Here I am, at what many call "mid-life," looking out into the world, in many respects, as if I have never seen it before. In an odd way, I feel as if my life has just begun. I've noticed at this point in life I spend more time in prayer, thinking about my life, my family and what I have accomplished and what I have yet to accomplish. I've taken an account of my life, of where I've been and where I want to be. I've realized how little I know just about everything and how much more there is for me to learn. I've also realized how I've set limits on myself, what I can do, think or feel.
This age is a wonderful age because (at least I feel) I have finally given myself permission to let go of limitations, let go of unrealistic expectations and to let go of the idea that I can't think or feel something. I can! What freedom! Why didn't I think of this sooner? I think it is a gift that comes with age. So much that I thought mattered, I've come to realize doesn't matter. I was in a self-imposed prison of sort, a prison of limitations. Limitations I gave myself and wasn't even aware of. I can't imagine all the opportunities, experiences and wonderful people I've missed out on because of these limitations.
I believe there is something about getting older that makes one reflect on his or her life, where you are, what you've accomplished and what you haven't. It makes you think about the people in your life, the people you've left behind and those who you have yet to meet. It makes you assess what is truly important in your life.
Maybe part of this "Mid-life" assessment is that my role in life is changing. My youngest son is 17. I am no longer picking up or dropping off. I am still a mom but my roll has changed from chauffeur, rule enforcer and primary cook to something I am still figuring out. I know I am still mom and still around for when my adult children need me but now our conversations have a different tone, on different topics and my role in their lives has changed. These changes came along before I knew it.
I have always kept myself busy with personal goals of my own but now I see there are so many opportunities laying before me that never even crossed my mind before. I am certain I share the same feelings a deer caught in the headlights must feel. I am not quite sure which direction to go in or what to do. So I just stand in silence trying to process all of these changes. I find myself thinking back on dreams, long set aside, as I changed diapers and played games with my children. I've realized that my goals of today are not in line with my goals of yesteryear. And that is just fine with me. But where do I go from here?
With these changes I have found myself talking to God more. Spending more time appreciating everything I have and appreciating the time I have with my family. And spending more time saying "Thank you" to God and the wonderful people I share my life with. Every morning when I wake, I am grateful for my health and wellbeing. I know it is truly is a gift from God. Every thing and every one I am blessed with in my life is a gift from God. I am excited about the new opportunities God has in store for me. I look forward to this time of change, this time of setting new goals and for all the blessings God has in store for me.
I am not sure what God has planned for the second half of my life but I know He will be with me, guiding me, blessing me, just as He has throughout the first half.
Copyright 2014, Lorrie Lane Dyer
About the Author
Lorrie Lane Dyer is a facilitator for the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation with the University of Dayton as well as religious education and parish coordinator. She is working on her Masters of Leadership Development, with a focus in Military Chapel programs at St. Mary of the Woods College. Her faith provides her with inspiration for many of her poetry collections, columns and short stories.