I’m sitting in the Salt Lake City airport. I’m casually doing some people watching. There is a women’s college basketball team that has gone back and forth in their matching kelly green hooded sweat shirts and sweat pants. They seem to be on their way to play a game, but they could be returning. They are loose, laughing, casual, and seemingly a bit boy crazy. They look my way now and again, maybe wondering if I am married or not. It’s flattering, but I can’t really see myself “with” any of them. It’s not that they aren’t physically attractive, they just can’t capture my attention at this point in my life.
I have also noticed a good amount of older couples meandering through the terminal. It’s interesting to notice all of their similarities, and not see too many differences. They seem to move in tandem, with one leading the other. So far, more men leading than women. Both seem a little resigned to be with the other. They probably want to go to the same place, but they don’t seem to be enjoying the journey to get there. I look at the women and try to imagine them as girls once again. Maybe they played on a basketball team at some point, “back in the day”. Maybe they were boy crazy at one point too. Maybe they latched on to one of these boys and ended up marrying one of them. Walking down the aisle with stars in their eyes. An end of innocence, a turning of the page. But a page that they turn willfully, proudly, passionately even.
The group of people I have been most struck by today have been the middle aged mothers. I have always been drawn to young children. Their joy for life is often impossible to contain, even in a sterile airport in February. But its their mothers that are speaking to me today. Not literally, but in the looks of pride on their faces. There is a tangible sense of “I’m doing it!” beaming from them every time someone mentions how cute their son or daughter is.
I’m not sure if it is this place, or my perspective that is different today. Typically, the mothers I see tend to be worn out, beaten down, and ready for a break. Perhaps it is the completion of the flight that is reason to celebrate, or at least smile for a bit. Maybe it is the anticipation of the destination and the impending joy for their children and the trip that is almost upon them. Maybe it’s none or all of these things.
Maybe they saw the green machine basketball girls too. Maybe they remembered what it was like to have such a fun and enjoyable task as a “job” and the excitement of a possible flirtatious encounter. Maybe they saw the older couples as well and felt a different sense of pride for them, like an appreciation of a race well run. That comfort of a companion who has cheered the same victories, and fought the same fights. It’s something they look forward to, although with the same longing for love that they had as a young woman. They seem to know that either way, there is a lot of life left to live, especially for their kids. I’m happy to believe that these women still have for their own fulfillment and joy to long for and live in.
The Joy of the Journey
It is a long way from beginning to end, but there isn’t time to wish you were somewhere else on the journey. Maybe you have kids, maybe you have a career, maybe you are student. If you have starting something that you know will continute in the the future for a considerable amount of time, it only makes sense to enjoy it. A lot of things in life feel like you “have to”. The solution is to change your thinking into understanding that you “want to”. Search around the site to find more ways to grow into this way of thinking.