I’m back in the saddle again, LuLu’s saddle that is. It’s been a while; a long winter, a long period of mourning and a long, long, period of simply not being motivated. I’m trying to find my way, find a path that works for me, and figure out what all belongs in this new life I’m forced to create. Well, LuLu, my pink bike, is one of those things that belong. She was a gift from my late husband, a birthday present. When I’m peddling down the road, I’m happy. She’s good for me physically and emotionally. And, while riding this pink bike I find I am more receptive to new thought, clearer thinking, and possibilities, lots of possibilities. Like the other morning it dawned on me that if I wanted to, I could move to Ireland; Or, that I actually now have the time to read War and Peace. I don’t want to, but I could. It’s a possibility.
The trouble and blessing of trying to build a new life after the loss of someone you love, is deciding stuff. The what now questions are endless. Fortunately, I do not have to decide anything before its time, but eventually, I must.
LuLu reminded me that I am now in Act Three of my adult life’s journey. Act One was the college years, the inaugural plunge into adulthood. Big questions, Big answers, life changing consequences. It’s an extremely important Act, but it’s relatively short.
Act Two was the married, raising family years. My Act Two lasted forty-two years. Three kids, nine grandchildren, several careers, and one husband later the run comes to a close. Of course, the kids and grandkids are sliding into Act Three quite comfortably, but the days of partnership, shared vision and two-by-two are over. My anchor has been pulled and the drift has begun.
Act Three is now. I’m surrounded by people who love me, yet I am alone. And for a gal who went from her childhood home, to a dorm full of girls, and then directly to a marriage and then children, aloneness is a whole other animal. I have never eaten alone, gone to the movies alone, or traveled alone, until now. In the past, my choices formed who I was. I’m sure they still will, but they are not as clearly presented as they were in Act Two. Today’s possibilities are foreign to me when I walk them alone; they are something I read in a book, or admired in others, or scare the hound out of me if I think about them for too long.
Act Three. Oh, boy. Just thinking about it the other day on LuLu made me peddle faster. LuLu must have thought a bee stung me. However, in her pink bike way, she eventually made me slow it down, catch my breath, and allow the present to rule over the future, or the past. She spoke in her own way and said, “Peddle steady, keep your eyes on the road, and you need more padding in your shorts.” I translated that as—take it slow, don’t look back, and be prepared.
Act Three is full of possibilities, scary, exciting, breath-taking, terror-filled possibilities. The choices are all mine. Ireland or Madison, WI? Tolstoy or Harper Lee? Make lampshades or write a book? Find a job or NOT! Pink bike or . . .
“God, I don’t want to be here. I do not want to be anywhere. I don’t want to do this. It is such a battle to keep my eyes forward. I’m disappointed You didn’t give me what I wanted. Still, I find myself constantly looking to You for direction, affirmation, and for healing. You are not Santa Claus. You are Father, THE Father, the one who knows best. The one who loves me beyond measure. I know this. I trust this. Yet, I am afraid to be so alone with myself. Show me how. Please, show me how.” Amen.