Today is Pioneer Day in Utah. One of my favorite holidays! A day when we remember the sacrifice of so many early settlers of Utah, most of whom were Mormon’s led by Brigham Young that come from as far away as England—to turn the desert into their home. Back in June we had the chance to be part of a pioneer trek, that is, to feel what it might have been like to pull a hand-cart over miles of rocky trail with the gravel blowing in your face so bad it felt at times that you would never be able to see clearly again. I thought I would like it. I was wrong. I loved it. Every dirty step. I learned to love deeper by living and serving with those in my “company.”
There was one moment on the trail that has stayed with me—and I hope forever does. It is an event called the “Women’s Pull.” The men left the women alone at the bottom of a steep hill, alone with the hand-carts. We had an awesome message about the strength of a woman, and how some of us must go at this life alone. Pulling our hand-carts full of grief and trial. Enduring illness. Suffering with worldly challenges. But, really, we are never alone. There are other women to buoy us up, and men to encourage us…there are countless angels watching over us. As we pulled the handcarts up the hill I physically felt the test was beyond my capability. And then it hit me. The tears. The emotion. I could almost reach out and feel those pioneer women pushing alongside me from another dimension. Cheering me on. Telling me I COULD DO THIS! And I did. And I loved it.
I promised myself that when I turned 40 back in March that I would not focus on my age, or the number — and just keep moving forward. But it is hard to not recognize at some point that I have lived half my life.
I am a Pisces, so I know that for me to have a fulfilling life I need to attach goals to my dreaming. When I was 20 I hadn’t made any of my big life choices. Didn’t know exactly what my career would look like, hadn’t married, didn’t have a clue where we would be raising our family (or how many kids)—and so that was the focus of my goals half-my-life ago. My goals are different now. To seek beauty in others and not judge (yeah I used to do a lot of that), to find myself in words of poetry and writing, to make moments each day that count, to build relationships that are meaningful, to understand myself better so I can understand others better, to teach my kids how to triumph over the trials of life, and to be a better listener (let go of the ego).
I believe the best of life is yet to come. The second half. By the time I am 80 I will hope to say I have lived the full life that I intended to live. I hope to say that I have influenced, for good, those around me, and laughed so hard from the joy in the journey that I have a face of wrinkles to prove it.