Welcome to brand spankin’ new blog! I was previously blogging over at More at Forty, but since I’m now pushing fifty and I’m wanting to take my blogging to the next level, I needed a fresh, new space with a new direction. I think I’ve found it! I’m glad you stumbled upon it and I hope you will find something interesting and useful as I build the blog from the bottom up.
You may have come here based on the “almost fifty” in the title. Are you someone who is getting ready for the fifth decade and thinking “what have I done with my life?” Or maybe you are happy with where you are in life, but you are thinking “what do I do now with my life?” I am much more of the former than the latter myself, but we’ll save that for another blog post. Whether you are almost fifty, younger, or older, I think we can all relate to reaching a point in our lives where we are settled in, but not necessarily comfortable in that place or even our own skin. I am there. I have been there for a while now, but I’ve reached a point where I have now realized that it is up to me to get out of that place where I am not really comfortable and seek out a place that is more “me”. Like this one:
Just me on a beach, looking fashionably casual. Instead, I am riding the waves of eight-year-old and forty-eight-year-old discontent, hating my hair and most of my clothes and living pretty far inland.
If there is one thing I’ve learned in my near five decades of existence it is this – you can be whoever you decide you want to be in life with God’s help and approval. But, you have to know who that is in order to become it. That is the hard part.
I started out life as a swimmer and a gymnast. I followed that “destiny” through high school (when gymnast fell away and swimmer took center stage) and on into college. I then became a swim coach in my 20s. But, I longed for more. I returned to finish college with a new identity of “academic” and pursued speech and debate. In college, after six years off, I was a debater who enjoyed a good party atmosphere and was looking for intellectual pursuits. I went to graduate school, became a debate coach at the age of 30 and that was my lived “destiny” until 2009.
In 2009, at the ripe age of 40, I had my daughter and my new “destiny” was mother and provider. Now, as I approach the next decade of life, I feel like God is again calling me to a new destiny. Not one that requires me to leave those other identities behind (after all, I am still an academic and debate coach along with being a mother and provider), but one that is more about who I REALLY am in God’s plan.
In each of those “destiny” time periods, I made quite a few mistakes and I was not always happy with who I was. Often, that was the impetus for change. I am more satisfied with who I am now, but I want just a little more. I want just a little different. I want to achieve things I never thought possible. I want to be more in control of my life. I want to be able to self-determine my destiny instead of having it happen because of reactions to other things in my life. I constantly place limits on myself and my identity. Instead, I need to push past those limitations. We are all guilty of painting ourselves into a box at times. Whether it is based on others’ expectations, our own expectations and identities or just lack of creativity and imagination, we limit ourselves. I want to remove those limits as I move into my fifth decade. So, what are some of those limits I want to remove?
- I can’t travel. I don’t have the time or the money or the energy.
- I don’t manage money well and I chose a career that doesn’t pay that much. I will always struggle financially.
- I am not fashionable. I don’t have the time or the money or the energy to work on myself that much.
- I am disorganized and messy. I will always be running late, losing things and living in chaos. It is just who I am.
- I am not creative. My mind doesn’t work that way. I am logical and academic, not creative and capable of DIYs.
- I lack discipline. I just don’t have stick-to-it-iveness.
So, if I remove those limits and look to all the gifts God has given me, here is what I have in my fifth decade of life:
- I am a traveler. I go places, see things, and enjoy them. I make time for it, save money for it and it energizes me.
- I am a great money manager. I am supplementing my income through writing and workshops and I am spending, saving and giving in ways that make me feel joyful.
- I am beautiful. I love playing with my hair and dressing in clothes that are flattering, comfortable and fun. I love playing with makeup and taking care of myself. It makes me feel confident and capable.
- I am living simply. I have what I need and love and not a thing more. This means I can keep those things nice and tidy. I also keep a calendar and plan ahead and make time for fun.
- I am creative. I do fun, creative projects and I am successful at them. They bring beauty and joy into my home and into my life.
- I am disciplined. I can see the things worth investing time and energy in and I pursue those whole-heartedly.
That second list sounds like the makings for a pretty good decade of life. I have one more year before I start that decade, but I figure some of these things need a bit of a foundation built before I can really get building the life I want and that God has designed for me.
So, there you have it. Project Hawaii 5-0 is off and running…or should I say, off and riding the waves!