Thursday, August 21, 2014

The View (from 40)

It has been a summer of mini-adventures and milestones for the northern end of this blogging duo - family vacations, Bible camp, BBQs, birthdays, boating and minor home renovations. And like Laura, I too sent my youngest to kindergarten last week with feelings of "Now what?" and "What the HECK just happened?"  We are crossing the one week threshold today and my kindergartner still has a lot of anxiety walking through that door every morning. His feelings are simple and concrete: he's scared. New school, new kids and a lot of unknowns. I know that he'll adapt to his new school life like all kids do, but he wasn't the only one feeling anxious. I had a lot of anxiety about my ability to adapt to being alone! And for a minute, I think I actually wished he could stay home! Of course, the thought of home-schooling (and "new math") is still WAY scarier than being alone, so off he went. 

But my feelings of "What just happened?" continued and were compounded coming off the heels of another milestone: my 40th birthday. dun dun dun.... Yes, yes, I know what you're all thinking, "She doesn't look that old!" (That was what you were thinking, right?) But, thankfully, I am.  Thankfully? Yes, thankfully. 

I didn't put together a long list of things I've learned along the way, but I can tell you that the view, the overall view of life, family, love, kids, friendship is clearer. I've made it out of the cloud cover of my adolescence, the fog of my twenties and the sleep-deprived haziness of my thirties (and trust me, when you have a baby that didn't sleep through the night for two years, it can get very hazy!), and the view is more lovely than I ever imagined! It is so much easier to be who you are and say what you mean without apology, say "no" to the things you don't really want to do and, well, just be who you are meant to be. I'd be lying if I said being an empty nester (from 8 to 3 anyway!) and turning 40 didn't creep up on me a little, but I don't hear the haunting music or yearn to be the younger version of myself. I feel like I have a nice patina after 40 years of experiences and just enough years under my belt to look back with a little perspective. I'm thankful for the journey so far (even the messy stuff), for the mistakes I've made along the way and for all the characters I've met - especially the one I married. And the anxiety about the changes milestones sometimes carry is a welcome shot of adrenaline. 

"...if you've found meaning in your life, you don't want to go back. You want to go forward. You want to see more, do more." Mitch Albom Tuesdays with Morrie.

So to my last buddy entering kindergarten, I have anxiety and butterflies the same as you about all the changes. And just because I'm not the mom who cries at drop off don't think that I haven't reflected on what the closing of this chapter means. It's just that I have the advantage of knowing that butterflies are a sign of good things to come - new adventures, new discoveries, a new view of the world. It is human to look back, reflect and maybe be a little anxious about what is ahead, but hang in there because the view continues to get better, clearer and more spectacular the higher you go. And really, who doesn't love a good view? {Erin}


  1. aaaw such a sweet post and i feel the same- not the mom who cries (anymore) but i am excited about all to come as well. happy birthday, my friend!

  2. Love seeing all the projects you have managed to knock out. All amazing I might add. Enjoy the conference, and can't wait to see the progress on the family room.

  3. An indubitable patina indeed.....;)

    1. Aw,you are sweet. Hope all is well with you and those cute kiddos I see on Facebook! Xo


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