Life is a Journey (Thoughts and Reflections on my 38th Birthday)

 

It’s my 38th birthday. It’s kind of crazy and hard to believe. All I can hear is the 10-year-old thoughts of how being almost 40 is so very old. The funny thing is, I don’t feel very old. Sure, I feel a bit older than I did at 10, but I don’t really feel any older than I did when I was 20.
Life is a Journey
-Society says I should pursue looking young. Everywhere we look there are magazines, ads, or commercials that show us ways to stay younger looking or to be younger looking. I have struggled with getting older and the fact that I am “almost” 40. It hasn’t been easy turning off the 10-year-old voice that says I’m old or accepting the fact that yes, I am growing older and I will begin to have some lines. In the midst of those thoughts, though, I am reminded of all that I have learned. It is amazing how much more grown up I am than when I was 20! I wouldn’t trade being 20 again for the things that God has taught and the things I’ve learned in life.
-I’m growing up. I’m learning more and more all the time that life actually gets better as I get older. Learning to be a more patient person (I’m not there yet) is such a blessing! I actually amaze myself (at times) when I answer an upset child in a quiet and gentle voice. I sometimes even wonder where that came from.
-Having children was the best thing I ever did. I have devoted my life to being a mother ever since my children were born. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve felt the pressure to perform, to be successful, to do more than “just” be a mom. In fact, I’ve succumbed to that pressure time and time again. All those times that I’ve felt “less than” are small in comparison to the immense gratitude I feel for having been given this gift to be a stay-at-home mom. No I won’t be a stay at home mom, forever, but the time I’ve had to been one has been a gift.
-Time goes by quickly. If you would have told me 18 years ago how quickly this time would pass, I would have laughed in your face. At that time, I thought time actually went very slowly and that it would take FOREVER to get here.
-In spite of learning so much, I still feel confused about a lot of things. When I was 20-years-old, I kind of thought that things would all make sense by now. They still don’t. In fact, I think I have more questions now than I did then. So, I’ve learned a lot but there is much more to learn. But I’m okay with that and I’m so happy that there is more learning to look forward to.
-Friendships are amazing but they still make you feel insecure even when you are an adult. I chat with my children often about their friendship woes and I recognize that doesn’t really change when you get older. You still want to fit in and be liked. You still feel insecure sometimes. And you still have communication issues, even as an adult.
-But relationships are so valuable and important! I have found that relationships are worth putting myself out there. They have helped make my life so full and rich. Yes, we will get hurt. Yes, they are hard and messy. But the richness of putting time and effort into relationships with other human beings is so worth it! There is nothing that I would rather do, these days, than put time into other people. What a treasure.
-Boundaries are so important. It’s incredibly easy to allow myself to get overwhelmed and let life get too full. This has been a hard year for me regarding with boundaries with someone in my life. Previous to this, I thought I had them all firmly established in my life. However, a chain of events taught me very quickly that I did not (in fact) have my boundaries set and established. I’m on my way now, but it’s still really hard. I’m thankful for some amazing people in my life who have helped me learn to gently put up boundaries by giving me actionable steps that I could take to move forward in these situations.
-I still get scared. I’m learning the importance of challenging myself past my fears. Recently, I rode a very large rollercoaster all alone (did I mention I don’t ride rollercoasters alone?) and I am so glad I challenged myself past my fears.
-Writing words is still an important way for me to express myself. It also helps me to figure out the things that go through my head. I’ve begun to write in a much less formal way in recent months. Just getting the words down on paper helps me a lot.
-Gratitude is so very important. I read the book “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp a couple of months ago. I had never read it before, but it was life-changing! I have now begun my list of one thousand gifts. It has been begun to change my perspective and even my view on things.
-God has been teaching me about trust in major ways in the past several months. It hasn’t been easy “not knowing” but through the “not knowing” I’ve learned a ton about trusting. Not knowing has taught me that when I know, I tend not to trust all that well.

How about you? I’d love if you’d tell me how you’ve seen your perspective shift over time.

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