Chapter One – “57 and counting…”

me-2-oppositeIn the last year, several people have told me that I should write a BLOG.

You know that face you make when you’ve just heard something unappealing?  You know, you wrinkle your nose and raise your lip? Well, that’s the face I made after the above suggestion.  Now, I’m not knocking anyone else who does this sort of thing, but somehow to me, it feels slightly narcissistic.  After all, who wants to know what I think anyway?  I was further advised to let other people judge that for themselves.

So, for my real friends who urged me to try this, and perhaps for those who are simply curious, or have nothing better to do, here goes my first blog.

Today is my birthday.

I don’t know about you, but for me, birthdays have always been a time of introspection.  Actually, for me it’s always a time for introspection.

It’s been a tough few years, this year being no exception.  Sparing you all the gory details, I’ve had to live with what psychologists/psychiatrists call a “new normal.”  Especially difficult this year was losing my grandmother, for obvious and not so obvious reasons. The obvious need not be stated, but here goes the not so obvious.  Ever since my mom died in 2003, I’ve basically been my grandmother’s lifeline.  In the beginning it was just looking in on her, but in the last three years, I have been at her side, day in, day out, rain or shine.  Now that she’s gone, and speaking simply from a viewpoint of practicality, I have a big time hole to fill.

Okay, okay, I hear ya… join a choir, volunteer.  All valid, but nothing is “speaking” to my heart and soul right now. Part of the problem that my son brought to light the other day is this.  He said, “Mom, I’m good at a lot of things, but not great at anything particular, and all the things I’m good at don’t pay.”  I nodded my head in complete understanding and agreement.

God has blessed me with many gifts, but not SO blessed as to make any of them monetarily valuable, and is this even important? I can sing a little, but I’m not a great singer.  I love to write – especially poetry, but there are far better poets than myself.  I’m a graphic artist, self- taught (well, with a little help from the hubby!) For the past twenty years, I’ve had my own company called, A Story Just For You (you can look in on my newly birthed website right now, but I hope you finish my blog first!,)  that specializes in personalized children’s and grown up storybooks, note cards, greeting cards etc. but the reality is, there’s still something missing.

My husband Brad could see that I have felt a little lost and directionless lately.  One day he said to me… “You love to draw and write. Have some fun.  If you have to, just give people some of your books and note cards.”  It’ll fill in some time, get your artistic juices flowing, and you love it.”  It was a brilliant idea, and one that I have embraced for most of this year.  Painting, writing…I do love to do it, but it’s not “it,” that elusive soul filler.

My husband and I (as some of you know) also sing together under the name The Synergistics.  We sing at retirement homes and long term care facilities, and it’s rewarding.  So why do I still feel like Moses in the desert?

Perhaps it is because my one true passion and the greatest gift God has given me is in pastoral care; walking with and listening to the pain of others.  For some, this might sound morose, even creepy, but it is my true calling.  I am a trained Stephen Minister and leader and miss this vocation and calling more than I can say.  Unfortunately, I am no longer able to attend the church where I was serving in this capacity.  So, if you are in need of an ear, you know where to find me.

Today is my birthday, and while I may complain about my 57 year old hips and knees, I am NOT complaining about my life.  I have a much better life than most.

This past year, I have reconciled with my son, my daughter is thriving at university, I have a good marriage and I live in a home that’s beautifully “me.”   I am blessed.

But, I simply can’t shake the feeling that I am waiting…that I haven’t done that all important “thing.”  Maybe, this is ONLY about my age.  I know the older we get the more meaning we seek in our lives.  We begin looking for the “legacy.”  What has it all be about?  What has my life meant? What has my life meant to others? What good did I do? “Have I left this earth a better place?  Have I fulfilled my destiny? Is there a destiny, or is everyday ordinary living . . . “it?”

Today is my birthday, and while I don’t have any of these answers today, I will continue seeking . . . maybe next year.

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