This morning, I awoke from a strange dream. I’d dreamt the local fire department was poised outside my last and longest-running childhood home. (I had several childhood homes. Thanks, US Navy.) The house was slated for demolition by (dig this) a bomb. I repeatedly asked the demolition crew to wait a moment, but I couldn’t give them a reason why. Nothing important was inside. My kids were healthy, happy, and safe, wherever they were. I couldn’t see them, but I knew they were okay. Hubster was in the vicinity but I couldn’t see him, either. We spoke by phone and he reassured me all was well and he’d join me shortly. I wanted him with me so I drove around town searching, but could never find him so I went back to the house I haven’t lived in since I was seventeen and told the Fire Chief to, “Wait a minute! Just hold on!” There were people I knew nearby; acquaintances, not friends. All my friends and family were not present but my heart told me they wouldn’t be concerned with this demolition. The acquaintances were seated in lawn chairs to watch the scene unfold, which, of course they were. One doesn’t get the opportunity to watch the Vegas-style implosion of a house in a little ol’ Texas town very often. But my dream never culminated in an explosion. Just me; begging, searching, waiting, watching, wondering. I woke up breathless and sweaty, wrote down the details, prayed about it, and started my day like any other.
Oh, did I mention today’s my birthday? I’m 45. Grateful to be alive but now faced with all the symbolism of that dream and the realization that I have doors to close and so many others yet to open. A new year. A better year. But better than what?
There are folks whose bucket lists include “sky diving” and what not. Yeah, I have cool stuff on my list, too. But mostly? I want to have a perfectly organized closet. I want to get all of my photos into beautiful scrapbooks. I want to read everything on my book list. I want to remodel my house. I want to eat healthy, non-GMO food most of the time rather than some of the time. I want an enormous garden filled with veggies instead of weeds. I want to recycle more often and exercise daily. (Or, ya know…AT ALL.) As for the big things: I feel like if I could just get it together on the Littles, I could make it to the Bigs. Insignificance overwhelms me sometimes. I’m a mom. I’m a wife. I’m a friend. And damn it, I’m a good one in all of those categories. I am. Marriage, motherhood, friendships: Those will always be the greatest accomplishments of my life. However, there’s this underlying frisson of fear that keeps me awake at night and sneaks into my head when I’m idle. It’s like I’m barreling toward death with very little in the “What Lis Accomplished for Herself” column, ya know? I’m a bit afraid of all the unfinished stuff I have and yet I lack the courage to do the stuff. (By the way? “lack the courage” = “am too lazy” ) All the regular stuff of my life is important in the sense that one must do laundry, have supper with the family, go to work, etc. But all of that is just…well…it’s regular.
I have no wrap-up here. No birthday “reassess my life” list. No resolution. Just that dream telling me it’s time to let go of past hurts. Time to quit fretting about my family and friends because I love them, they love me, and that’s all that matters. Time to pay no mind what acquaintances think because they’re just small-town folks sitting in lawn chairs. Time to stop sweating my closet and my never-ending book list.
Time to head to the Bigs.