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Everything We Have Is Everything We Need

April 18, 2013

Everything we have is everything we need. Dorothy SanderTwenty years ago, when we bought our house, I had no intentions whatsoever to settle in and call it my forevermore home. It was not my dream home, but a step along my planned path to a more perfect destination. We bought the house because it was a good financial move and afforded our children the opportunity to go to better schools.

My husband and I were knee deep in the home improvement business and had energy and enthusiasm to spare for fixer uppers. This was the perfect fixer upper. We could see the potential in every corner. It had great curb appeal, decent neighborhood, and most importantly, it was structurally as solid as a rock. Little did I know the path our lives would take thereafter.

Life is rarely what we expect it to be if we are living with any creativity. That’s putting a positive spin on things.  One could just as easily say life is rarely what we expect it to be when we are living with blinders on. Both are equally true, both are equally important.

Up until the time I turned fifty, I believed that I could make anything happen if I wanted it enough. If I worked hard, did all of the right things and made good choices, the world was my oyster. What I have come to discover as age begins to provide a new lens on the past, is that it is our unintentional beliefs that guide much of our choices, the beliefs that lurk in the shadows and that we refuse to allow to come into our consciousness. Sometimes these beliefs are positive and sometimes not so much.

My parenting style was driven by those things that were missing in my own childhood. In spite of considering myself “self-aware” at the time, I had no real comprehension of the power that these hidden beliefs had over me. What I experienced were vague convictions such as “I will pay attention to my children and listen to what they have to say. I will be there for them when they need me.” I did not want my children to suffer the loneliness and isolation that I had experienced as a child, but because I did not dig deeply into that injured place within me and heal myself, my dealings with my children were out of whack. As a result, I sometimes feel that I instilled more fear in them than is healthy or desirable. Had I been more conscious of the nature of my own issues I might have been able to provide them with more balanced guidance.

We are very imperfect creatures and I no longer harbor excessive guilt for my blindness or my children’s shortcomings. They are living out their destiny just as I have been blessed to live out mine. I also no longer long for a dream house. Where I am is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Our home has given us everything we need, and then some. It was affordable through all of the ups and downs of our vagrant economy, it provided stability for my children as they faced the uncertainties of a chaotic world, it is in my favorite part of town both topographically and in proximity to the crazy, busy part of town. We have enough land for me to garden, enough sun for flowers to bloom (and for me to stay sane), a few good neighbors, no home owner’s association to drive us crazy, and minimal crime.  Time has paid us back in spades as perennials multiply and trees grow tall. When once I was dragging home plants by the trunk load, I now give away more than I buy.

The older I get the more I realize I have everything I need, and then some. Time and age, if we embrace them, will give us a perspective that is both rich and beautifully simple.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2013 4:58 pm

    Grateful and age are strong partners. Thanks for your lovely post.

  2. Yvonne Sheccoury permalink
    April 19, 2013 3:04 am

    Thanks for your post and very wise insight, I truly agree wholeheartedly with you. All the best and happy gardening.

  3. De De permalink
    April 19, 2013 9:34 am

    Very beautifully put! I agree with you wholeheartedly, and feel the same way. Age has a way of explaining the things of life that nothing else will do. I enjoyed your post!

  4. April 19, 2013 3:21 pm

    Thank you ladies! I’m so glad you took the time to leave your thoughts. I appreciate them and you.

  5. April 23, 2013 10:59 pm

    Another awesome & thought-provoking post, Dorothy! Age is the time for appreciation and simplification. I love sharing the path with you, even if it’s only a virtual one.

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  1. Things that Make Me Feel Rich….No Matter the Size of My Bank Account | Aging Abundantly | Women Over Fifty | Empty Nesters | Caregivers | Aging Gracefully

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