I turn forty-three years old this month. Wow. There was a time when I thought that was really old. Actually that was today. I took some time to look at my feet. Hey, it’s been winter. I have been neglecting them, because well, it’s been winter. Nobody sees my feet in the winter! Apparently not even me. But from the look of it outside, Spring is on its way, and that means sandals are just around the corner. That’s what got my feet the attention today. Up that close, I discovered that they need a pedicure.
Except, I don’t do pedicures.
I’m just not comfortable with someone else down there doing their thing on my feet. It’s just a little quirk of mine. I have some of those. So I whipped out my handy dandy home manicure/pedicure kit, and went to work. I sat on the potty, and dragged the clothes hamper over to hike my foot up on. Wow. With my foot that up close and personal, I could not deny it. Forty-three has arrived. These are definitely not the feet of a twenty year old. My feet have wrinkles. I didn’t know that was possible. This did not please me. I officially have wrinkles on both ends of my body.
A lot of my friends are already forty-three and then some.
I will not mention them by name. (You know who you are…) They all say it’s not so bad. What else should I expect them to say? “Don’t do it, Stacey, don’t turn forty-three!” Instead they say, “Forties are the new thirties.” Right. Tell that to my feet. Yet I think, “If I could be thirty again, would I do it? Or twenty?”
If I were honest about it, I would say no. If I had the benefit of what I know now, I would do some things differently, sure. Still, I am happy with where I am now. I am beginning to think that’s the tradeoff. There’s a certain sense of self that comes with the forties. A confidence that wasn’t there at twenty and thirty. It’s a feeling of centeredness, I guess.
Gone are the days of miniskirts and bikini swimsuits for me.
I care far too much for my fellow man to put them through that visual. Well, except that I find myself liking a swimsuit that has a mini skirt attached to it. Love those skirtinis! Isn’t it funny that when I had the body for a bikini I didn’t have the confidence to wear one, and now that I have the confidence to wear one I don’t have the body?
So I’m aware of where I’ve been, and looking forward to where I am going. I look back on my thirties and see my path as a wife, mother, and daughter. I will still be all of those things, but it will be different. My husband and I have survived much as partners together in this life. We have grown together through some really tough times, and we enjoy a very rich, loving, and close relationship. I look forward, excitedly, to how this most precious relationship will continue and grow.
My children can wipe their own…. noses now. A definite plus. They don’t need me for that kind of thing anymore. But they will need me for support and encouragement in decisions and choices they must make. I still call on my parents for advice, and to share what’s going on in my life, but I have learned to listen to their needs and concerns as well. While they both enjoy good health now, and I pray they will for a long time to come, I know they will come to depend on my brother and me more as the years go on.
The Bible teaches that there is a time for everything.
It actually says exactly that in Ecclesiastes Chapter Three. Now, on the whole, Ecclesiastes is not a book you want to read on a personally cloudy day because it says things like, “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” I’m thinking a prescription for Prozac was in order there.
Yet nestled in the book, in Chapter Three, are a few verses that can put life into perspective for you if you are at a crossroads in your life. Verses 1-8 of chapter three say this:
“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to treat and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.”
And there’s a time to turn forty-three. While the wrinkles, gray hairs, and saggy…things can be frustrating for sure. They seem to come with the territory. I can smear creams on the wrinkles, pull out the gray hairs (Or when that proves futile, I can cover them. Because I’m worth it!), and prop up the saggy things.
Forty-three also brings with it a few things to which I can look forward, and those are the things that I will choose to celebrate on my birthday this year. I can look forward to future knowing that good and bad, God will be with me. He will be with me, and that while I change all the time, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Now, let me put some lotion on these feet, and let’s go shopping for some new sandals!
Are you embracing your present, and looking forward to your future? What does that look like for you?