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This was on my street. Just like this. Leaning against a tree. I have lived a “Full” life. I laughed that someone joked about the “Full” size of the mattress (I guess “I have lived a ‘Twin’ life”, although interesting, doesn’t quite work as well). It strikes me, so I stop to take a picture, smiling to myself that someone took the time to declare this for the mattress.

I have lived a Full life.

As I drive away, I start thinking – someone is throwing that mattress away. They are getting rid of it… and they decided that the mattress was enjoying itself… the mattress is clearly proud – “I have lived a full life”… not “I wish I could have stayed- what will the nightstand do without me?” or “what happened? you used to love my lumps” or “I could have been more supportive” or “Where’s my next bed frame?” It simply exclaimed, “I have lived a Full life.”

Rewind:

We took our son back to college recently. My daughter is already launched with a full-time job. My husband is busy working. So last week, I found myself sitting in my house alone. I had finished all my pending work and I just… sat… and looked around… and… sat… It was a little weird. It felt uncomfortable.

I realized that I attached wistfulness to that uncomfortable feeling… it was a shadow of longing for the past, lonely for the flurry of little kids running around, the messy love of dinnertime meals, the rush of scattered schedules, the blurry sweet exhaustion of life. And what doubles-down when you think about the past? Those “should have/could haves” – “I should have been a calmer mom”, “I should have been more aware of all the stuff going on”, “I could have done more”, blah, blah…

The ideas of the future loomed… will my kid find something he likes to do for work? Will they find love? Will they feel fulfilled? or peaceful? or upset? or lonely? Will they be alright? blah, blah, seemingly endless sometimes…

Then, in that moment, THE question – can I let go of all those thoughts and be OK? My friend Linda said to me the other week, “the past is regret, the future is worry, the present is life” So the idea is- can I release and move on and wave to the past and and nod to the future and feel good? Right now… in the present…

I looked at that crazy mattress.

I have lived a full life. I smile… the universe has the oddest ways of communicating. I can claim that too… without all the past and future baggage…simply… right now, in the present, I am living a full life.

 

Alison Martin

Alison Martin -- wife, mom, Emmy-award winning actress, writer, chocoholic. Bronx Italian, daughter of Pultizer Prize winning reporters, who also identifies as L.A. Irish. Shout outs: Dan, Emilia, Brady, pooches - LuLu & Ted, friends, Mother Earth, serendipity, peace, VIPHS, Boldfaced Secret, living life like your socks feel real good.

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