The Perfect Answer

“What are you reading?” a perky woman asked as she sat down beside me in the plane.

A random or perhaps not meeting with a kindred spirit gave me much to think about. She’d been married 37 years. “Oh did your husband pass?” I asked.

She surprised me saying “No I divorced him.”

Now ten years into her second marriage I had to inquire about all this.   She knew that this was not the right place for her to be about seven years into her first marriage. However with two small children and no education she did not possess the means to support herself. She’d had little education as a child and told me with a grin that she decided to learn and grow with her girls. And she did gaining the skills and education to become a therapist. As we talked I found that she too liked to create and for fun she had entered sewing competitions.  Interestingly  she told me that had her first husband grown to be the person he was now and if she had grown to where she was now, she would have never left him. She laughed and said “Often the grass is greener but it turns out it’s on top of a septic field.”

Later in the conversation she would share “Most people have unrealistic expectations of relationships.”  I was thankful that she shared her experiences with me although quite honestly I couldn’t sum up the conversation in one definitive here is what you should do statement. Rather, I found that she said many situations in life are good and bad, that rarely are the solutions clearly defined. Often we make choices when the answer isn’t obvious, when we have to weigh each outcome and then proceed. Does that make sense? When faced with a decision I want my choices to be loud and obviously different. I want the right answer to jump out at me so I can proceed with an unwavering confidence that I made the correct choice. Wouldn’t that be great? The reality is you weigh your options and make the best of the situation. Unfortunately the Disney ending isn’t always one of the choices you are given in life.  And there you have it: reality. Maybe that is what her message was after all, realistic expectations of life and the choices what make.  Sometimes the perfect answer isn’t available, and that’s ok.