Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
by Jessica Ehlers, March 25, 2011
To live. Sounds easy enough in practice. Wake up. Eat. Work. Play. Love yourself. Love people around you. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
"My parents told me if I went to college, got married and had kids, I would be happy." My dad told me this as I was growing up. He was also careful to add that this recipe for success was a sham. I am paraphrasing of course. That was all well and good but I had to go try it for myself.
Receiving a Bachelors degree did not fill the void and offer the enduring internal contentment as I had hoped. Nor did getting married. And though creating and carrying and raising a child has been the most amazing experience of my life, my life did not suddenly all make sense.
What makes sense? I go through my days. I find pretty rocks and shells while walking at the low tide beach. Moments here and there add up. What I have learned is that it is an inside job.
Jobs. That's another something that cannot fill the void. Not in itself. Though yesterday, while working with a confused and afraid 85 year old lady, I was able to meet her through the trip wires of her Dementia and hold her hand through her fears to a place of trust and acceptance. That was something. Something real. Something beautiful.
Have I mentioned Toy Story 3 yet? It was actually a great film. One of the best scenes in the movie is when they're all sure death is coming and all that's left is to hold hands with whomever they're next to. When I saw it in the theater I sobbed.
I realize this is not an earth-shattering proclamation. This idea that connection is important. The connection to each other. The moment of truth when eye contact is made and that which is unspoken is shared. The real and honest connections we seek and hopefully share with others are really only possible when we first are firmly who we are. Again, not rocket science. Not an invention of the wheel. And yet important. Really important.
No one gets out of this alive. And if we're lucky, we'll have people with whom to hold our hands along the way. Or blow bubbles with.