I'll be 40 in May. I'm not staring down the date with dread. I don't feel or act 40, whatever 40 is supposed to feel or act like, although some days I think I look about 59. It's a lovely combination of wrinkles, prematurely gray hair, and continued adult acne. I'm painting a pretty picture here, aren't I? But this isn't about my looks. It's about my life. My time here.
I find myself at this point in my life where I feel the deep need to start carving time and space for what matters to me. It's becoming all too clear that life is stupidly and ridiculously short, so what the heck am I doing wasting my time? Instead of burying my head in the sand and ignoring the tick tock of a traditionally major birthday that signifies I'm over the hill so it's all downhill from here (ha!), I'm changing the things I don't like. I'm stepping back from time commitments that don't suit me or speak to my passions. I'm saying yes to things that ignite a flame in my soul and serve others with the best of me.
It's so cliche, this evaluation of life as a major birthday approaches, but it's for a good reason. We wake up and we're like, dude, I don't have time for this nonsense. I am who I am and this is my skill set and these are my passions and it's about time I use them and use them well and wisely. I'm as old as I've ever been, but I'm also as young as I'll ever be again. So, let's get to it already.
Truth be told, I had a major freakout when I turned 25. I was really close to graduating from college, which took longer because I transferred approximately 8.32 trillion times because a)started at the wrong school, b) met and married my husband after my sophomore year at school #2 c) began moving all over with the Air Force husband and picking up college credits whenever we lived somewhere long enough. We were living somewhere that didn't feel like home. I didn't have a degree or a "real job." It just wasn't what I imagined 25 would look like. Then I graduated and we moved back to places where it snows every winter and I started cranking out little people, and I haven't freaked out about a birthday since, so I really see no reason to start now.
I don't know where my end of the road is. Will it be sudden or long and drawn out with plenty of time for me to armchair quarterback the bejesus out of the way I used my time here. (Don't you just know I'll armchair quarterback, if given the chance. Tis the life of a non-bovine ruminator.) I hope I'll know I did the best I could with what I had for as long as I could. I hope I won't be filled with regret on how I spent my time. I pray I'll know I answered God's nudges and outright shouts to use this precious life to share love and Jesus and hope. I pray that the people I love will feel up to their eyeballs loved by me, no questions asked and no doubt about it.
To that end, I'm dropping some things from my life. I can always pick them back up later, but they don't fit right now. I need some wiggle room for other stuff. Aren't I fortunate to be in a place in my life in a country in this world that I can make decisions not based on how I'll feed my children or where we'll sleep tonight. I don't take that for granted. Really, most of us that write blogs about living our "true life" or being a good parent or blahblahyadayada are coming from such a place of surplus. We have so much. I take that very seriously.
It's one thing to say I take that very seriously and another thing entirely to live like I take that seriously. 40 is telling me it's time to kick it up a notch. Here's to a life well lived and love freely given. Today and tomorrow and the next day, too.