So this is 45. Have you ever looked at your life and wondered how in the world you got to this point?
I ask that because I had that moment when I got a sneak peek of family pictures we had done last week (first time in 3 years. Oops.). When I saw them, I couldn’t believe those two almost-grown teenagers were mine. I thought, How am I this old? I remember, vividly, all the sleepless nights, the worry and the yelling at the top of my lungs, feeling like the worst mom in the world. At the same time, I remember all the sweet hugs and fat little hands that would grab my face.
I remember all of this like it was yesterday. In the moments of everyday exhaustion, it seems like I would NEVER get to the point we are now. Everyone says how fast it goes and you don’t really believe them until you are facing the middle of life, looking back at time as much as you are looking forward.
I looked at my family in those pictures and am truly grateful. Now. But I will say what I shouldn’t…..I haven’t always felt that way. I spent a lot of time looking for the cracks rather than the overall goodness. I felt like such a failure as a mom I often wondered what God was thinking entrusting these boys to me. I know there will be lots more worries and yelling and hugs. And those fat little hands have been replaced with hairy teenage boy legs. Um, gross.
looking back at the younger me
When I think back to who I was in my 20’s and early 30’s, I feel sadness for her in many ways. That Laura was fixated on comparing herself to other moms, other marriages, other women’s bodies.
I wish I could tell her how it doesn’t matter what the other women do or who they are or how they spend their time. Finding that true contentment in herself is the only thing that is important. When you can find that, loving others is so much easier. Parenting is so much easier (if that’s possible). Looking on the bright side is way easier.
I want to hug that Laura and tell her it will all be okay. And she doesn’t have to kill herself at the gym.
All of my experiences in life have culminated into the woman I am today……
45 years of life, of incredible highs and terrifying lows,
Fear and overwhelm and exhaustion,
4 different pant sizes,
Scars and stretch marks,
Pride, excitement, contentment and a grateful heart (most days).
10 things i’ve learned
Here are 10 things I have learned about being in the middle of my life at age 45-
- I’ve realized that I don’t need to apologize for who I am and my views of the world.
- I’ve stopped fighting my cellulite. I have had it since the day I was born, honestly. I am embarrassed to think how many hours I have spent comparing myself to another woman’s body, killing myself with exercise and thinking that my jean size determined my worth. Do I want to be strong and fit? Yes. Can I be both those AND have cellulite and imperfections? Also Yes.
- Having gray hair, fine lines and pimples all at the same time is cruel and unusual punishment.
- I am a work in progress. Perfection is unattainable, and frankly, unattractive. It took me a lot of time to realize that. I will continue to meet myself where I am at and give myself grace. Because I will need it. A lot.
- A good therapist is worth their weight in gold.
- It’s none of my business what others think of me. I personally think that is the best part of getting older. Other women ahead of me have expressed that sentiment but I would always wonder what it would be like to not care about what someone else thinks of me. I am now realizing it. I am not for everyone, and that’s okay.
- Some friendships will run their course. Some are truly meant for a season in life. God brings people into your life exactly when they need to be there. Hopefully there are lessons to be learned from them and you can move on with love. It’s not always easy but it’s worth it to not carry any hurt forward.
- Life is about pivoting. What I once thought I wanted as a 20-something is nowhere near what I want now. I’ve learned to be more accepting of when things don’t turn out how I envisioned them.
- The things I don’t do because of fear are always the things I should do. Like putting myself out there with this blog.
- I am a very loyal person and keep promises and commitments I make to others. But I’ve learned that the most important ones I make and keep are the ones to myself. Keeping those promises are the epitome of self-respect.
what’s your forever age?
In my mind, I am forever 26. However, I am damn happy being 45.
What about you? What have you learned in your first half of life?