Appearances can be deceiving

January 30, 2016

It’s interesting to be this age, done with my career and enjoying some of the fruits of our labors. It’s wonderful, in fact.

I’ve noticed that people who come into my life now, at this stage of it, assume my life as always been the way it is now: plenty of leisure, lots of great travel and the ability to do a lot of fun things.

What they don’t see is all of the labor that got us to this point.  Sometimes it’s as if they think someone waved a magic wand over me.

And yes, it’s true, there’s been some magic involved in getting me to this point. I can’t deny it. Or understand it.

But also, I worked hard to make my way in the world and sometimes, it really was an uphill slog.

Appearances really can be deceiving, can’t they?

Very few people have a smooth ride through life. The ups and downs are the way we learn. The more travails, the more opportunities we have to learn.  If it’s true that our best teacher is our last mistake, I’ve had a bunch of really good teachers. And that’s one reason why I’m loving life now. I’m still learning, but making far fewer mistakes.

How is your life different now than it was 10 or even 20 years ago?


15 comments on “Appearances can be deceiving
  1. Carol Graham says:

    I’ve always been busy, which is an understatement. But, I am considerably busier than I was 20 years ago with no end in sight. My brother is 78 and works over 60 hours a week so I know it is in my genes.

  2. Barbara says:

    All my life has been a roller coaster and I have survived and thrived. I don’t expect it to change all that much, in that regard.

  3. Kate says:

    I feel so fortunate to have made it through some very difficult years and a lot of hard work to reach my 60’s. Would not have changed a thing and have had amazing experiences, good and bad, along the way. But it’s nice to start to lean back a little bit. I will not be retiring to a house in the south of France, but I am beyond grateful for what I have and hope to have many more years to enjoy this chapter of my life.

  4. Vinitha says:

    Rightly said, Carol, appearances can be deceiving. 20 years ago, I was a 12-year-old kid with no idea what life was. 10 years ago, I was a 22-year-old adult struggling with life and the never-ending challenges that it gifted me with. Now I am a 32-year-old mom to a 6-year-old boy, a wise woman who knows that problems will come and go, but we should never forget to live in the moment because moments once gone are gone.

  5. Alana says:

    20 years ago I was the mother of a preschooler and in better health/physical shape than I am today. Yet, now, I am content. I don’t suffer from the insecurity of my younger self. I am grateful for what I do have because I’ve seen how quickly things can change.

  6. Janie Emaus says:

    Do you have a lot of time and a bottle of wine? This could take awhile.

  7. Laurel Regan says:

    It’s true, you just never know what a person has been through or done or sacrificed to get to where they are. These days I’m happy to be working a four-day part-time week, from home, instead of commuting for a full week to an office. Definitely a different situation for me!

  8. Carol, As someone who is retiring in my late 50’s after a 32 year career, I’m almost feeling guilty about sharing my situation. I worked hard and put money away when it was tough to pay the bills. Now I feel bad for people who can’t retire for another 10-15 years. Your post came at the perfect time. Thursday was my last day. Thanks!!

  9. This is maybe the most perfect thing I’ve read all day. Fabulous.

  10. Estelle says:

    My life is so different because I was a single woman and not a mother until my forties. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I appreciate the wisdom I’ve earned. Love hearing your stories.

  11. bodynsoil says:

    I’ve always slogged through life, making my way over obstacles and various hurdles. Currently I’m working through yet another hurdle, one that keeps me at home. From the outside looking in I might appear lucky to be semi retired when in fact that isn’t quite the case.

  12. Tyler Kelly says:

    This is so true. Don’t judge someone without knowing their story first. Or something if you’re looking to buy online stuff.

  13. wisdomtree says:

    Amazing post 🙂 Should be read by all .

  14. Susan cooper says:

    Hi Carol, I had never heard that opening quote before, but I love it! Very clever. And so true. Especially as you get older and life seems to have gotten itself in order and all your years and years of hard work have paid off, it would be really easy for people to assume that it had been all smooth sailing for you. Just as easy to look at somebody who is younger and think their life is a mess I’m sure, without waiting until the last chapters of their lives to see how they turn it around.

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