I am in the middle of a reflective period of my life once more. Every so often I start mulling over who and what I am, what I have or have not accomplished in my life and what purpose I might still serve.
I wonder if others do this. At 52, shouldn’t I have the pleasure of saying that I did all I could, that I have no regrets, that I fulfilled every goal, that my life is pretty much complete.
Yet, once again this morning my life feels somewhat wasted. I feel that I have something more to give, that I can make a difference somewhere. I remember thinking early in my career that I was making a difference in people’s lives. I don’t feel that way anymore. I haven’t for a long time and should have ended this career years ago. But old habits die hard, and it is nice to bring home a regular paycheck. I felt more fulfilled in a second career, many years ago. But then, my children were my true passion and that career began to interfere with my being a mom. At least I believed it interfered too much and I gave it up.
My children are raised. I know I was successful as a mom and wouldn’t change anything I gave up to be the mom I wanted to be. I did make a difference in their lives and it’s evident in their decisions, attitudes, and goals as adults. I am not a constant presence for them anymore, yet certainly still a consistent presence. If they really need me, they ask, but I know and they know that they were raised with the ability and self-confidence to make good choices and decisions. I am simply a sounding board at this point.
So what does one do with a deep-seated need to be involved, be needed, be useful and give to others. How does one use their skills, intelligence, leadership ability and interests in our human condition to find purpose. Writing this I seem to sound like a 20-something who has no clue what to do with their life. I kind of expect that from a 20-something. I’m not sure it’s ok to expect that of a 50-something.
I also don’t want to be a 60-something and feel like I am still searching.