Do you ever have one of those moments that jolts you awake...even though you're not sleeping?
I love it when that happens. There's just something that clicks in my head and lets me knows that it's something important and I suddenly feel awake.
And both the feeling of something important happening and feeling truly awake are kind of rare occurrences.
I enjoy my laziness and my sleep. Especially at the same time.
Anyway, I was sitting with my family the other night, enjoying the Lyle Lovett concert at Red Rocks (I don't care what your musical tastes are...that man is a song-writing genius) when he introduced his fiddle player and asked him to play a song on his own.
Luke Bulla took over the microphone and in a voice as clear as a bell began to sing while strumming his fiddle. For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the song, but one line made me sit up straighter. And it went something like....
I won't know where I'm going until I know where I've been.
And I don't think one sentence could have summed up this summer for me better than that.
Here's the hard part. You have to embrace your past in order to get on with the future. But sometimes the past is like the person you're trying to save in the deep end of the pool: You can either allow it to take you both down or you can smack it in the face and take control in order to save you both.
Okay. That was a weird analogy. I just came up with it. So roll with me.
I didn't realize until recently what a strangle-hold my past has had on me. How paralyzed I was. How it took making major changes, personally and professionally, to find the release I needed.
But you can't completely escape your past. I know that and I don't want to. It's just a matter of deciding how much power I'm going to allow it to have.
Am I going to sink or swim?
It's been eight years. And I know exactly what's happened to me. I can tell you the story of how my husband died. I can tell you how the kids and I have survived.
I see it now and I understand it more. And I get it. I really can't know where I'm going until I know where I've been. And that takes perspective. And in many ways...it has nothing to do with widowhood.
I can see my past as a mother and I can appreciate where that experience is sending me.
I can see who I've dated and can understand their places (not too many places, Mom) in my life.
I can see all of the memories I thought were so unimportant when they happened as the pieces of my life that I should appreciate the most.
Because those memories aren't just my past.
They're where I've been.