Life is like a matryoshka doll…

Or, I can see clearly now…

(Disclaimer: For those of you looking for more Central American adventures, you may skip this blog.)

Is it my age? Or my stage? Or is it the air in Costa Rica?

I feel as if another layer has been peeled away, a window opened, another doll lifted. There are times in life when “things” seem so clear, when one looks back on his or her life to see how screwed up he or she was before, and thinks: Now I get it! Yet, I also know that this feeling is fleeting. One day I’ll look back with even more wisdom, hindsight, knowledge and think what a fool I was to think I had all the answers on Thursday, March 18, 2010. But, it’s not that I think I have all the answers, oh Future Me, it’s just that I realize that on this day, I am truly happy. Please, let me have this day.

At the wise young age of 47 (no, I’m not afraid of that number), I feel very grounded and centered. I can look back and see past mistakes, in myself, in others, in history, and feel proud that I’ve moved on and learned a thing or two along the way. (This is awfully narcissistic… but that’s allowed in blogs, yes?) What will NEVER cease to amaze me, is how ANYONE can look back at their life and say, “I have no regrets.” Well, bully for them. I have regrets, then again, too numerous to mention. Sure, I get the whole part that my mistakes make me who I am today, blah, blah, blah. I would like to think, if only for today, that I might have come to this effervescent spot in my life without having hurt people I love along the way, without having blurt out words that I immediately regretted. Isn’t it the least bit possible that I was an idiot once or twice? (That’s a rhetorical question.) Who among us does not regret their idiotic moments? I wouldn’t want to be 20 ever again, or even 30, unless I could magically erase the mistakes I made along the way (and make by Apple at its IPO) and still find myself where I am today. But we don’t get that chance. We have to stew in the juices that made us. Well, here I am, happily stewing.

Life is better for me now; I’ve learned to float one level above myself: me, once removed, like a very tall distant cousin, if you will. As a child, I dove into life head first, careless and free. As an innocent teenager (yes, I was the Innocent One), I believed what I was told, never questioned authority. As a young adult, I was so consumed by the whirlpool of my life (read: four sons) that it seemed all I could do was to save myself from drowning. Well, I found a life raft! A broken piece of driftwood! An air mattress! Maybe it’s my husband; maybe it’s distance from daily chores (see: Gecko-tourism in Costa Rica); maybe life is calmer now that my children are in college; maybe it’s being 47 1/2 and being alive and healthy. I am learning to observe, question, take pause, and formulate my own opinion like never before.

Then, again, maybe it’s a career in WRITING. I cannot go back, erase mistakes, reverse bad stock picks, unsay things I’ve said, but my characters can! They are my second chance at life: my past, my present, my future; the one where everyone learns wisdom (or gets their due) in the end, the moment the final doll is lifted.

I sure hope this writing gig pays off, because I’ve got a pretty good view of life from this perch.

If not, does anyone know of a school that teaches puppet-mastery?

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