CONVERSATION WITH…An older door

As I travel Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I have to remind myself to look upward every once in a while.  I never know if a house will fall from the sky and crash on top of me. Today, an actual school building fell from the heavens. Thankfully, it landed along the side of the road.  Believe it or not, it was the building where my two children went to preschool!  I rushed inside and found their old classroom!  Though the room had been turned into a library, the old door was still there.  We chatted…

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Hey door?  Do you remember when I used to drop my kids off in your room a million years ago?

OLD DOOR:  Of course. I remember everyone who comes in and out of this place. I don’t have a lot else to do. I remember your son cried a lot when you dropped him off here at preschool.

Yeah. I remember leaving the room and then peeking through the window at the top of you to see how he was doing.

DOOR:  If memory serves, he was so upset he actually had to drop out and come back the next year.  He missed you terribly.

I know. Back then, I thought he would have fun in the classroom with the other kids as soon as I left. I also needed a little space for myself to live my own life.  So, I played with my son in the classroom for a while…and when I thought he’d be fine without me, I’d whisper, “I have to go now.”

DOOR:  And he’d wail.

Looking back, I guess he didn’t understand. It probably made no sense to him.  He was probably very hurt. But eventually he dried his tears and moved on.

DOOR: On the other hand…I remember your daughter didn’t mind being dropped off here at preschool.

I know!  Before I could finish saying, “I have to go now,” she was bopping over to the other kids. 

DOOR:  So you left, closed me behind you, and scrunched your nose up against my little window to see how your daughter was doing.

She was always having a good time. That made me very happy because I needed a little space for myself.  I needed to live my own life.

DOOR:  But! Your daughter always insisted on coming home for lunch.  She only wanted to stay in preschool for a few hours. That was her limit.

I remember sometimes she had to stay longer because I had to work. She cried.  She probably didn’t understand.  I probably hurt her feelings.

DOOR: But eventually she dried her tears and moved on.

And now the tables have turned.  My kids are young adults. When my daughter travels from the other side of the country for a visit, I always want her to stay longer and spend more time with me.  But, at a certain point, she says, “I have to go now.” 

DOOR: And your son?

He lives about an hour away. When he comes home for a visit, I soooo enjoy his company!  But at a certain point, he gets up and says, “I have to go now.” 

DOOR: That must be hard.

 I don’t always understand.  Sometimes it hurts my feelings. I miss my children terribly.

DOOR: But you dry your tears and move on.

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CONVERSATION WITH…An Elderly Shark…Reflecting on the shark inside her

On a hot day Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road, I decided to go for a swim in the ocean.  Suddenly, a shark swam over!   Aaaah!!!!!

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Shark! Don’t eat me!  I’m older!  But I’m too young to die!

SHARK:  Calm down. I have no intention of eating you.

I thought sharks ate people.

SHARK: If you confuse us, we’ll take a nibble.  Otherwise, we prefer other delicacies.  Just don’t confuse me.

 I won’t confuse you.

SHARK: But I should tell you, I do have one other eating related issue. Many years ago, I ate another shark.  I mean, some sharks do eat other sharks, but that doesn’t make it right.  I feel bad knowing I have a shark inside me.  I still have nightmares about it.

If it makes you feel better, I have a shark inside me, too.

SHARK:  Should I be swimming away from you?

No. Not that kind of shark.  It’s a metaphor for a really aggressive side of myself. But it’s strange.  I’ve noticed as I grow older, I don’t feel the shark inside me as much as I used to.  I don’t know what’s happening to me.  Am I settling for less?  Am I depressed?

SHARK:  I’m not sure I understand what you mean.

Well, when I was younger, if there was a job opportunity I was passionate about, or I had a creative goal that meant the world to me, I felt a “shark” inside me that drove me toward what I wanted with incredible force. 

SHARK: Ooooh.

And when that “shark” inside me took over, I didn’t hurt anyone physically, but I might have hurt others emotionally along the way without realizing it.  I was so focused on what I was going for, I’m not sure I was completely aware of my behavior.

SHARK: Ugh. What about now?

Now I feel more like a tuna fish. When I’m passionate about something I want to do, I meander steadily toward it, but I look from side to side and take in what’s around me.  If something doesn’t feel quite right or off balance, I stop, think about it, and make changes till I’m in sync with the universe.

SHARK:  If you don’t mind that I’m adding my two cents, it sounds like what you’re doing now might make you feel more grounded. And when you get where you’re going, you’ll arrive with perspective and wisdom.

Is it possible this is actually a good thing about growing older?

SHARK: Who knew?

Oh wow!  Thank you so much for your help!

SHARK: Hold it! What about me?  I still feel bad about eating that shark years ago. Any words of wisdom to help me through it?

Well…on one hand, I guess you shouldn’t have done that. On the other hand, lots of sharks have eaten other sharks, so it probably felt like a natural thing to do.  On the other hand, at that time, there were probably other things to eat in the ocean, so choosing that shark was a bad idea. On the other hand, sometimes we have to learn from our mistakes.  On the other hand–

SHARK:  Aaaah!  You’re confusing me!  I told you not to confuse me!

 I’m outa here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2018

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Do you have a shark?  How’s it doing?