Some days require a little more reflection than others.
Birthdays, graduations, weddings, funerals, anniversaries, new years, and holidays distinguish themselves from ordinary days not just by the rituals we perform around them but by the awareness and consciousness we bring to them.
Today is one of those days for me. As I sit here in my birthday shoes (yes, Bob knows a pair of leopard print Danskos is the perfect gift) reflecting upon my life so far, I am overwhelmed with gratitude not just for all the good that has come my way, but for the grace that got me through the not so good.
Let’s face it, no story worth telling is without a puzzling plot, an intriguing setting, numerous conflicts, engaging characters, a nasty nemesis, and an unlikely hero.
If Shakespeare is correct and all the world’s a stage and men and women are merely players with their own exits and entrances and many parts, then I for one, would like to play my parts with gusto. Whether this day calls for a leading or supporting role in a comedy, tragedy, drama, or romance, I want to research my role with sheer abandon.
A couple of years ago I met this gorgeous Scotsman on an Alaskan cruise. He happened to be part of the talent team so I was one of many who fell instantly in love/lust with the guitar man. Night after night I’d trot myself up to the lounge to listen to this guy sing to me (and admittedly a few others).
The night my niece and nephew went with me to whale watch as we listened, they pointed out that the Great Scot was looking at me as much as I was looking at him. I passed this off as merely being the only one on deck who was in his age range and not using a walker.
On the final night with nothing to lose, I approached him under the guise of needing some insider information on the entertainment business for my blog. It was one of those inevitable yet equally impossible encounters. I’d waited a lifetime to meet someone I’d only get to know for a few hours. I could now draw upon this experience to play the part of Rose in the Titanic.
We talked about the creative life, the plight of the artist, being on the road, turning fifty, and at last, our mutual admiration. Then the clock struck three and since the ship would set sail at six without me, this fairy tale ended as abruptly as it began.
I think part of what happens when we fall for someone else is we actually fall in love with ourselves again. In presenting all that is stunning and entrancing about our character it is alarming how charming we begin to feel. No wonder we hardly can believe we’re real. For a brief interlude we lose track of the daily litany of our self-improvement causes and just love and let ourselves be loved in return.
When I returned to reality, grateful that my ship had not sunk or otherwise been detained in the middle of the ocean without food, drink, or bathroom facilities, I realized I had been looking for love in all the wrong places.
A real love story would require a person be present to win. As unlikely as that seemed given my age, location, job, general aversion to being social or using a dating website, I got lucky.
Enter Bob, stage left. A new role begins.
Because I am living proof that love can happen at midlife, I’m tossing around the idea of adding another aspect to Midlife MacGyver for all my friends who are suddenly single at midlife by choice or by circumstance.
Midlife Ms. Match might be the new addition. Interested? If so, let me know. We’ll swap stories and and see what kind of community we can create.