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!

Going gray…hurray!

Is it possible to feel younger once you see the telltale signs of getting older? For example, while drying my hair today, I noticed that I am starting to see a few gray hairs. It got me thinking. My mother doesn’t even have gray hair or at least I can’t see any. Granted, my hair is dark and they show up a lot better than they do in my mother’s blonde hair. My mother acts a hell of a lot younger than I do, so maybe that’s why. Who knows? The point of all of this babbling is this: The gray hairs didn’t make me feel old.

A couple of years ago as I was approaching 35, I felt like a very old, very out of touch, very not with it aging hag. Sounds harsh, I know, but this is how I felt. It was completely unreasonable and probably not warranted, however, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was not aging well. I had lots of things on my mind and had convinced myself that I had to have reached a certain place in my life when I turned 35. I should have finished college, settled down some, had a great job, etc. Although I had actually done all of these things, I just wasn’t satisfied. In the course of getting all of these things done, I had almost completely forgotten how to have fun.

Sure, I still went out to sing karaoke on the rare occasions when my husband and I could get a sitter for our daughter. We also managed to do a few fun things as a family, but there was all of this stress. This bunch of crap that made the fun almost too much of a chore to bother with. So, as you might have guessed, we made some changes or at least I did. I started trying to find ways to get in touch with the old me. Well, not the “old” me, but the previous me. The one I used to actually like. I started trying to make time for my own hobbies and things that used to make me happy. Before long, these little steps added up to one big shift in my attitude. By the time I turned 36 this year, I felt much better about life. Granted, I still have some days, as every woman does, when I feel like an old hag. The difference now is that I’m actually looking forward to turning forty. The gray hairs made me smile a little because I know now that they aren’t going to mean I can’t be myself. They just mean I’ll look more distinguished while I’m being me. 😉

Until next time…

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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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