I’ve never dyed my hair before and, as my 35th birthday approached, I felt the itch to spice things up a bit. I’m embracing my identity more and more and I felt the need to commemorate that with something totally outside of my normal look. Something fun and funky but still maturely thirty. So, we went with purple and green highlights. They are subtle and fun and everything I hoped for in a mid-winter, mid-decade change of pace.
I was talking with a friend about the -5s. Those half-decade birthdays that sometimes seem bigger than entering into the decade itself. Looking back on my other half-decade birthdays I can definitely see the pattern.
At 15, I first watched Sister Wendy’s Story of Painting and my interests took focus and my life changed as I pursued art history. At 25, after deciding I was destined to be single, I started applying for teaching jobs overseas. And then met Frank… Now, at 35, I feel on the edge of something. Of course, not even a week after this birthday, I can’t predict how it will impact my course but I am excited for what is around the corner.
My word, Capacity, has already shown itself to be a true vision for 2017. I’ve already made choices about how my time is divided, about the commitments I’m able to make, about what our family dynamic looks like in this particular phase. I’m on a journey with some incredible women to write our life’s mission statements. Our meetings have been profound and stirring. I feel that I’m preparing myself for something significant.
Because my birthday is in January, I usually hold off on the typical beginning-of-the-year goals and wait until my birthday to reflect and make that list. This year, my goals are much more vague and simultaneously more ambitious. I feel like the coming year will lay a foundation for bigger things – ones that I can’t even imagine yet.
If the decade between 25 and 35 was about forming my adult identity – one of teacher and wife and mother – then my hopes for the decade between 35 and 45 will be years of refinement. Of knowing who I am and feeling equipped and empowered in that knowledge to make big choices. I want to live these coming years with open hands and with an attitude of yes, I am able.
I am able to stay at home and raise these two feisty, thoughtful, compassionate daughters. I am able to be part of groups and teams and organizations that are changing the world. I am able to give my time and energy to my community in new ways.
I am embracing my ability to use this time wisely. This time of staying home but of more independence. I don’t want to waste these years, not just from a parenting perspective but from a self-care point of view. How can I use this time to really be intentional about my roles, both currently and in the future? How can I use this time to prepare for whatever our next chapter holds?
What birthdays seemed “bigger” to you – the -0’s or -5’s? How are you embracing the decade you’re in?
5 thoughts on “Yes, I Am Able”
I think writing will be part of what the emerging part will hold for you. I’m seeing a ‘refinement’ in your words. My upcoming 0 birthday has me a little unsettled but I’m not sure it’s the age as much as what is in our future that gets closer and closer. A bit more unknowns in this one.
You guys do have some big changes ahead! Thank you for your encouragement in writing…. I feel like that may be something to emerge, but am still totally unsure as to what that looks like, or even which goals to put toward it…
Happy birthday to you. And I love the hair!
Now that I have live on this earth for half a century, I will try to focus on myself first instead of my family. I am trying to enjoy my interests again.
Thanks, Colline! 🙂 That’s so awesome that your family is in a place for you to switch up the priorities a bit. That is such an encouragement to me, still in the trenches. Love seeing what can be in store in a few years!
I remember the days when my girls were young. Now they are 15 and 16 and they do not need me to spend as much time with them.