Yesterday I was in a lunch meeting with a small group of ladies. Lunch was good. Siena, who played host in her condo home, laid down on her elegant table delicious meals to everyone’s delight and palate. I went through my lunch leisurely enjoying every bite as chatter carried on non-stop with the ladies. I was halfway through my favorite pasta when I sensed talk slowed down. I looked up to see Marcia taking center stage. She sounded serious as she talked. Oh boy, I thought, this isn’t going to be good. I expected a light and fun moment with the group but it wasn’t turning out that way now with Marcia. Yet after seeing the serious attention she was getting from the ladies, I decided to listen too. And so I bid my pasta bye!
Marcia is pretty, intelligent, in her mid-fifties, now retired from a banking career held for fifteen years. Her children are now all grown and living their separate lives. Husband doesn’t hold a regular paying job and close to his own retirement, too, but finds things to do with his set of business friends. Let these suffice to introduce the person, Marcia.
Let’s hear what she has to say.
“My marriage has crumbled. There’s nothing there to save. At my age and at this point in time, I don’t see options either. Something inside of me died, too. As a result, life has ceased to hold joy or pleasure for me. So much hurt and pain has snuffed out the fire in me and all that I feel is a void--emptiness. So I simply ‘existed’. I have wrestled with anger, bitterness, and self-pity--hating everyone and everything. I stayed away from our meetings those times because I didn’t want to be around people at all. I did consider ‘out’ or ‘escape’ –to run away from it all. But, ladies, I’m here to talk neither about my husband nor about the marriage in detail nor blame anyone or anything for things gone badly. No, I’m not going to heap on you my miseries and woes. So rest easy. I have something else to say to you – something much better which I hope you will grasp and understand. So listen well.
Bad things happen as it always does, but it should not be allowed to ‘destroy’ us. No matter how bad life is to you, you shouldn’t let anything or anyone snuff out the ‘spark’ within you. The world and life doesn’t end with one failure or mistake or a series of failures and mistakes.There is so much more life has to offer to the person who gets the courage to stand up after a fall and even after every fall if necessary. I was dead, now I’m alive---- because I have decided to get my life back! No, the marriage is as bad as ever and I don’t even know how it is going to end. Like I’ve said it’s beyond saving. But I am saved! That’s important.
So here I am with you now— with people I care about, enjoying this sumptuous meal, admiring the lovely day outside our window, and doing special things for myself. I’ve enrolled in an art school. Surprised huh? I’ve always loved to paint and draw but never gave it time or attention. And next week, I’m going on a trip to Singapore with my youngest daughter. We’re going to take in the sights and have a lovely time together. When I get back I’m going to work on a joint project with my professor for a drawing competition on campus. All these and more thrills me no end. It’s like I’m seeing the world with fresh new eyes and appreciating life like I’ve never done before—even much better now.
This is what I mean by getting your life back. If you don’t have happiness, then go out and get it. Draw from your inner resources. Strength is there when you need it. You only have to dig deep into yourself—into your heart. There’s so much in there God has placed to help you through the difficult stuff and bad times. Seek it within you and bring it out to the fore. You can do it; you deserve to be happy. Stretch your hand out to the stars and pluck out one or several for yourself. Leave your comfort zones behind you for they serve no purpose but drag you down or keep you in the mud. Be generous and kind to yourself – love yourself for that is where it should begin. Pray for courage to change what can be changed; leave to God’s hands what can’t—and have the wisdom to know the difference.
So this is me now. Come to think of it, on second thought, maybe I have so much to thank my bad marriage after all.“ To this Marcia laughed heartily-- the joy and music of her laughter filled the room and too our hearts. Here was one lady who knew how to live. Well, I was wrong-- this meeting turned out so good, in fact, the best ever! Oh of course, I got me another plate of Siena's scrumptious pasta! :-)
posted on Thursday, January 19, 2006 3:08 PM