48 - The Year I Rediscovered Me
Updated: Jul 26, 2022
I got lost somewhere between forty-five and forty-eight. The grief, pressures of selling books to prove my success as an author, and the conflict in my marriage slowly withered away the parts of me that I loved. The optimism and joy were replaced by fear, anxiety, and anger. Even though I felt pieces of me decaying, I started year forty-eight with the hope that it would be better. Instead, it almost destroyed me.
The hard realities of the year?
The day job I once loved became such a stress I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown by October.
For about half the year the person I love the most in this world seemed to frustrate me the most.
After fifteen years, my homeschooling journey is over. No more #homeschoolmom.
Kid #1 moved out completely and signed a lease. Kid #2 heads to college in a month.
The words I wrote for novels was at an all-time low. Given the choice of writing or watching TV, I will pick TV in a heartbeat.
Perimenopause is not just about hot flashes. The hardest part for me has been maneuvering what feels like PMS to the hundredth degree.
My depression has been at its deepest low (this could be related to the issue above).
I've lost and regained at least twenty pounds (also a fun side effect of perimenopause).
The pain I work so hard to get rid of keeps coming back.
Can you relate to any of the above? If so, I'm sorry. It sucks. Really, all of it sucks. But as I rounded the corner headed towards forty-nine, a verse come to me.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. - Ephesians 2:10
I read this verse right after my anniversary, so I put it on this pic of me and my man as a reminder that God has a purpose for each of us and it's never too late for a do-over.
Not even at forty-eight.
So, I've worked hard the last several months to navigate this new me. To get myself to a point of liking, myself again.
I went shopping and bought clothes that are a size that I don't want to be. As I tried them on, I looked at myself in the mirror and told myself it's okay. I'm still beautiful.
I talk to God all the time, like He's my best friend, because HE is. He always has been. I just stopped calling Him for a while. But now I talk to Him about my emotions, my husband, my frustrations, my fears, my kids. I seldom tell Him what to do now, I just tell Him what I like and hate. I tell Him what frustrates me and what I wish for. And I tell Him I trust Him over and over again because I know that's the way I'll get to trust Him more.
I've grown deeper friendships. Instead of sitting around by myself and wishing I had my bestie back, I text friends and ask if they can get together. Some are too busy, but others find the time. In the process I've become closer to several people. I no longer feel like the outsider in my work friend group. One of my closest friends is an atheist, yet it doesn't matter that our view on God is so different. I truly love her and would do anything for her. And I know she feels the same.
I'm learning to listen to my young adult children and pray rather than worry. Sometimes I offer advice, but I've learned to remind myself they don't have to take it because they are adults.
I love to drive my convertible fast with the top down listening to Offspring or 90s Music. Sometimes I blare Thousand Foot Krutch or Red. Other times I sing along with Hillsong to the top of my lungs. It's okay that my taste in music is bipolar because I am as well.
I can't successfully clean my house in one day. Or do laundry without pain. Each day I choose the activities I do with my hands carefully so I can be my best self, not only for my family but for myself. I deserve to live above the pain.
I'm learning to be okay with the silence and the emptiness of my home. The echo of footsteps no longer bothers me. It's also cool to play my music as loud as I want without anyone complaining.
And I'm falling in love with my hubby all over again. We are learning to talk and laugh and have fun together in new ways. We have set boundaries and are also accepting of one another's emotions. We also have the assurance of our love for each other.
Lastly, I've set boundaries for my day job in the upcoming year and writing goals to finish my next book.
I have no idea what the next year will bring. I'm sure there will be frustrating and negative truths, but I will continue to rediscover myself. They say forty-nine is one step from being over the hill. I can't focus on the hill. I need to focus on the Creator and who He has made me to be.
He has so much good for us to do that we can't allow physical, mental, or emotional obstacles to stop us from accomplishing His purpose. Each day we need to remember we are His masterpiece, a new creation in Jesus. Regardless of our age.