Was thinking of Sister Felicitas today. She taught me in Std 6 (Year 8) and when we met over 20 years later, she asked me (as you do) what I was doing with my life.
Laughing, she reminded me that when we were talking about careers, I'd said I wanted to get married and have lots of children! I guess I must have, don't remember saying it though. But she was visibly taken aback to be told I'd achieved my goal - I was married with five children. She thought that a tad excessive!!
It wasn't my only goal, but it was the one that has defined me, made me happy and given me a sense of fulfillment like nothing else. I've never become immune to the awe of new life. To the amazement of pregnancy. To the wonder of watching little children work things out, make discoveries and practice their skills (socially acceptable and otherwise!!) To the scariness of letting them go, to work out for themselves about personal responsibility in the big world.
It's a curious thing to achieve a life goal. Time doesn't stop at that point - it's the living the goal that makes it worthwhile.
But looking back, I can see that as with anything in life, we become who we are, not in the good times so much as by the mucking things up, getting it wrong, despairing of knowing what to do, having another try, asking for help, and eventually getting through the dark times. I have learnt that nothing - no experience - was ever wasted.
And now I have an unlooked-for gift that certainly wasn't any part of my plan back when I was 12 and in Sister Felicitas's class, or even when meeting her when I had a young family.
Now, I have the most amazing grandchildren!
They are SO gorgeous! SO clever! SO pleased to see me! SO cute! SO hard to understand on the phone! (except I can always understand when they say "I love you Nana!"
Indeed I can say with Mary, "Of all women, I am most blessed!"
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