Another Trip Around the…Sun?

Take a moment and watch this video, good song!

Trip Around the Sun

Well, let’s hope so.  I swear, looking back over the last twelve months of my life I would have thought there might be a few more victories there.  Sadly, I was doing pretty much the same thing this time last year as I am today.  On my 39th birthday, I was traveling to Cincinnati for a job interview which didn’t pan out and I was in relational negotiations with a loser.  That’s a nice way of saying that I was in mid-breakup with a guy I was trying to date.  It’s not like I didn’t accomplish anything, though.  At least this year, it was a different guy and I really did make some changes that I feel will turn out to be the right thing.  I just haven’t seen the fruits of those efforts yet.  It makes it difficult sometimes to keep planning ahead and to keep pushing toward new goals.  But in truth, I’ve been anticipating this day.  My fortieth birthday.  I’ve wanted so badly to be out of my thirties and now, I’m here.

Turning forty is a major milestone for me because it represents a fresh start after all of the upheavals and defeats suffered during my last decade.  My thirties represented the birth of my child whom I love more than life itself, the rise and subsequent fall of my marriage, the loss of some very important family members, the difference between admiration, infatuation, and true love, the realization that maybe I’m not cut out to do what counts as “real work” in this society, and an even bigger realization that I’m really not the one whose steering this ship.  I’m hopeful, that with God’s grace, I can move on to do something meaningful with the rest of my days on this earth.  And even though it often seems like nothing is happening, I know He is working in my life.  He’s certainly had me in a season on reflection and learning for the last ten years or so.   And I think I’m finally starting to form a clear picture of what He’s been trying to show me.

Looking back on the last twenty years, I can see where these times have helped me grow and where what I thought were the toughest trials I’d ever faced made me stronger.  God has a way of showing us who we are when we aren’t really paying attention.  All this time, I thought some of the things I were doing were just being done out of my inability to follow Him correctly.  As it turns out, it was part of His plan to help me overcome the most daunting strongholds that I still had in my life.  So, for my fortieth birthday, I’m giving myself the gift of giving up.  I’m giving up on things and people that are bad for me.  I’m giving up on relationships that hold no promise other than to hurt me and stall my progress.  I’m giving up what I believed to be control of my life to Someone who is better equipped than myself to guide me through this mess.  I’m giving up on trying to be what everyone else wants me to be.  And in doing so, I’ll be giving up on being frustrated and finally allowing myself to enjoy being the person God made me to be.  Yes, after forty years, I think it’s time I started being myself.  Maybe this trip around the sun will be more than just another trip around the same mountain.  I’ll get back to you on that…but in the meantime, have a wonderfully, blessed day!

Our latest contest…

What Would Rona Do?

Rona Shively is nearing the big 4-0. I’m looking for your suggestions about how she might handle this transition in her life. Do you think she’s the type to fret over a couple of grey hairs? Or is she more likely to get even crankier as she ages? After reading Keeping the Faith, you’ll see what direction Rona is most likely to take. But for now, I’m wondering what you think she should do with the rest of her life. I’ll post some of your responses in the next newsletter and on the blog. Just send me your thoughts by October 30th and the top three responses will win a prize!

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Anxiously awaiting November…

but not for the reasons you might think. Sure, all of the political crap will be over and we won’t have to hear about how terrible Palin is or how inadequate Obama is. We’ll have discovered our fate shortly after the first of the month, so we can enjoy the rest of it. What I’m referring to is the release of the new Madagascar movie! I just can’t wait to see it. The truly funny thing is that my daughter, who will turn five in November, tells me that she doesn’t want to see the movie. Hilarious. She would rather listen to my Lisa Scottoline audiobooks in the car while we’re driving to daycare. Could it be that something is wrong with this picture?

It’s been a stressful year for everyone. November will be great for lots of reasons. Aside from the election, it will bring the start of the holiday season. It’s my favorite time of year. I get to have a birthday party on the 9th for my daughter and then plan for vacation around Thanksgiving, and then start shopping for Christmas. Obama and Palin will be the furthest things from my mind at that point.

We get so caught up in the politics, the economy and all of the crap, that sometimes it seems like there will never be any more fun. November is a time when I can get centered again and remember how much I enjoy seeing my daughter’s face light up when she opens her birthday gifts and hearing her rattle off an endless list of things she wants for Christmas. I get to spend more time with family and see people I might not have seen in a while. They tend to come out of the woodwork during the holidays. And then there are the parties. It’s just such a happy, festive time.

What are you looking forward to? When it’s all said and done, what part of the year makes you the happiest?

Until next time…

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The Morning After…

Yesterday, I turned 36. Without much fanfare, but nonetheless, it happened. I had been wondering how this birthday would hit me since last year I nearly had a meltdown over turning 35. Thankfully, I maintained my composure and was actually ok with the whole thing. After all, 36 is one of those non-events we all go through. It isn’t a milestone birthday. There really wasn’t anything attached to this particular age for me. Last year, I had set myself up to be disappointed because I hadn’t had more kids or done more with my life. This year, I’m thinking, “Hey, what the hell else should you have done? You’ve been pretty busy, so quit your bitching.”

I usually look at my birthday as a time to make resolutions. It’s a time to decide once and for all what the priorities for the next year will be. So, this year I have just two things that I want to accomplish. The first is to finish losing the weight I’ve been trying to lose for the past five years. The second is to finish writing this book, Keeping the Faith and find a wonderful publisher who will help me take my work to the next level. Actually, I should probably try to figure out what the next level might be before I start looking for publishers. I’m not even sure what level I’m currently on.

The long and short of it is that I’m finally giving myself a break. I’m no longer going to beat myself up for not having met someone else’s personal idea of who I should be. I’m grown and I have my own goals to meet and my own crosses to bear. If my goals don’t meet with someone else’s expectations of who they want me to be, who gives a shit? Not me. Not anymore…hell, I’m on my way to 40. I don’t have time for self-depricating bullshit like that. I’m happy and so far, I have been fairly healthy. For that I am thankful and I’ll keep on working towards the things that I think will keep me that way. Shouldn’t we all?

Until next time…

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