I'm turning into my grandmother. Minus the red lipstick.
What I mean to say is that it seems, lately, as if I am viewing everything from a certain vantage point, through a particular lens of having lived a certain length of time and having gone through certain things. Like a grandmother who says, "Well, you know, dearie, back in my day...."
(And could I use the word "certain" just one more time? Certainly.)
I've lived a relatively long time. Long enough to be your ummm, big sister, probably. (That's all I'm gonna say about that.) And what I find myself doing -- all the time, people -- is nodding my head at things that people say and do. As if I knew what was coming next. As if I were wise, which I'm not. As if I've been there, done that, which maybe I have been sometimes.
I've been an atheist.
I've been agnostic.
I've been spiritual but not religious.
I've been an Episcopalian.
I've been a Catholic.
I've learned how to try to let go of me, me, me, in my relationship with God.
I've said I would never marry.
I've gotten married.
I've learned how to love, and how to be a wife.
I've learned how to try to let go of me, me, me, in my marriage.
I've said I would never have children.
I've made rude remarks about people who have children and I've thought that people who have children are silly and selfish and ridiculous.
I've changed a bit, and I thought that having children might be lovely.
I've had children.
I've had miscarriages.
I've learned how to love and how to grieve.
I've learned how to be a mommy.
I've learned how to grow from being a mommy to being a mom. (There's a difference.)
I've learned how to try to let go of me, me, me, with my daughters.
I've learned how to be a woman in her 20s, a woman in her 30s, a woman in her 40s, a woman in her 50s ... and I've learned that "women's magazines" run the same articles. All the time. If I would only listen to those magazines, I would walk off ten pounds by next week and have a decluttered home in just ten minutes a day.
I've had political discussions, political arguments, political ponderings, and political depressions. I've thought, ever since I came into the Catholic church, that there's no earthly political system that gets it. (Remember how the media used to scratch their heads over JPII? "What? He's against abortion and the death penalty? This makes no sense ....") I have wearied of seeing Christians beat each other up over worldly solutions when we all know that there is no earthly salvation to solve all our problems. I have wished -- at the risk of sounding wishy-washy, or touchy-feely, or simplistic, even though there's something essentially simple about Christianity -- that we Christians could remember that we're supposed to love one another.
I feel like my grandmother because I feel as if I've been around long enough to see that we all keep making the same mistakes. Pendulums swing, babies are born, we live, we die, we make choices. We all think -- and people have been thinking this since the dawn of time -- that we are living in the most important period ever. The truth is, quite likely, that -- just like all of our ancestors -- what's really important is the small decisions we will make today -- with our spouses, our children, our God. And it's really only Facebook and Twitter and blogging and thewholegreatbiginternet that make us think that every opinion we have is earthshattering.
What's more important for me, today, is whether or not I will try as hard as I can, as sincerely as I can, as desperately-seeking-grace as I can, to be the Catholic I say I want to be.