Hello, middle of your life Me.
I like you.
They say men go through a mid-life crisis in their 40s or their 50s, asking, “Is this really all there is to life?” and I know some women do, too, but in my experience women come into their own in this season. We start to give up on the harshness and the competition and embrace embracing — most of all embracing ourselves.
I’m not so worried about trying to prove myself. I’ve done the proving.
I’m here, aren’t I? I’m still standing.
I have a quiet confidence that only comes from surviving the hard losses and softly savoring the gentle moments.
This mid-life time is so very…middle.
In the middle of children and my parents.
In the middle of friendships.
In the middle of my career and my marriage.
Sometimes I feel like I have it together. I’m actually coming into my own and understand this whole adult-world thing. I like being in my 40s so much better than my 30s. I’m confident. I’ve got this. I like being who God created me to be.
Other times I’m a big fat fraud. I’m a pretender. I hope other people don’t figure out that I honestly don’t know what the heck I’m supposed to be doing.
I’m in the middle of myself.
When I was in my 20s, what did I imagine for the middle of my lifetime?
A successful career.
A happy marriage.
A couple cute (ahem, naturally well-behaved) children.
It seemed humble enough to ask for at the time.
What would my 20 year old self think of the life I have now? Would she be impressed? Would she recoil in horror?
There are times life is so drastically difficult. I cry while driving to appointments for no other reason than the overwhelmingness of it all.
Other times I sit back and simply enjoy the swirling chaos that is mine. Once when I was visiting my mom, we called my house with Mike and the kids on Facetime. It was nuts with cats and kids climbing in and out, and my mom asked, “Doesn’t that chaos drive you a bit crazy?” and I said, “NO, I love it.”
With every heartbeat my heart is pounding, “Mine! Mine, these people are MINE.” Not selfishly. Not that I won’t share them or let them go into the world, but with a thank you God, for giving them to me.
I’ll take it. I’ll take the sink full of never-ending dishes and the pre-teen boy smell. I’ll take the nights of worried restless sleep. I’ll take the hours of phone calls and the endless school meetings.
I get my husband’s arm around me as he curls up next to me at night. I get my daughter’s texts during the day and the look of pure joy my son has when he laughs.
I’ll take it all. Yes, I will.
Oh gracious Lord,
You’ve given me the gift of another year. Fill me with thankfulness and grace this year. May I never take this year for granted. Allow me to walk with quiet confidence that comes only from from surviving the hard losses and softly savoring the gentle moments. Let everyone I come in contact with this year see Jesus shining brightly through me.
In Your Holy Name I pray, Amen