OMG The year in review…. A look back in time…. The most incredible year of our lives… Every year we want to be able to say “Oh my God… the last year was the most [positively] incredible year of my life.” That’s how we want to live and eventually we should be able to say “Oh my God… the last month was the most [positively] incredible month of our lives].
Incredible for some might be losing 25 pounds, conquering a phobia, or finding the cure for cancer. For me, it meant degunking the arteries of my life. We had become so intellectually and spiritually sedentary that our souls were creaking. Our blood had slowed to a crawl. Our spirits were dormant! We were comfortable, complacent, and happy. But wait a minute, except for the complacent part… comfortable and happy should be good things!
I was happy but my soul was discontented, and saying that makes me wonder if it’s possible to be happy with a discontented soul. Maybe I wasn’t happy! Maybe I just thought I was! But this is getting way too philosophically deep. So maybe I was conflicted? On the other hand, Clay just keeps ticking along without a worry in the world, which makes me think there just might be something to this meditation thing, because he meditates every day.
Whatever the case, my sojourn in the Middle East was like rotorootering my soul, spirit, body, and mind. We cleared junk out of the house for our son to move-in, which meant an opportunity to throw out things we had been keeping just because they were too good to throw away; because we might use them one day; because the kids might be able to use them; because, because, because. We couldn’t figure out why we held on to skis that we hadn’t used since my knee surgery fifteen years ago had ended all hopes of ever doing a double black diamond out west. We gave away stained chairs that we keep for overflow gatherings and an assortment of other stuff that lined the front of the lawn for others to take away and store in their respective attics and garages. All this was done to make way for the OMG experience.
We hiked a Wadi. We climbed a mountain. I took horseback lessons. We had countless glorious evenings walking towards the sunset along the Persian Gulf. We made as many friends in 10 months as I’ve made in the last 10 years. I became a better and more interesting teacher. We learned there are as many different types of Muslims as there are Christians. We learned that girls cloaked in abayas are the same as girls everywhere around the world.
Streetwise punks say “I can do a year standing on my head” while referring to prison. Not to compare marriage to prison… but prior to this year, I would have said “We can do a year apart standing on our heads… because our marriage is strong”, but when faced with that decision, I knew I couldn’t do it. I knew that what made the last year magical was having him to share it with. I knew that if I returned to the Middle East without him, it wouldn’t be the same. I’m now in the process of having an OMG year right here in the US. I took a storytelling class that ended with a scared-to-death stage performance. I’ve signed up for a chorale group advertised “for those who cannot sing”, and [drum roll please] I might sign-up for a motorcycle class. Clay is working in his dream job, Director of Cyber Security at UMUC.
So… we’re busy working on keeping the physical and spiritual arteries from clogging back up. Wishing you and yours a [positive] OMG year! Aleta and Clay