Today is the day. The day that in my younger mind I would never really reach because I would always be young. 40 was old.
Now part of me thinks, “There is no way I could be 40! I don’t feel any older than my teenage self.” But the other half of me says loudly enough so that I can’t ignore it as it creaks and cries, “Oh but you are! You are probably actually older than that.” My children who are fast approaching their teenage years also tell a different story.
My life at this point is likely mostly half over. People are living longer all the time but when you’re 80 you know that life is fast running out. So I have now officially reached middle age. I’d say it was time for my middle age crisis, but I’m already in the middle of that.
Turning 40 makes you stop, think, and wonder. Has my life been valuable? Have I made a difference in the lives of others? Have I done with it the things I wanted and hoped to do, or if my vision of my life has changed am I living it? Half my life is done. What do I have to show for it?
I always wanted to be a wife. I accomplished that 15 years ago and in spite of better or worse, we are still hanging in there. We often joke that if we didn’t have bad luck we wouldn’t have any luck at all.
I always wanted to be a mother, and I have become one. I think it is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. I would say it was the most rewarding but I’m at a really difficult stage of my motherhood right now. I’m sure that I will feel that way again. Right now I’m merely surviving and praying that I don’t do something that really messes up my kids right now.
As a child, some of my dreams were to be a writer, and a singer, visit Switzerland, Ireland, and Scotland. I haven’t made it to Switzerland yet. But I am a published writer, I have recorded an album (which is hidden somewhere in all my collection of life…), and I made it to Scotland and Ireland. I think that that is pretty good at midway through life accomplishing so many things that you wanted to do as a young girl.
I remember when I got married, I went through a time of introspection. I knew who Calleen Lyman was. But who was Calleen Petersen? For a year or so, that thought flittered around in my head. Who was this new person with a new name and a new status? That’s sort of where I am now. Who is this person who now claims 40 years? What does she want?
I want to keep writing. I am finding my voice as I do so and I can feel it growing stronger the more I write. I have something to say and I want to be able to say it. To share it so others will understand.
I want to find my inner peace and strength that I so often forget along the way of life. God is in control. I don’t have to worry about it. (At least not that much…)
I want to be a homeowner. We have moved around a bit throughout our married life and we have never taken that leap. It’s an important leap to me and in the next 40 years, I hope to accomplish it.
I want to see more of the world. I want to check off Switzerland off my list. I’ve added Germany and Israel to the list and there is so much more of the world I would love to see and experience. The older I get the more I realize that many times there is more than one right way of doing things and perspectives I haven’t understood. Spending time among people and places that are foreign to you helps broaden that perspective.
One day, I want to live. That’s a weird statement. But it’s true. Too often it has been all I could do to just survive the day, the hour, the situation. I want to live and enjoy life. I want to make memories along the way as I go.
Due to the nature of our situation, my birthday will be a quiet affair. My husband is out of town for work, my son has been going through a difficult time and just got out of the hospital. No big grand parties or exciting times for me. Maybe in another 10 years when I reach 50.