Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Fulfillment Factor

Interesting post I read on Kathy Holmes' blog today. She was interviewed by Adventures of a 30-Something Rebel and made some interesting comments in which it suddenly dawned on me how much fulfillment is the climax of life and fulfillment sometimes takes into the latter stages of life before you realize what it is, how to grab it and claim it for your very own.

There are very good reasons for this.

Your twenties are spent searching for just that right girl or guy to love, finding a job that will at least pay for that car you so desperately need to show off to your friends and exploring life. This is the time when you really don't know what you want or do you care in most cases. Adult life is new and you're trying to let things sink in, but having fun is still top priority.

Your thirties brings you a wake-up call when you start actively working toward your goals. But, it's also the time when you either go through several relationships to find that perfect one only to find out there is no perfect one, but that's another story for another time, and trying different jobs out to find that perfect fit. You may try marriage out a time or two, and even contemplate the fact that time might be running out to have children, so you're exporing that. You certainly know more than in your twenties; but still, something's missing. Even if you have the model marriage and your kids are doing great, there's still that fulfillment factor missing.

When you finally reach your forties, things are starting to shape into a pattern. By now, you know whether marriage is a good thing or a bad thing based on your own personal experiences and you pretty well know how parenthood goes (it's a trial and error thing no matter how many times you do it), and you're starting to really focus on you.

By the time your golden years rolls around, you pretty well know what your capabilities are. You can look at back and smile at your accomplishments and it is at this time where everything finally comes together.

I'm in my early fifties now and I do see a definite pattern that has evolved. I see where I started doing this way back when which led to what I'm doing now.

In my own experience, I realized that marriage is not for me, but a happy union between two people is more fulfilling. I realized that my kids aren't going to be rocket scientists, but I have eased back in demanding more from my son who has Marfans and has limited capabilities of his own and my daughter and I have grown from our pasts into very close friends.

I have come to terms with my father leaving me as a baby and even have been contacted by his family who sent me pictures of him. While his wife will not let me see him, I am fulfilled in the fact that he does know about me and I finally got to see a picture of what he looks like, not to mention have met wonderful people who are my aunts and uncles. I still have not contacted a brother I have not seen, but it will get to that point at some point in time.

As for my profession, I realized throughout everything I have done in the past how my past has actually shaped me into what I am doing now. If it weren't for everything I had been through, I would not have gotten that life knowledge to learn how to be what I am fulfilled in being.

And this did not take shape until I hit my fifties, but the pattern was taking shape all along, only I didn't know it.

Life is wonderful in that respect. Every life stage has a meaning and a purpose and just knowing that getting older does not mean your life is over, but that it has finally just begun.

Only, this time, I can finally say this is what fulfillment is all about.

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  1. Exactly, Dorothy! Great post! And thanks for the mention.

  2. Dorothy,

    I love your recounting of the stages of growth you've experienced. Coming to terms with our own limitations, or those of the people we love can actually help us to live a more fulfilling, happy life.

    I believe this is something women need to hear, at any age.


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