I had a dream a few nights ago. The thing about my dreams is I don't usually remember them...so half the time I don't even know if I have them. Sometimes I know I did, but can't remember it. I even pray every night, still, to see Chase in my dream. But nothing, sad to say. I did have a dream, though, that was very .... I don' t know... important. In a figuring-out-life sort of way. I hardly remember the dream at all at this point, but I remember a feeling after waking up of what is important, really important. I feel like our family has been at several crossroads over the last two or three years. Important decisions to be made that could take us down entirely different paths. It seems like when we get past one crossroads only to come upon another not much further down the road. And sometimes, it feels like we could go either right or left and only the toss of the coin could give us better decision making abilities. I think this is true of most, though. If you look back in your life, how different things would be if you had made a different decision at this point or that point. The thing is as we get older, it's not just us we're affecting with those decisions. It's one, two, three or however many mouths you are feeding, too, that you are affecting. That's a little more daunting. Moving is one thing when it's just you and your spouse. But when you have little ones that are following you around and have their own needs and hopes and dreams, it all of a sudden becomes a tougher decision.
That's just an example of choices we make as adults and happens to be a big part of our lives right now. But what I'm talking about is why we are making those decisions. We do what we do to give our children the best life has to offer, right? But sometimes what we find out is that the best life they can have is a happy family with happy parents and if we don't give them the things we wanted so badly to give them, it really is okay. Because what is most important in the end is whether or not we are happy.
We get so caught up into providing sometimes (read: mo' money, mo' money, mo' money) and securing ours and our kids' futures, that it can so easily, SO EASILY, take away from how we live TODAY. Now that I'm typing this, I think what I was dreaming about was my grandfather. He passed away pretty unexpectedly after a routine surgery when he was about 65 (several years ago). I could tell you how wonderful of a person he was and what a special grandpa he was but the point is, he died with in months after he had retired. At the time I didn't think of it like that, but as I am older (and I just ran across some of his things right before I had this dream), that thought hit me like a ton of bricks. He worked his whole life, finally reached retirement age when he was supposed to have 20 years left (at least) to enjoy his life without "working" anymore. But he didn't get to.
I think I'm getting all goofy about age right now because I'm about to turn 40 and have been thinking how I feel. More so, my parents' age. They are reaching their mid-60s and I used to think that the 70s was "ancient". I don't anymore because my parents are near that and my in-laws are in that bracket and they don't fill that description to me anymore! I think about getting older. I think about how we spend our time NOW and what we do. I think about our happiness NOW and our happiness when we are my parents' age. We ask ourselves a lot, "what makes us happy?" and unfortunately, the answer is different for me and him and even the kids. But the reason that it is different is because we are caught up into the "providing" factor (read: what I said earlier--Mo' Money).
My dream made things so clear. My grandpa. Time. Now.
For a moment. And then I look again at the crossroads ahead of us and am just as confused as I ever was. I don't know if I, or we, will ever figure this out, this thing called life. I know what we have ahead of us, our little sunshine in heaven, but I don't know how to best live in the meantime. How to make it the best for everybody. I take each breath as it comes and prioritize my moments as much as I can. And I know what makes me happy this very second. It's all about making that the focus, though. And living by it.