Wednesday, September 23, 2015

thoughts on my mid-life birthday

birthday gifts at school from students and colleagues
I turned 45 today.

In the week or so leading up to this birthday, I was a bit bothered by it.  I kept thinking, "Any way you look at it, I'm at least half way to dead."  Not very romantic, but very likely true.  Not many people live past 90.  How could half my life already be over?

Have I done enough with the blessings I've been given?  Have a made a difference in enough lives?  Have I shared Christ like I should have?  Have I loved enough?  Do I have enough time to do all the things I still want to do?  Am I really half way to dead?

But then, Jeffrey my love, like he always does, gave me the perfect gift.  Last weekend the three of us went to Bull Shoals Lake.  No wifi, no tv, no appointments, no taking work with us.  Just time.  Time to laugh.  Time to think.  Time to sing and write and play and swim in the warm, beautiful lake.  Time to read and read and talk and talk and talk.  Time to kiss and hug and hang out on our porch.  Just what I needed.

on the porch at the lake

And, while I was sitting on that porch last Saturday morning thinking about the birthday that was just around the corner, it hit me.  Forty-five isn't half way to dead.  It's half a life still to live.  It's more than four decades.  It's so   much   time.  Yes, yes, I know.  I haven't been promised 45 more years.  I know.

That's not my point.  My point is that there is so much living and loving still to be done.  I don't need to waste time wondering if I've done enough loving, teaching, sharing, impacting.  I just need to get busy doing it now.  Now.  Because today is the only day I can be sure of.

So this year, no worries about the future, no regrets about the past.  Just more joy.  More laughter.  More love.  More sharing Christ.  More learning to love like He does.  More forgiving.  More writing.  More reading.  More talking.  More picture taking.  More time spent well.  More family dinners.  More long walks holding hands.  More time enjoying my students and less grading their papers.  More engaging lesson plans and less test prep.  More poetry.  More love letters.  More porch sitting.  More lake trips.  More love.

... I've said it before.  The answer is always to love more.

10 comments:

Mrs. E said...

I love this post! I read somewhere that your first 50 years are for learning, and your second 50 are for LIVING! I like your plans for the next half of your life!

Mac n' Janet said...

Lovely post Relyn I'm reading Gilead by Marilynne Robinson and the elder minister narrating the story keeps talking about how we need to savor the moments of our life not wait for something big to celebrate.
I'm well past the half-way mark and try to enjoy each day to the fullest, they're each a gift from God.

Jeanne said...

Count your blessings and not the years and you will be smiling and h appy forever. You are blessed with the very best.
Love Jeanne

Joanna Jenkins said...

Happy happy Birthday, Relyn! And at 45-- You're still just a kid!
Glad you had a great getaway. It makes all the difference in the world!
xo jj

Jeanie said...

This is such a wonderful and true observation and I send you glorious birthday greetings. Oh, to be 45 again! Or 50! Or...!!!

I learned long ago, though I should have learned it far before that, to take every single day as a singular blessing that combies with the others to form a glorious whole. We never know what will happen to us, what unexpected thing will kick us in the butt. But if we've lived joyfully, made the time for things and people we love, we can truly say "I have no regrets." I think you've been doing that for sometime --and will keep right on!

Let the celebration continue. Every single day!!!

alexa said...

Wishing you the quiet joy of contentment for the next 45 :). And, actually, plenty of people live till they are over 90! I've enjoyed your positivity and energy today.

christinelaennec said...

A belated Happy Birthday to you, Relyn! I am a decade (and a week) ahead of you. I agree with you about the importance of love in how we live our lives. You can measure the passage of time (sort of - it can be very elastic) but you can't measure love, thankfully. As I tell my daughter, "Time is on your side." I believe that is true at any age - time isn't our enemy!

Marilyn Miller said...

It seems that in my 40's is when I gave thought to many of these same thoughts. I didn't know I would have a 25 year career that I loved and then take off with my camera and online playing when I turned 40. How fun the adventure has been. Enjoy your adventure, love the chair photo and that Jeffrey knew to take you on an adventure to the lake.

HKatz said...

I overlooked this post the first time around. Happy (belated) birthday! And thanks for sharing your thoughts about looking at the opportunities for what to do with the time we have, focusing on the love and the possibilities.

Anita said...

Happy belated Birthday! I know it's been awhile, but I hope you had a wonderful day.

Oldies, but Goodies