A variation on the lyrics of the ballad by Lowe, Mann, and Weiss as written by Vic Ebeling.
Welcome to the first “Our Prime Life” blog.
How many of us believe we are in a prime time of our life
First of all, what does “prime” mean? I think we’ll agree
that the most commonly accepted meaning is that our
prime is the best time of our life. But other definitions
of prime include the beginning stage of something and
a phase that is an ideal or peak condition. So I’ll ask you
again: Do you believe you’re in a prime time in your life?
(If you’re reading this entry
and realize you’ve read it before,
a quick explanation is found at the
end of this blog.)
What is the “Our Prime Life” blog about?
The goal of “Our Prime Life” is to inspire its visitors to
consider that right now is a prime time of your life.
You could be a young individual or a more mature adult.
Struggling or successful. Working toward a dream or
working to maintain that dream. A woman or a man.
Anywhere on the spectrum of success… from just
making it to doing just great. Or just about to lose
it… and everything in between. Anywhere from
on your own to happily connected to hyper-responsible
So does the quality of our lives today depend totally on
what’s happening to us? Or can it be influenced by how
we perceive it? That’s where we begin our conversation.
Why spend time with “Our Prime Life”?
Why would you want to read my reflections on this concept?
I believe there are at least two reasons: Life is full of ups
and downs—often more downs than ups. But my ups have
been sensational and came when they were supposed to,
which resulted in my life moving forward to the best it’s
ever been. And as I look back, my difficult times were
equally as important and essential to my growth.
I want to share with you what I’ve learned from good times
and bad times. And I want to give you a voice, to share
your experiences with me and with our other readers.
I have confidence that you will offer new ideas and
provide new insights. Hopefully by combining our ideas,
we will open even more lines of communication and
provide insights and inspiration for others.
An illustration of what I mean
I have memories of events in my childhood that make me
sad because I recall the unhappiness that went with them.
A young child cannot be expected to have the patience or
wisdom to understand that things may happen for a reason,
especially if they are painful or disappointing.
When I was a young child, my mother made me go to bed at
8:00 every night. In the dark, door closed. Why she did that
I won’t get into. The problem was ever since I was an infant,
I didn’t need much sleep. Never took a nap during the day
and only slept eight or so hours a night. As a result, I lay
awake each night for several hours until I fell asleep.
My younger brother would complain if he saw a light under
my door… my attempt to read with a flashlight under the
covers. So there I was, wide awake, nothing to do. What was
my solution? I made up stories. I was usually the heroine.
Sometimes westerns, sometimes war stories, sometimes crime
dramas, sometimes romance. For years, every night, I made
As a teenager, circumstances changed and I actually stayed
up after everyone else went to bed, watching TV, doing
homework, reading books, talking on the phone with my
friends and then my high school boyfriends. But I still had
the love of imagination. I graduated from a university with a
degree from the school’s college of communication arts.
I wrote creatively my entire teenage and adult life. My high
school teachers praised my work. When I worked in the
entertainment industry, my specialty became preparing
scripts for production.
I saved my writing in boxes. A few years ago I went through
the boxes and realized, while there was some very good
writing, something was missing. I recently shared this
with a dear friend of mine, and she came up with an
insight. The magic word: approval. I agreed with her that
the incentive for my quest to write the great American
novel was writing for approval of my own life—that I had
accomplished my dream. But until then I wasn’t ready.
(This is an example of gaining insight from someone
That day a few years ago when I opened those boxes, I
threw away most of my stories. I had reached a point in my
journey where I was very content with where I was in
my life. It was at that point that I stopped using my energy
to prove I was the writer I always wanted to be and, instead,
let my imagination soar like it did those many dark
evenings long ago. Several ideas came together, and I
wrote a multi-award-winning novel, which turned into a
series. My four books have thus far won more than twenty
independent book festival awards.
I credit the success of my novels to those nights alone in the
dark, making up stories.
Sometimes we have to trust that “right now” might not be the
best time for the things we want for ourselves. So instead of spending
our time wishing and dreaming and grieving, I think we need
to appreciate what we have today.
As I look back on it, I spent so much of my life longing to
achieve my goal and thinking about what I didn’t have, I wasted
a lot of the time that I could have spent cherishing what I had.
Perhaps if you dwell on the thought that you’re not getting
what you want in life at this time, you may be missing what
you have now.
What did I learn from this experience?
I try to tell myself, ‘you may not have what you thought was
essential to enjoy your life, but if you look at what you do
have, it may alter your concept of the essentials.’
A wonderful line from the award-winning musical,
Sunday in the Park with George, is spoken by the character
based on the great artist, George Seurat. Seurat completed
only a few paintings and died relatively young. He struggled,
sometimes painfully, with creating his art, but he did not
surrender. Because, as he states in the play, “A blank
canvas… so many possibilities.”
The sun comes up every morning to begin a new day…
like a blank canvas… so many possibilities.
We could begin with a fresh awareness
When my husband was dying of cancer for eight months in
our home, he wanted me as his sole caretaker. I could have
seen my life as controlled only by that dynamic. But I still
had my son’s Little League games, and my psychotherapy
practice, where I could absorb myself in something outside
of myself, and the outpouring of love and care from our
neighbors and community, and I had our friends. Near the
end, a hospice nurse began visiting to regulate his medication
and check his condition. At that time my husband also
became open to inviting our friends to help with his
I had a running joke with the nurse. I would say, “See that
lady doing my dishes? She’s an attorney.” “See that woman
folding my laundry? She’s a college professor.” “See that fella
helping my husband adjust his position? He’s a television
propmaster.” She and I would laugh.
The most important lesson I learned about helping a friend
dealing with tragedy was to refrain from talking with sad
sympathy about the pain they had been going through
yesterday, or reflecting on how they would be able to survive
in the future, but to just concentrate on today. And simply
ask, “What can I do for you right now?”
It’s true we can’t live in naive bliss
This isn’t to say that there are things that happened in our
past that we shouldn’t treasure. But there are things that are
happening today that we can celebrate.
However, we can’t deny what has been lost or what has hurt
us in the past. And we do have to have some direction for
But unexpected things happen every day. Some of them are
not what you would have wished for. Maybe even, on a rough
day, they seem overwhelming. But then sometimes good
things happen that we didn’t expect. We may not even notice
them. So many of us, instead of embracing these positive
events, count them as little compensation for the negative
experiences. How about recognizing these positive events
and enjoying them for the gifts that they are? Each one.
Some things take time
I grew up in what was called a “bedroom community”
outside a major city. A bedroom community was a large
area of land where hundreds of tract homes were built to
create a new small city of families. It was hundreds of
medium-sized brick homes with a few places of worship,
grocery stores, schools, and a community center.
Each home had a backyard and front yard and a
boulevard… the area of ground between the sidewalk and
the curb. There were hundreds of new families with young
kids. Since all the homes were new, we had to seed our
lawns and plant bushes.
The majority of owners planted a sapling on the boulevard.
It was a small, scrawny beginning of a tree that someday
would begin to bear leaves in the spring, turn to beautiful
autumn colors in the fall, was nothing but limbs in the winter
and begin the cycle again when the winter chill began to melt.
When I left home for college, these trees were lovely, small
trees, about 15 to 20 feet tall.
Decades later I returned home with my small son. I wanted
him to see the house where I grew up, now owned by another family.
We turned the corner onto our street. It was amazing. As far as
we could see in front of dozens of homes were the saplings
we had planted that had grown into a natural masterpiece of
rows and rows of beautiful, graceful, magnificent trees
lining the streets.
In those years we had waited for the saplings to grow, they
had become 30 to 40 feet tall, forming an archway of grand,
leaf-covered branches, swaying in unison to the breeze,
decorating the neighborhood like a majestic, natural crown.
When we first planted these trees, we got in trouble if we
tried to climb them, or hang on the young limbs, or tie things
from the twigs. But they had become a strong, grand symbol
of the lives lived on those streets, celebrating the day-to-day
sagas of those families. They had survived and thrived.
A thought for today
“Having spent the better part of my life trying either to relive
the past or experience the future before it arrives, I have
come to believe that in between these two extremes is peace.”
Please share your thoughts
I look forward to hearing from you. Your comments, insights,
and questions are all welcome.
Let the discussion begin.
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