I’m fifty-four. It’s fun. But a strange and wonderful crossroads in life. Five of my children are bona fide adults. Three are married and mothers. Two require a completed education. Life is…dare I say it? Easy…
Here’s the truth. I have more energy now that I did at 35 with five small children. But I believe the energy comes from the surge of power and strength after all those many years of raising little people. I think the gift of energy NOW is the muscle memory of juggling all those balls in the air for all that time. Shopping for dresses while nursing babies, negotiating algebra while changing diapers. Folding laundry while going over study guides. Making dinner with a pre-schooler attached to my leg and a baby in the sling, while giving direction on essay writing, or glue gunning shoes back together, hemming pants, running frozen peas under the tap, trimming bangs, saving the lives of precarious toddlers several times each week.
It makes me tired thinking about it.
It has been, and continues to be – an outrageous and beautiful existence. Joy should be normal. Many days along the way, of course, joy seems like a distant, demanding, difficult goal. But we don’t just get JOY.
We have to make JOY. We create joy.
We create joy out of the everyday moments of life. We make joy normal when we live with an expectation that somewhere, under the busy-ness and unpredictability of life, even if it’s so very hard to see…there is something beautiful. Some reason. Some gift. And here is the crossroads, for me, here and now. When I started this blog, I was still in the thick of large family life. I frequently quipped that my primary goal was sharing cute stories about my children and making cynical social commentary – mostly in the same breath.
My kids these days at 11, 15, 18, 20. 23, 26 and 30 – say a lot of interesting things. But almost nothing adorable. And even if it was, I don’t think they’d want me reporting that here. Especially if it was adorable, they wouldn’t want me sharing that here.
And so. I wonder, what happens next?
Well, the exact next thing is a trip to Disneyland in four more sleeps. But I mean after that.
There are so, so many things I want to do. So many methods of self expression, of fulfilling dreams, of helping others. I won’t have time to do them all. But I will sure as hell try.
I need to make a list.
JOY will be at the top.