How Has Life Treated You?

Jericho High School as it was in 1963

Jericho High School as it was in 1963

As one of my duties as part of the high school reunion committee, I sent out email invitations and print invitations to all the graduates from Jericho High School for whom we had contact information. This resulted in a couple of things — knowing who really didn’t want to have anything whatsoever to do with their high school experience and reconnecting with those that really do want to either bring closure to certain events or just to get in touch with old friends for whom they still have fond memories. Consequently, I have received calls and emails that have heartened me, reinforced memories, made me sad that some of our classmates are no longer with us, and messages that really have made me think about more than just those four years!

One such message was from Debby. We were close friends in high school, appeared in a play and sang a duet (reported in an earlier blog!), and spent a good deal of time together studying, hanging out, and gossiping I’m sure. Debby was, and still is I’m sure, beautiful and had lots of beauty tips for me that I will not share here but I remember as if it was yesterday. When we reconnected by email recently, we shared a few memories and then she asked me, “How has life treated you?” I haven’t answered that email yet even though it was a few days ago. It’s a very complex question with lots of layers that have me questioning the question and wondering how on earth I can answer that.

“Which life?”, I asked myself. The life as a single woman between high school and marriage that includes college and work? The life as a wife and mother? My life after my husband and best friend died and I was a single woman again? My life now having moved from long-time friends and the comfort of a home of 37 years to a new place with few friends? My life as a mom and soon-to-be grandma that is so much closer to my children that I can drive to see them and back home again in a day? My life as a blogger and wayfinder? WHere does one begin?

Which life would you choose? Which life would you want to hear about? So, here’s my answer to Debby. Life has treated me very well and I am a fortunate woman. Yesterday was my birthday and I got a lot of cards, a few phone calls, and skyping with two dear friends. My children are taking me to dinner on Friday night when I’m staying in Brooklyn with Rachel for a few days. I have a nice home in a beautiful part of the world and, for now, can choose if I want to go back to work. After a lifetime of working in jobs that, for the most part, have been amazing and rewarding, I can reflect on what I have accomplished with no need to keep worrying that I am no longer “productive.” I have lovely children with fabulous partners — couldn’t ask for more caring, intelligent, and interesting people to hang out with. All of my dogs have been great — Sydney is my good friend and companion who listens without criticism or comment to my ramblings about politics, cheering at sports, and railing against all sorts of things that I think are unfair. All in all, I’d say life has treated me quite well although I’d like to take some credit for making good decisions and working hard. I keep thinking of the title of the kid’s book Life’s a Funny Thing, Horatio. Life is a funny thing, a challenge, and has lots of layers that deserve thinking about from time to time. So thank you to Debby for asking the question.