Friday, October 28, 2011

Learning from the Almost-19-Year-Old Me: Things Change and Yet Stay the Same

Birthday Ages Pictures This weekend, I will turn 41.  Just writing that baffles me.  How did I become 41?  I mean, I know how the days turn into weeks and the weeks into years, but it seems that the past few years have just flown by and the young woman, who was so grateful to finally receive the gift of marriage, then motherhood and then motherhood times two and three, has gotten, well, old.

Now, before anyone says it, I know 41 is hardly old.  My maternal grandmother doubled my age and then some.  But, the fact is, lately I have been feeling a little less spry.

Evenings, I find myself exhausted.  Mornings, I wake up with less vigor than I once did.  And, although gratitude is something I feel and express to our Lord each and every day, my husband will be the first to point out that I hardly appear to be the thankful, happy mom of late.  The fact is, when he comes home from work, I am too often a picture of a weary woman beat by her day.  I hardly brim with joy and thankfulness.

This is not good.  This is not what I want, nor what my husband desires, nor what my children deserve, and, I certainly sense it is not what our Good Lord has planned for me. 

Nope.

As I face my 41st birthday, I recognize that I have not been letting the Spirit lead me in the details of my days as well as I could be and thus my spirits are flagging – unnecessarily! 

So, what am I going to do about it?  Well, as the almost-19-year-old me said to, I’m going to “accept failures, not defeat: drive on!”  But, I am not going to drive alone.  Instead, I am going to “Remember (my) Lord” and, with through grace, “Hold on” and “Discipline (my)self” among other things.

Where am I getting all these quotes?  Well, when I was reflecting on my age, stage and demeanor today, I was about to do a typical me thing – to write down a list of tasks and goals to get me back on track in the year ahead.  But, then, I felt moved to do something else instead:  to dig out a very old journal of mine, which, miraculously, was just where I thought it was.  (Not many items in my home are these days!) 

When I opened to the journal’s first page, I smiled.  On it was a list written in early October 1989.  It was a list of action phrases preceded by the words: You must do the following to “make it”.

I no longer recall what the “it” I was referring to then was, but I can say that the list seems as appropriate to my life now as it was then.  Funny how the circumstances of life change multiple times through the years, yet the core of each of us can remain very much the same.

So, this year, as I turn 41, my gift to myself, to my husband and to my children is going to be to take the gift of reflection the Spirit led me to today and to listen parts of what the almost-19-year-old me had to say, putting into daily action many of the things penned in a journal over two decades ago, starting with “Pray” and “SMILE!” 

Choosing to do just these two things alone during times when I feel old will, no doubt, help me reach the blessed period of life my maternal grandmother did. 

Forty-one.  Old?  No way!  If we “Just Believe”, “Go day by day”, “Laugh a lot” “and dream BIG!!!” we can “make it” day-to-day, detail-by-detail to the Ultimate Goal!

1 comment:

Mägi said...

Happy happy happy birthday to you! Yours words have been quite a gift to me this past short while-ness. May God continue to bless you with his peace and wisdom this upcoming year.

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