Humbling Middle-Aged Moments

All we really get are moments. There are happy moments, embarrassing moments, heart breaking moments and moments of incredible joy but it all comes in moments. In between is a lot of hard work. It’s remembering those moments, both the good and the bad that gets us through. When we look back on our lives it is those moments we remember; the sweet moment when someone said “I love you,” the overwhelming moment when we held our newborn child, the moment full of pride when we watched one of our children cross the stage at their graduation. We remember the exact moment when someone broke our heart, or the last moments we held the hand of a dying parent. It is all these moments that make us who we are.

It’s been a few weeks of moments, hasn’t it? Holidays tend to magnify these moments. There was a humbling moment last week.  I’d had a great day at work. Here I was, feeling all metropolitan, crossing the street in front of Paddy Murphy’s on Main, in my new fabulous outfit and sexy high heels, when I slipped on who knows what and landed smack dab in the middle of Main Street, in the rain, just when the light had just changed and none of the cars could go because I was lying in the road, looking for my shoe. Ah yes, humbling moments you just have to laugh at.

Even this was better than the moment a couple years ago, that I woke up alone in my new apartment and the fact that was I middle-aged and unexpectedly divorced hit me in the chest like a sack of flour.

There was a moment on Christmas Eve. My mom, who is 77 now, was reading “The Night before Christmas” to all of my children the same way she has done every year, for over 20 years. I looked around at all my children there with us, all grown safe and sound and home and I just cried silently the rest of the way through the story.

There was the moment at midnight mass when the choir sang “Silent Night” and I felt a peace I hadn’t felt in quite awhile.

There was a moment on Christmas morning when I was making breakfast for mother and all my children. I was remembering all those other mornings when they were growing up, and all the breakfasts, and all the times that were both wonderful and frightening and all that we’ve survived and learned from all these years.

There were the moments Christmas Night when I gathered with a dozen or so friends, new and old, for a non-traditional celebration. We laughed and we ate and we shared stories about all the moments in our lives that lead us to this place and time. I was truly grateful for all the love in my life and all the people that have become a part of it. There was a moment later when I felt rather silly because my friend Judy’s story about our non-traditional Christmas meal came out in the BDN and we all looked rather sad and lonely.  Then I realized it was okay, really, a moment we can look back on and laugh at because we were anything but lonely. In fact, we were all pretty darn good!

This is what life gives us; moments of joy mixed in with moments of challenges. If we can only remember during those hard moments that they will pass, more joy will follow if we can just hold on. Another wonderful moment is right around the corner. Maybe I should wear flats today instead of heels so when that incredible moment comes by I’ll be ready for it.

Karen Foley

About Karen Foley

Karen Foley, has successfully been writing her blog for the BDN since May 2011. By successful, she means a few people read it, and she has not been sued, stalked or fired since starting it.