look through that little straw to glimpse a future that I cannot see, my hands are now free. As they drop to my sides, they are immediately lifted up by our friends.

With their reassuring comfort of hands and words, this mid-life upheaval is turning into something.

What, I do not know.
But I do know this: I am doing my best.

And Mountain Man is too.

And we are looking at each other, trying not to look back too much, but from time to time we straw-gaze, and that's o.k.
But mostly, we are listening to our hearts beating wildly for each other...and it's good to hear.

After all, amid the crisis and confusion, the wild wind howling around us, all we really have is right now. And now feels like laughter and children and friends and love and change and change and change.

And I'm feeling.
And listening.
And breathing,
                   and breathing,
                                     and breathing...doing my best to be present.

How do you focus on the present? 


  1. Lisa, that is beautiful. Scary not to know the future, but not so scary because your future is standing right beside you, grasping your hand. And thank goodness for that special circle of friends holding onto you so you don't fall. You are blessed.

    1. I feel blessed. Amazing grace is all around!

  2. Beautifully expressed! Thank you for sharing

  3. When I was 38, I felt like I was finally recognizing myself, coming into my own. My own hubby/book consumer and I are still holding hands. I would be lost without him.

    This was a lovely lovely post.

  4. Lisa, Lisa, Lisa. You write like the very wind. Only good things will come to you when there is so much love.

  5. That's me, Cathy in Muskoka, by the way. oxoxo

  6. My crisis started about six months ago at 42.5 buti have not been able to put it so eloquently..this is beautiful and heart tugging!

  7. you got this. Mountain man has it too. and more than anyone, your kids got this. xoxox

    1. Thank you for standing with us my darling, darling friend...

  8. i must admit i am past mid-life and it's crises - from my 62 year perspective i now believe more and more that there is nothing to fear but fear itself - as long as you are loving yourself as you, and my dear mountain man is loving himself as he is, and your marvelous children are with you for a while yet, you can only move forward in grace - for all there was, is, or ever will be is love - the rest is just separation anxiety fueled by fear that we could possibly ever be separate from the creator - and there never was, or ever will be such a separation - I AM THAT I AM - and i love you so dearly

    1. Just beautiful, Aunt Lynette. Beautiful.

  9. I am walking your road, and thank you for capturing it all so perfectly.

  10. Wow! Lisa what a great piece! It gets down to wanting what you have instead of just having what you want. It seems like you've built a really great life and found a solid partner to enjoy it with.

  11. Passando em breve visita e quero lhe dizer que adorei o seu blog; que Deus esteja contigo nessa "CRISE DE MEIA IDADE" Paz e prosperidade... Aqui deixo o meu blog, se quiser faz-me uma visita, espero que vocĂȘ goste...

  12. Hey Lisa,
    Hope you are doing fine. I loved this post. Sometimes change is for the best!