Carpe Diem–Today is My Day

Carpe Diem—Today Is My Day

So many people spend their lives in quiet desperation thinking one day….some day. I was no different and at times I am still stuck in the rut of day -to -day responsibilities and routines. Mired in the frenetic pace and wanting more, never quite reaching that elusive some day is exactly where I was when Phil was killed. I was happy sitting on the sidelines waiting, but I knew something was missing for me and for my life. Waiting is the sum of what I was doing. I spent my life waiting for what was within my realistic reach.

When Phil married me, he married a family. We were too poor to have magical vacations or meals out without our children. Our fun was family fun. There was no point wanting what we couldn’t afford, but when we finally reached that place where we could have vacations together, we were stuck. We were stuck in the one day we will….one day we will go to Venice. One day we will have the honeymoon we never took. One day…. but Phil’s days ended long before anyone could have thought and the opportunity to live that dream is gone.

Phil’s death ended every dream I had for my future and for the future I envisioned with the two of us.  Phil’s death ended the opportunity for the one day, some day. My dreams were largely centered around the two of us. At first, this broken assumptive view gave way to an darkness colder than the darkest night. Langston Hughes wrote: “Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” With no dreams, I was the walking corpse. What was there to work for, get me through the day for, to live for?

Part of learning to live again and to live without my Phil, has been the will to dream and hope again. A person without hope has nothing to get up for in the morning. One of the hardest aspects of this shift in my paradigm of living my life is exactly that. I spent my days from the time I was 21 and became a mother for the first time, dreaming for others. I didn’t consider what I wanted. Other than running, my eyes were focused on survival and that proverbial thought of “one day when we are retired.” Developing new dreams when one stands alone is difficult at best because with whom does one share the struggle to reach the dream or the laughter and peace when the dream is lived? This struggle is ongoing, but as part of my living life, loving life, and my thumbing my nose at Phil’s assassin, I simply must dream again.

I have three simple dreams. The first is to watch all of my children married and happy. A parent worries and a parent wants better for their children. I am no different. I have little control over this dream, thus I must quietly wait and hope.

The second dream is the dream of running The Great Wall of China Marathon. That dream is within my grasp. May 2016 is my projected date. Yes, there are other ways I could spend my money, and yes perhaps there will be less painful ways to go to China, but my dream includes running. Yesterday, I signed up for the travel agency’s newsletter to remind me when I can act on my dream. To make a dream come true, action is required. Hard work is necessary.

The last dream is the most difficult of all and perhaps it will never happen because it involves being vulnerable, opening myself up, and letting go of what was once was. While my dreams of the future shattered with Phil’s death, Phil’s death gave way to dreaming of a different future. While I would give anything to have Phil back, that will never happen. The dream involves learning to love again and establishing a future with another person. It is terrifying and this dream seems far beyond my reach. I don’t even know if it is feasible, but I do know that if I do not reach for this dream, I have limited myself. I have let the assassin rob me of life.

I don’t know where to start on working for this dream. I do know that I have made decisions about online dating. I can’t do it. Realistic reaching for my dream includes being open to other methods of meeting people. It is breath taking to even imagine a future with someone other than Phil, but I know that it would crush Phil if I stopped living and loving because of his death. He would want this for me. How do I know? He told me so in our last face to face conversation. I have written about this before, but Phil wanted to have the what if conversation before he left. I wanted nothing to do with the conversation and I made jokes about Raul the pool boy. I do not have a pool, nor do I know any Raul’s. He stopped me in my tracks with one simple question that still takes my breath away. “Linda, would you want me to be happy again if you died first?” Why yes, yes, I would.

On that conversation, I breathe through the fear and I have opened myself up to the hope of somebody to laugh with and to live life with some day. Some day, one day. This dream is easier said than done, but as part of living my dreams, I am reaching. I no longer sit in quiet complacency. I act on the dreams that I have the power to achieve and when I reach my dreams, I find more. I am no longer the broken winged bird that cannot fly. Some day, one day is today.

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