Saturday, July 17, 2010

Unexpected Changes

I'm 38. I am officially in my mid-life. And, also, my "LATE thirties". Now, call me crazy, but I don't think that's old at all. I really don't think anyone in their thirties OR forties are old, probably because my parents have been an awesome example of how to live life to it's fullest at any age. My parents have only recently (within the last 12 months) slowed down, and they are 76.

I feel that even though I've got a lot of life ahead of me, that I've already done a lot of living. I've faced challenges and been forced into situations I never would have chosen, had the choice been mine to make, but I know it has shaped me into a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.

If you had found me 20 years ago, as a young High School graduate, and asked me what kind of future lay ahead of me, I never would have guessed that it contained all the things I've done, like:

  • Marry someone other than my high school sweetheart
  • Get into credit debt
  • Get out of credit debt
  • Study Abroad for a semester in Ireland
  • Get my belly-button pierced
  • Try to become a flight attendant
  • Get engaged to my boyfriend of 2-months
  • Change my religion
  • Use my parents' marriage as an example for my own
  • Learn to love, trust, and appreciate my mother
  • Accept financial assistance from the government
  • Move to Wisconsin
  • Move to Texas
  • Admit my own personal limitations
  • Say "I'm sorry"
  • Have doubts about my marriage
  • Have doubts about myself as a parent
  • Have doubts about myself as a friend

Once I was officially an adult at 18, I thought I was pretty smart. I thought I had my head screwed on straight and I could handle myself. It really pissed me off when older adults would give me the smug, "Oh just wait. You'll see." speech. Then, through the cruel reality of life, I learned how naive I was back then. I learned how smug *I* was. I figured out pretty quickly that I need to keep my eyes open to the changes life has in store for me, because the best ones might pass me by if I'm not expecting them.

I think I still have a lot of life ahead of me, and I am really hoping those years are filled with good health, like my parents. I want to experience plenty more changes because, so far, I've been blessed.

Texan Mama


    Debbi said...

    if it's officially your birthday, happy birthday!

    I would HATE to make a list of things I thought I knew when I was 18. And things I thought I'd never do.


    maybe next week, I'll post mine with a shoutout to yours.

    Ash said...

    For some reason, it hit me the other day that if I really want to learn how to paint, I could. I have a bad habit of not thinking out of the "I'm too old to learn" box. Not sure how I got stuffed in that box, but I'm trying, I'm trying.

    You're doing well.

    38 (me too) is super young ;-)

    Gigi said...

    Well Gretchen you constantly surprise me. First you admit that the pastor and his wife are drinking beer and watching R-rated movies. Now you tell me you've a pierced belly-button. What else are you hiding over there?? ;-)

    It is amazing to look back and see all that we've done - that we never expected to do. And to see those paths that we could have taken, but didn't, for better or worse.

    I remember thinking how 30 was so old. Now I am constantly surprised when I realize my true age because I honestly don't feel it. I still feel like I'm in my 20's (until I look in the mirror...). But I'm looking forward to accomplishing more stuff that I never thought I'd do.

    misssrobin said...

    Happy birthday. What a nice review of your life and the lessons you've learned.

    As long as we're still learning, we're still growing. You've got a lot of living and learning ahead.

    I wonder what this list will look like in another 38 years.

    Anonymous said...

    It is amazing the the things that life throws at us. It's also great to know that those thing are sometime way better than the things we have planned. "Happy SITS Saturdat Sharefest!"

    Jennifer said...

    YES! If only we could have the wisdom we have at 38 when we were 18 or even 28. Of course imagine after 10 more years how wise we'll be. LOL

    THE OLD GEEZER said...

    38!! Your just a baby!!

    Just think... someday when all the kids leave the nest you can look forward to becoming The Old Texan MaMa Geezerette.

    You'll have a lot of time on your hands to blog about all sorts of dumb stuff, just like The Old Geezer you met way back in the old days on the blogosphere.

    If the Lord allows me to live that long I'll only be in my early 90s and will probably still be bugging you as often as I can. Now that's a scary thought!

    Anonymous said...

    Found you from SITS 31 day challenge. Love your site, will follow, and will come back to look around more! Come see me!

    Anonymous said...

    Found you from SITS 31 day challenge. Love your site, will follow, and will come back to look around more! Come see me!

    Emily said...

    Happy birthday!
    I have thought many times how great it would be to travel back in time and warn myself and make myself listen so I would actually be as smart as I thought I was 15 years ago!

    Katie said...

    Just checked out your other list post, and I really like this one too! I'm a little less experienced in life, but sometimes struggle to understand why life takes those unexpected turns. It always makes me stronger and changes my perspective on things, though.

    Following you now, and good luck with the 31DBBB Challenge!

    Swizz said...

    I've been out of town for a couple of weeks and missed this...hope you get email updates on comments people leave so you'll see this!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! You share a birthday with my younger sister...who thinks birthdays are really birthmonths and wants everyone to celebrate hers that long! are NOT middle aged! I consider 60 to be the middle, so late 30's is still young adult, right!?!

    My 38th is in a couple of weeks...just had the 20 year high school reunion, and I am SO happy to be almost 40. Really! I LOVE every age and the clarity it brings.