Being Temporary

Everything for me is temporary. The fairytales–the Cinderella stories–stop being a way of life after a while. It is generally when something changes…a death, the end of a marriage, the loss of a child, the detour of a career….the rearranging of a life due to cataclysmic events causes one to look at life through the looking glass of temporary. Most everything is only meant for a specific time, thus creating space for tables to turn and growth to appear. It never really occurred to me, until recently, how much of life is temporary. It was……….freeing.

We are all held captive by the prospect of forever. When we are young, we think we will be young forever. When we are heart broken, we think it will last forever. When the storm comes, it feels like forever. Yet, when we reach that infamous forever marker, there’s the appearance of another path or another birthday or another growth spurt….and our faces get long. We never expected there not to be a forever. Realistically speaking, nothing….not one single solitary thing lasts always. God’s love aside, everything we encounter, from birth to death, is but a passing encounter.

I stood in the bathroom mirror washing my face and I noticed lines. Albeit they are probably undetectable to most, but to me they were glaring. I began pulling and repositioning my skin just to see what a small nip or tuck would do and I stopped as suddenly as I started. This, I thought, fades. It is only temporary.

At that moment, I realized the choice presented: I could tap into every 35-year-old-didn’t-quite-take-care-of-herself-to-the-best-of-her-ability flaw or I could be okay with the knowledge that nothing is permanent. I chose the latter.

I finished my routine, nodded in satisfaction, and shut off the light. I said my prayers and crawled into bed not thinking of my age or the state of a 36, 40 or 50 year old Sommer. I drifted off to sleep resting in the peace of the temporary. When you know that you know nothing lasts forever, peace abounds and you are able to drop the load of the expectations, rules and material things being dragged kicking and screaming into the future and just….be. What difference will I make? What risks will I take? What love can I give? Who can I hold or help? Where can I see? Those are the questions I drifted to sleep to….that’s the kind of temporary I want to be.

~SM

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