I remember twenty. Being young and on the edge of everything, itching to set the world on fire.
I remember thirty. A job I loved, a man I adored. Kicking the world's ass and loving every minute of it.
I remember forty. A home, a husband, a three year old wonder who looked at me like I set the stars in the sky even though I was exhausted and cranky.
I remember fifty. The boy now a teen, tall and snarky and utterly frustrating. The career tabled to care for my aging father. Splitting my time between two sides of the country and feeling like I was never where I was needed most. But I was writing, spinning worlds out of words endlessly, I was swamped with possibility and eager to continue.
Now I stand on the cusp of sixty. My boy is now a man with a life and companion of his own. My husband lost to the ravages of a disease he never admitted would claim him. My father dead six months later when age finally caught up to him. My words have fled, and the hours spin out endlessly before me. I fear a decade of anxiety and panic and endless aching want for the things I had, and thought I appreciated, but never had enough time or energy to give my all to.
Last January I thoughtlessly proclaimed I was coming out of the worst year ever. It was hard, certainly, but I still had my husband, my father, my son, the people I built my life around. Now I while away the hours cleaning and sorting and repairing my hovel because it is all that is left. The future stretches on in an endless haze of silence and avoidance and dread.
Cherish what you have, because everything passes and it never comes back.