Growing Pains

On New Year’s Day I wrote a poetic blog post. Like many of us, I was excited about the new year beginning and all the unknown adventures ahead. After all, when that Ball drops in New York City as Ryan Seacrest declares, we’re supposed to look forward to “fresh starts” and “resolutions” and “great potential” and all that right?

Well six days in, I have begun thinking instead about getting older.

Getting older and the start of a new year sort of challenges all those rosey clichés. The older you get the more you regard those things quite differently because you know that every single step forward takes a conscious choice and an unwavering effort to fulfill any of it. It’s not a mere checklist on a bulletin board to peruse from time to time until other notes and lists smother it.

The older you get, the more you look back on a year gone by with heartfelt gratitude when a holiday season has been safe, where time spent with family and friends is valued above any material good wrapped in shiny paper under a tree. You look back and say “Thank you God for getting us through our every days safely, contented and at day’s end, cozy in our beds.” Those are the things that truly matter.

When I turned 40 a few years ago, I panicked. I panicked all those months and days leading up to the BIG ONE, the new decade approaching. I saw the number as a moment of measurement, a point in time where I was supposed to stop and evaluate my life, see all the great and wonderful things I had accomplished, then sit back with a cigar and brandy and smile happily.

But it didn’t exactly unfold that way. Even with the beautiful family I have with my husband, the comfort of the perfect home and a great community to raise children in, I was still upset with myself. I was upset with a life struggle of not “getting to where I longed to be by that age” in the course of accomplishment.

Now some years away from that, I am more mature and happy with where I sit. Yet those little disappointments nag on. I can’t wish them away in grand resolutions nor does the plan of a simple “fresh start” encompass all the change I want to see in my life.

And so at the start of this year, I will resolve to NOT make a list of resolutions, to NOT try and set major goals with lofty aims that, like most of us, wane by the end of February. I will instead channel all my energies and focus into something more tangible. I will make only one declaration beyond any other, tackle only one goal, though my hopes remain plentiful, because I fully appreciate the effort it will take to fulfill it.

I pray and endeavour with a determined heart to complete a project that has consumed me and devote myself to producing a completed book en route to the ultimate dream of publication. And that, in itself, WILL truly be enough for me.

peekiequeen c. Jan. 6, 2014

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