Monday, March 07, 2011


Many women of my age are now reaching their career peak.  If ever they were to be confident and powerful, it is now, at this age.  I run into them once in awhile:  the doctor, the owner of her own business, artist, professor.  I think, "I could have been that.  I'm smart;  I could have been somebody."  

Perhaps only lately, as changes fill my life, though William will still take quite a few more years of schooling, I wonder what I will be besides homeschool mom.   Hitting fifty makes one think also of all the paths not taken, the confirmations from the outside world that you are valued.  And yes, I realize that my family and friends value me.  I would, going back, not make different choices.  I only speak of that momentary feeling of needing to be important in the outside world.  Of knowing that for many paths that interest me, many lives I would have liked to have lived, it is too late.

At a visit to Indiana University, I looked at the small graveyard there.  All those people, forgotten stories, especially the women whose stones were dwarfed by their husbands' monuments and told only their names.

And then I read this:
       "You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;  
         It was never between you and them anyway."

It matters not what they think.  In the end, my life will not be measured by this world's yardstick.  Being remembered is not the goal.

The above quote is from the poem, Anyway, widely attributed to Mother Teresa, who did not, in fact, write it.  She may have edited it, adding the last line, but even that is not proven, and only that she had hung this poem up in Calcutta.  The original Paradoxical Commandments was written by Kent M Keith, a 19 year old Harvard student.

1 comment:

Jenn Jilks said...

I understand what you are talking about here! I hit 50 and had to retire, burning out after caring for ill parents. My peers were principals, superintendents, consultants, etc.
Now I volunteer with hospice, and still dream about teaching, some are nightmares... :-)
I felt there was much I could have done, but realized it was not meant to me.
You are doing a fabulous job home schooling. That is the important thing. You are not your job, your car, your income, you are far more than that.
Keep the faith.
I hear you!


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