Afternoon Sky

I’ve been transported lately on my way to work, fully engulfed in the music of Adele from her 25 album. Each song speaks to me in ways I’m sure other’s can relate to as well. When I’m alone in my car, driving the hour in to work, this music is like medicine for my heart and soul. As I drive through nicer than usual neighborhoods, with houses and lawns and cars and boats in view, I hear this one song and it hits me right in the gut.

The lyrics are from Adele’s song, Million Years Ago (full song lyrics can be found here). As I travel down the back roads with these well established family homes, I can’t help but think of the decisions I’ve made that brought me to where I am today. College, work, marriage, divorce, a bit careless after the divorce, moving a lot as my circumstances dictated. I wonder if the people who live in these well maintained homes are happy, if they feel satisfied, fulfilled. I wonder if they’re proud of their choices, and did they make better ones than I did.

I know I’m not the only one
Who regrets the things they’ve done
Sometimes I just feel it’s only me
Who can’t stand the reflection that they see
I wish I could live a little more
Look up to the sky, not just the floor

When I first divorced and sold my large home an hour from my job, I gained so much freedom and free time that I was carefree. That was first for me in many ways. Looking up to the sky was a regular deal, in fact I looked up and out a lot as I had spent so much of my marriage, and life really, looking down at the floor. My time before that was spent doing and rushing and fixing and definitely not living. When I was single, I stayed out late, sometimes I didn’t come home, and it didn’t matter to anyone else anymore. I was young and let my heart lead they way, as Adele sings it.

I feel like my life is flashing by
And all I can do is watch and cry
I miss the air, I miss my friends
I miss my mother; I miss it when
Life was a party to be thrown
But that was a million years ago

I love my little family now, and the country church mouse life we lead, and I’ve had the big house paid in full, a new car and everything with another husband and I was miserable. Our current third floor walk up with the love of my life is not the three bedroom home and two car garage with all new appliances, but it’s filled with more love and respect and laughter than that other home, no, other house, ever was. The stairs kill both of us in our knees and me in my back. I’m overweight so there’s that aspect of the walk up as well. But I adore coming home to my man, the one man who has proven to be trustworthy and kind, patient and adoring. We are dirt poor and stressed about money but we are content with the little pieces of cheese we have.

But as I drive by these homes with their Americana decor, fences, landscaping, quaintness, I wonder if I will ever get out of debt again. Will I be free from these back taxes I created by taking money from my retirement so I could survive after I was unemployed and took a much lower paying job? Will I ever be able to pay the eye surgeon and hospital who took my cataracts and gave me new sight when I was basically blind? Will we live our dream of life in Maine with a fire pit and a work shed? Will my husband be able to work with wildlife and hunt deer in the backwoods?

These are the questions that haunt me as deeply as the Adele’s lyrics and the sight of these lovely homes on my ride into work each day.

I wish I could live a little more
Look up to the sky, not just the floor

I’m going to keep trying to look up to the sky even as the worries of my life bear down on me.