I think I’m having a mid-life crisis. I’m about to be 37 years old in October and I can’t seem to get a firm grip on my new reality. Everywhere I look lately, I see change.
These changes are mostly good, but yet, they still require me to do or see things differently. It’s plain hard and, frankly, my mental and emotional capacity is almost maxed out from this season of newness that is upon me.
Change #1: My baby girl started Pre-K. I now have no children at home with me during the day. Not one. This is new territory for me because I have always had at least one child at home with me for the past 13 years. 13 years! This absence of children has left a void, albeit a quiet void, where there was once plenty of noise. You may not think that’s something to complain about, but it’s all I’ve known for the majority of my adult life. So, yeah, I’m kinda complaining a little bit about the peace and quiet.
That leads me to…
Change #2: I started leading a women’s ministry at my church. Rewarding? YES! Challenging? MM…HMM! Does it require this mom of four to take a shower, put on makeup, and wear clothes other than yoga pants at least 3 days a week? YUP! I think that’s the hardest part. I’m having “Messy Hair, Don’t Care” withdrawals. Oh, but the relationships God has brought into my life because of this opportunity are amazing!
However, now that I’m a teensy bit more in charge of my schedule, I thought I’d try to make a little bit of extra money, which brings me to…
Change #3: Get a part-time job. Yes, it is a proven fact that sitting at home alone with my thoughts for the majority of my week doesn’t lead to a very productive life. I know many of you might think I should be napping and taking baths and getting mani/pedis on a weekly basis. I love all of those things and they are not without warrant. However, in my times of self-introspection, (which inevitably happen while occupying my eerily quiet house), I am searching.
It’s not that there isn’t laundry to do, because that is a beast that will never be tamed. It’s not that there aren’t dishes to wash or toilets to scrub. Yes, all of those things are a part of my daily routine. But, apart from those much needed and highly important tasks, who am I? Who am I really?
I’m told that all women go through this. That every woman feels guilty for not doing enough yet at the same time doesn’t want to do too much. Is there really a way to be all that we want to be without coming completely undone? Or worse…self-consumed?
I worry about not being an attentive wife in the prospect of giving my attention to career or volunteer-based opportunities outside of the home. I worry about not being a purposeful mom in the wake of early morning hours and a rushed schedule. If I’m being really real, my biggest fear is that even if I were to be able to balance between not enough and too much, would I even be fulfilled? From the depths of who I am, I want to give back to those God has entrusted to me and to those I have the privilege of serving alongside in this life. But I also want to receive something too—a life of meaning and influence that radiates from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. A life that I can be proud of because I truly love every part of it.
I know I’ll never find that kind of life if I’m sitting around the house contemplating the what ifs and why nots. Fear is a fickle thing. It can keep you stuck right where you are and make you think that you chose to stay there. On the other hand, fear can also keep you busy and make you think you have to constantly be in motion. All I know is I will never be fulfilled if I allow fear to rule me.
This mid-life crisis of sorts makes me question who I really am on the inside. That’s not a bad thing because maybe, just maybe, I need to make some changes. Ultimately, it’s not about me trying to figure it all out. It’s about me trusting that God does have it all figured out.
That, my friends, can only really take place when change comes. Whether we chose the change or not, we all have to decide how we are going to react to it. I am going to trust that God, who changes not, will lead me as I navigate this new stage of life and then thank Him in the quiet for the moments I do still have filled with noise.