Monday, April 16, 2012

Life begins at...

Conception?  Birth?  Puberty?  Adulthood?  Marriage?  After the birth of your first child?  When?

When did your life begin?  This isn't a pro-life piece, although I am pro-life and anti-abortion (aka anti-choice).  Lately I've been wondering what stage of life people consider their life to be THEIR life.  The first reason for thinking about this is because I've been thinking a lot about my son and his future.  He will turn 25 this June.  I wonder if he considers the life he's living as HIS LIFE.  I mean, he lives in his parent's house.  He lives in his room.  Because of his living situation he is compelled to follow our rules.  If he chooses not to follow the rules of our house, he cannot live in our house.  My question is this, is he living his life or is he still living a part of my life? 

I've heard questions similar to this being broached on the blogs.  Am I living my life if I'm not doing what I DREAMED of doing?  Am I living my life if all I'm doing is working a job that pays the bills and raising a family?  And if I'm not living my life, who's life is it that I am living?  They want to be rich and famous.  They want to do what they LOVE to do (not work), but make LOTS of money doing it (not work).  The 9 to 5, Monday through Friday workweek is for suckers, not them.  They are free spirits and they deserve better than this.  Where, in the rulebook of life, does it all say we get what we want?

I've also heard mommies complaining about losing themselves in the needs of their children.  They find themselves living their lives for their children and their desires get pushed to the side.  I've heard from men and women who've found themselves living in this "lousy with strip-malls" community that is neither a town nor the country and 80 miles away from anything resembling civilization.  They find themselves living their spouse's life and struggling to find a life for themselves in this place.  Unless their dream is to be a teacher or working at Walmart or Target, they are out of luck.

Does life begin when you are living your dream?  Does life begin when you are paying your own bills?  Does life begin when you are raising the next generation?  We are all different.  We all find our own sense of self.  I think it can come to each of us at any age.

For me, my life began at 14 years old.  I know that sounds young, but at 14 years of age I started taking steps to move away from my parents and be on my own.  Of course, my parents wouldn't let me move out, but all I could think about was getting out.  I got a 20 hour a week job and freed myself from my mother's choice of clothing and entertainment.  In college I worked full time.  I needed to live at home, but I paid my parents rent in order to free myself from their rules and questions.  After graduation, I moved out on my own.  All I could think about was having my own life and living it the way I wanted to live.  Freedom.

I don't have an answer for this question.  I had dreams of being a scientist.  I had a dream of being a mom.  I had dreams of traveling the world.  I kinda, sorta, did some of these things and I'm sure I'm going to do even more in the future.  I think my biggest dream was to be independent of my family of birth.  I think my dream was to not be beholding to my mom and dad in any way (particularly financial).  Even though my life has been intertwined with my husband's life and my son's life and the United States Navy, I've been able to live my life and fulfill my dreams within the web of the lives of those I love.

147.  A wonderful life with dreams small enough to be fulfilled, yet big enough to give me something to strive for
148.  Three bottles of Patron Silver (with my $200 gift card)
149.  A summer's worth of margaritas
150.  A return of wonderful spring weather
151.  Family saved from the swath of tornado activity in the mid-west
152.  Faith in God to comfort those families that were not spared
153.  The opportunity to talk with my husband on a four hour drive up and back from AC


  1. ..the moment you take your first breath.

  2. Good questions. I've found ways to enjoy things about my life, although, admittedly, it's been easier in some seasons than others. Sadly, I know people who breathe but don't really live.

  3. I think there are so many different dynamics, like you describe. I think the parent-child relationship is particularly complex, because as you say, the house has your rules and it's your house. It doesn't mean it's your life per se but it does make it a bit less like his life in some ways, huh? Thoughtful post, anyway!

  4.  You're right--we are thinking along the same lines! My theological answer is, my life began in eternity past, when God knew me before He created anything!. The reality is, He's the One who has been at work in me transforming my life until I look more and more like Jesus. It may appear to have taken surprising twists and turns, and may not look at all like what I had in mind. One of my favorite hymns, however, is All the Way, My Savior Leads Me. I think it will be fascinating, when we get to heaven, to look back and see just how, when, and where He led me.

  5. life is often what you make of it...and dreams change...directions day it may be your dream the next your nightmare...i thought i was living my dream once...and i lost it...but found a new one...and that is life...but i have not stopped living...

  6. I love your response to this.  Yes, yes and YES.  This life was planned before we were born.  The prelude to our lives began at creation and maybe even before.  Thanks for reading and commenting.  You do teach me so much.

  7.  Thanks Kati.  Our lives are so intertwined into each other's lives.  Sometimes, with a parent and child or a husband and wife it's hard to know where one begins in relationship to the other.

  8.  I know those breathers.  I also know those that suck their existence from their friends and families and don't contribute to their own livelihood in any way.  They willingly stay children. 

  9. I think that I'm living a dream and sometimes I feel like I'm living a nightmare. But in either one of these situations it's all my perspective.
    I think that if my daughters lived in my household as adults I would definitely ask them to abide by the rules of my house. Things have to be clear. I like rules, ha!


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