Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Stages of Our Lives

Every person lives through many phases in their life.  There is childhood, the teenage years, the college years, the single years, the newly married years, the career years, the young kids years, the having teenager years, the empty nest years, the retirement years...and well, a whole bunch of years in between.

Every stage bring challenges and victories.  Sometimes we see the growth right away, and sometimes it takes a while.  It is not possible to leave one phase without bringing something with us to the next.

Some refer to it as the cycle of life.  Others might just call it growing old.  I think of it as the baby steps needed to make it through life.

Can you imagine if we started this roller coaster called life as parents before we had experienced being children?  It wouldn't work so well. Ever stage builds on the last.  We make memories and we grow.

Sometimes it is nice to look back and see where we've been.  Sometimes we even long for what is behind us.  You've heard the phrase, "You can't go back."  It is not the places that have changed, it is the people.  You can't get back that which has changed forever.

Today I had the chance to revisit my past.  It helped me remember why I chose the path I am on and why I can't go back.  The past is a nice place to visit, but a horrible place to live.  Being trapped in a world where events have been defined and expectations met leaves no room for growth and change.  The past is a lonely place filled with people who no longer exist and opportunities no longer available.

The present can be hard.  It can be down right horrible.  That doesn't mean it isn't exactly what you need to propel yourself into the future.  The "nightmares" of my past have led to the funny stories of my present and will lead to the legacy I leave in the future.

While living in this world and picking our way through the stages of our lives we must remember one thing.  That which does not kill us will render us ready for the next challenge.  Sometimes I find that comforting.  Sometimes that scares me to death.  Either way, bring it on.

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