This week marks a landmark. I turn 5-0. That’s right…half of one hundred, half a century and the 50 yard line. I probably won’t live to be 100, so more than half of my life has been lived. That puts a lot in perspective.
In the first 10 years of my life, I learned to walk, talk, formulate sentences (although I still struggle), learned my ABC’s, numbers and colors. All this was a foundation that my parents gave me and I thank them for a happy childhood. One of my favorite memories was one Christmas morning the first gift I opened was a present with crayons, scissors, blank paper and coloring books. That’s all I needed because I didn’t open another gift for hours I think. I just colored under the tree. That was me. Content to be creative.
Then years 11-20. Brutal. No getting around it. This is where I struggled with my identity. My sister Suzanne was 180º opposite from me in almost every way and I didn’t understand why. She was blonde, blue eyes and not a shy bone in her body. Then my parents went through a divorce. As a young girl you think it’s only happening to you, but in reality it’s not. I graduated high school and after that I really didn’t have a plan, although both of my parents had college degrees.
Aww…the roaring twenties. These years were non stop. Most people were going to college or starting careers, but not me. I was getting married and having babies. Three little boys in two and a half years. Three was the magic number. Three car seats. Three diaper changes. Three naps. Three sets of shoes. Three beds. Three pillows. Three backpacks. Three toothbrushes. Three doctor appointments. The number “3” will ever be a engrained in my inner soul because it was the magic number. Life was fun but quite the blur.
Here comes the dirty thirty. Finally all the boys were in school and sports at the same time. No I didn’t cry when my youngest son John David went to Kindergarten. It was finally time for me. But I didn’t even know me any more. All of “me” was invested in Moe, Larry and Curly. I had to rediscover myself but didn’t have a clue who I was and that took a toll on my marriage and family. To be real honest, I didn’t think I would ever see 40. In my mind that’s when life just stopped. Boy was I wrong.
Fabulous forties? Looking back I would call it self discovery and survival but fabulous in it’s own rite. I learned I am stronger than I thought I was. As a single parent of three teenage boys, times were not always in the win column. It was important to me to not allow my boys to go through some of the psychological yuck that I went through when I lived through my parents divorce. And this is where I had to suck it up and make sure my kids don’t end up like me. Praise the Lord that each of them have college degrees and great jobs. All of them have beautiful women that support them. And most importantly they all have personal relationships with Jesus Christ in which their faith stands strong.
So this week I will be barreling over the hump, moving over to the dark side or into the last half of my life. I’m not sure what the future holds but I am sure about one thing. If it’s going to be anything like the first fifty, I will embrace every minute of it because those first fifty made me who I am today, grateful and blessed.