Compared to my life ten years ago, I am not living the good life; I am living the fabulous life. All my basic needs are covered, and I’m not worrying about paying the rent, where my next meal is coming from, or if I can put enough gas in the car to get me back and forth to work until my next paycheck. As a matter of fact, I don’t even work; I’m “retired.”
Believing that having food on the table and a roof over your head are grand, that having the basic necessities is lucky, and that life is a good thing is probably why I haven’t quite recovered from not feeling that way in the past. It’s just too good to...believe? last? be taken for granted?
“Remember when you were a little kid and your parents would take you for a ride...you’d drive past unfamiliar woods and be terrified that they were going to leave you there?” Sometimes when I’d be in a group of people reminiscing about their childhoods and their childhood fears, I’d ask that question. The answer was always “no,” and their expressions usually disbelief. How does a five-year-old develop such a fear of abandonment? That fear has been a constant companion, and refuses to recognize it’s no longer needed. I grew up thinking that all kids felt that way. My parents were middle class when being middle class was a positive thing. Spiritually, however, and emotionally we were poor.
That poverty is no longer a part of my life. I have a satisfying, if sometimes difficult, spiritual life. My personal life is so fulfilling that if I were any happier I’d probably be under suspicion. I’ve somehow adopted the attitude that the past is a room best left closed. Along with that and not caring what others think of me, I’ve pretty much attained my peace.
So why all the complaining? I have smoothly sailed into my sixties; my life is better than it was going into my fifties, forties, thirties, and twenties. Truly, my life for the past ten years has been a dream realized. I don’t just know this intellectually, I know it with every part of my being. Maybe I have to complain about aging — oops, I mean maturing — because there was always some threat in my life and, though there isn’t now, I’m staying in practice in case one shows up. Some part of me cannot accept that my life is golden, not just golden-aged.