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Panic subsiding...

bridge at Japanese Gardens, Portland, Oregon

When I was 21, I looked ahead and saw a long decade and a long life, stretched out before me. I was perfectly happy to be 21 and didn't see any reason to get any older...we all know how that turned out.

About a month ago, I was swimming in a pool and I looked around at the other people, both young and old, and suddenly I felt a wave of panic...I was going to be 35 in a month. Had I done all I wanted to do on this side of 70? Certainly not, but my time had filled in as it had, and there was nothing I could do about it now. But was I satisfied? Content? Even, dare I say, happy? Yes, yes and yes. While the wave of panic, which I decided was a little glimpse of the "middle age crisis" that supposedly hits at about 40, slowly subsided, I remembered that all I have is this moment. Judging my past or worrying about my future won't change anything in that moment, and in that moment, I realized I had all I could ever dream of in my life, so yes, I was happy and I am happy.

I turn 35 today, half way to 70. I don't feel like I've lived 35 years, but when I think about my very earliest memories, they do seem very long ago. I have a wonderful, sweet, fun husband, an adorable, rascally 2 1/2 year old, a caring family, wonderful friends, creative outlets, daily inspiration, beauty all around, health and healthy choices, delicious food, a willingness to make changes and a gorgeous view when I come to sit in my little office on mornings like this, before the sun rises. Is everything perfect? Heck no, but I don't think it's supposed to be.

Or maybe it is - just perfect for me.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Genny! What a beautiful realization on your birthday! Keep saying yes, yes, and yes! to your life!! :) xo, Jodi

nicola said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! i am certain we have all felt similar feelings as you. in fact, i have a "thing" with time...i frequently feel shocked at how quickly it is going by, how fast my children are growing, how far i have come, and how far i have yet to go. enjoying and living each moment, even the rough ones, is such a conscious and positive thing. you never know.
happiest of birthday to you, genny!

kyndale said...

Oh, boy do I feel all those things at times. I am 40, so my mid-life crisis is coming (or here). Should I get a tatoo? Should we jump at the dream of having a farm? Should I just breathe and see what comes of it from moment to moment? Being 40 is very strange indeed. Best wishes and Happy Birthday!! Hugs, Kyndale

Anonymous said...

happy birthday!

suffering a bit of middle age crisis myself at 37 but i think we will just call it "reinventing myself".

so many of the women i revere really came into their own in their 30-40's. with some wisdom and knowledge anything can happen.

congratulations on contentedness in the now.

gardenmama said...

This is incredibly beautiful, thank you for sharing this Genny and Happy Birthday!!! Our 'mantra' is be here now or be in this moment and I think you have captured this so beautifully it truly warms my heart to know you : )

Anonymous said...

i hope you had a super wonderful birthday. time is an interesting thing especially as we get older...it goes by so much quicker than i could have ever been prepared for. i think your post is wonderful and your reflections so true. i love your last lines about perfection...i must try to remember that one! much peace and happiness for you this year!

oh and just a comment on your comment on my post. my oldest son nursed to sleep up until 2.5 and now at just about 4 goes to sleep like a champ. we were worried about the transition as well but when the time is right the time is right!! it will happen and way before you think!! (i can't even recall our last nursing session...whether it was day or night...or any little details-which worked perfect for me who is so fearful of change sometimes!!) my next question is...will he ever want to sleep in his own room!! haha.

Kate said...

Yes, happy birthday indeed. The thirties, I'm finding, are somewhat of a push-and-pull filled with the wisdom of being in the present moment, and panic at how quickly the years seem to fly by. I think you've got it just right: being grateful for where you-- and knowing that satisfaction and happiness can be achieved in the midst of what you don't have/haven't done thanks to all that you do have-- like family and that splendid view. Celebrate yourself this week mama!

Michelle said...

Oh, happy, happy birthday wise and sweet Genny!!!

Thank you for sharing your time travels so beautifully with us!!