The end of the beginning… or something like that!

28 Jul

This picture has nothing to do wtih the post, except that this is my “baby” with his new car (my grandmother’s former Torrent).

I’m 47, and in my family, that’s not even halfway to the usual life expectancy. (My grandmother will be 99 on December 1 and still lives alone, walks her dog, goes to parties, goes out to lunch, dresses to the nines, and only recently – and rather unwillingly – gave up driving.) My grandmother’s grandparents both lived to be 96, when the average life expectancy was around 50. So, while I never take having tomorrow for granted, I don’t feel particularly stressed about the years going by.

I’m not a Paula Deen fan, but I like her story, that she didn’t start doing things (even leaving her house!) until she was 48. For women, especially, the season of child rearing is a full time job, mentally if not physically. Sure, some people are creative and self-aware and firing on all cylinders in that period. At least, so I’ve heard. Me? Not so much. I dabbled in things, but with kids and homeschooling and their other activities, not to mention our business and, of course, our marriage, there just wasn’t a lot of extra time and energy for creative endeavors or new long-term projects. I might think of them, but they’d stay on the very back burner in my mind. Definite “some day” material.

So the last few years have been really exciting and fun for me. When my daughter went to college – 3 years ago, as hard as that is to believe – I had just started Ten Eighteen, my non-profit to Uganda. In fact, my daughter had visited, but I didn’t visit until September. I had taken a creativity workshop, and was starting to try my hand again at painting and photography, but mostly I was still homeschooling my then-freshman son, doing business stuff, being a wife and mom.

But as my son has gotten older and more self-sufficient, and after we made structural changes to our business that allow us to be very part-time, and after reading “No Plot, No Problem” by Chris Baty, this writing thing took hold. I wrote the non-fiction book back in May of 2011, did the November NaNoWriMo, and have since been on a marathon writing spree (you can read about that in this blog). Ten Eighteen has been doing amazing things in Uganda, and the people are doing so, so well. I’ve figured out some health issues and feel good. Basically, for the last year, I’ve been in the end of the beginning… The end of the very active child-rearding phase, and the end of the self-doubt phase, and the end of the insecurity phase. I am coming into my own.

Now, as a Kingdom Christian, “my own” isn’t really. I try very hard to follow what I hear God telling me, and change course quickly if I get it wrong. But He knows there are seasons, too – He set it up that way, with plenty of examples in nature to follow. Even in Uganda, along the equator, with no winter, they have wet and dry seasons. So this is the season for a new bit of growth. To stretch upward and outward, to try to follow “the next thing”, wherever that leads. It’s pretty darned exciting, I have to say. As usual, I have no idea where it will lead… But I’m loving the ride!

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