On turning 39

I haven’t written in a while. My focus is on my girls and words float in my head. Ideas of things I want to write, things I want to say, but time keeps moving forward and I busily move from one task to the next. Now, I just had a birthday and I have all these thoughts and feelings about turning another year older and I just have to put them down in words before me. I have to see my thoughts written out in times new roman or whatever font this is. I have to read the words that float randomly and with out order so that I can make sense of them.

This is the way I work things out. This forum, this place where you peer into my mind, where you get a glimpse of my reflection and for whatever reason you keep reading, is my workshop where I deal with what is happening in my thoughts.

I have grey hair. It’s all around the edges of my hair line. I use anti aging skin care and I have hopes for it. I have three teen agers that live in my house, they all call me mom. I listen to pop music, it’s my guilty pleasure. I love 90’s alternative and I prefer driving our Exterra than our minivan. My house is a mess, I’ve always been really bad at getting all the laundry done and my kids are REALLY loud. I don’t cook regular meals, sometimes we eat cereal for dinner.

Is this what I wanted?

I listen to my kids talk about their futures. “I want to be an author.” I hear one say. “I want to move to L.A.” says another. “I don’t know what I want to do…can I be a professional student and just learn for the rest of my life?” asks another. “I want to build robotic arms and legs for people who lost theirs in a war.” That’s my second grader…she’s probably going to end up doing something like that. All except for the totally unexpected robotic limb part I hear each of them say things that I would have said and their lives are so full of potential, so much opportunity lies ahead. They have options and futures. Every single one of them…ok three fourths of them want to do what I would have wanted. They still have the option to do really awesome stuff.

I’m living my future…this is it. This is adulthood. Full on half way through it, this is what I’m doing with myself.

I have to ask my self if this is it? Am I living the life I dreamed of living.

As I look back I realize I never had super clear dreams. I wanted to be a teacher. I know that much. I wanted to be a mom. I imagined I would teach and come home to my kids every night. I would have a husband but the rest was fuzzy. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I started having deeper dreams. My dreams became more colorful as my options became fewer.

On one hand, since my dreams weren’t very clear you could say they came true. I do teach, though they are my own children, and I do have a husband, a really great one at that. We’ve been doing this marriage thing for almost 18 years and we’re not bad at it. I love what we’ve got going on here but I still wonder.

Today, if I could do anything at all what would it be? If I could be the person of my dreams, who is she?

I wouldn’t change anything with my family. They are my favorite and time is slipping though my fingers with them. They get closer to leaving me with every passing day. Sometimes in the evenings I want peace and quite, then I regret that feeling because one day I will long for the “one more thing” or “one more hug” from one of my precious girls that cling to me much as they did as toddlers and preschoolers at my ankles. They sit next to me (and on me) and draw me into their stories even though I just want to look at Pinterest. They stand two inches from me in the kitchen as I prepare meals and tell me just about everything that happens in their lives. I love them.

About 9 years ago I started counting down the time. My oldest was 8 and I remember saying “I’ve got 10 more years with her and 10 years isn’t very long.” So I started trying to do things to find out who I am.

I stopped listening to Barney sing a long and started listening to popular music.

I started reading books that were above a 5th grade reading level.

I joined a Bible study.

I finished my degree.

I became a vegetarian.

I started running.

Those things really helped. When I got married and had Madelyn I hardly knew what was going on and seriously lost my own preferences for years. I just went along with what was happening and it was a struggle to get it back.

Now I wonder if I am everything I’m meant to be.

When I dream of what I want to be doing it always involves writing, but I never have the time to do that as much as I’d like. I’d love to just home school my kids in the beautiful messy paint science project home baked bread kind of home school way and write. But instead I have the hurry up and do your math, you’re a month behind in your history lessons we’ve got to get out the door to practice and your uniform stinks spray it with febreze and don’t fight just go, we’ll have to eat a pizza tonight because I didn’t make dinner at lunch time kind of homeschool with little to no writing (by me) kind of way.

Now…I dream of sitting in a coffee shop with my lap top and a nonfat no whip extra hot mocha stirred, just clicking away at the keys. Beautiful creative thoughts flow and I write something to encourage and inspire a generation. People will laugh and cry when they read it. Jen Hatmaker will want to be MY friend.

They say there will be time for that. Who ever “they” are.

In the mean time I guess I’ll keep working on the laundry and frantically teaching while running kids to practices, rehearsals and classes. They continue to grow on three square meals a week and I am still in love with my guy. So…I guess it isn’t beautiful, and we’re not the sweetest family you’ve ever met, we’re just us, “spicy” as Jen Hatmaker would say. I’ll continue to squeeze in 30 minutes every 4 months to pound on a key board. Something tells me none of this will matter when they all finally leave me and I’m sobbing while eating my first hot meal 27 years (literally, when my oldest is 27 my baby will be 18) and I think of this ridiculous post I wrote when I thought 39 was old.




  • Neeter

    May 4, 2016 at 10:14 am Reply

    ❤️❤️❤️? You just made my day! Love this!

  • Regina

    May 4, 2016 at 1:48 pm Reply

    I’ve had these thought recently too. Well the general gist of what you are saying. I guess I just want my family to feel like they are what’s most important to me. I want to laugh, love, and feel loved…and hope my kids always want to come home to visit. Also, I think your list of achievements are fantastic. Thanks for sharing.?

    • Carrie Catlin

      May 27, 2016 at 4:31 pm Reply

      Your family totally knows they are number one. You have completely sacrificially laid down your life for your children, your bio kids know what true love is, they know what family is because of the commitment you made through adoption. You started all over raising kids to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Your bonus kids totally know what love is because you made a permanent change in their lives. They have a future and hope because of you. You, my friend, are amazing. I admire and love you!

  • Lisa Gorski

    May 4, 2016 at 4:55 pm Reply

    I loved this commentary. You are an author! Believe it or not that’s my dream too! I”ve completed one novel and am currently working on the second. I’m not half as busy as you-my kids are grown- yet I still find reasons to push it all to the back burner. In the meantime, know that for the time it took to read and enjoy this, I felt that connection, that emotion, that link every artist tries to create with his/her audience. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to your next installment.

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