Thoughts on my 43rd Birthday
Shawn Colvin had her first and only hit song in 1996 called, Sony Came Home. It was mentioned several times in the press that she was in her 40's at the time. I remember thinking "wow, that's old for someone to have their first hit song".
J.R.R. Tolkien was in his early 40's when The Hobbit was published, and in his 60's before the Lord of the Rings was published. C.S. Lewis was in his 50's when The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe was published.
I know that 43 is the new 33, we look better now at 43 then we used to that's for sure. And I know I'm not really old yet. But I still long for the time of youth. I want more time. I want to be 22 and in college. I want to be like my daughter, Evangeline, serving the poor for 4 years already at age 14. I want to be 30 and have a house full of adopted kids. I wasted a lot of time.
I hear people in their 20's say stuff like "I just don't know if I should go to Africa...I'm not sure If being a teacher in Europe is what I'm supposed to do.." I told one dear friend, "do it! Your young, single, don't second guess it, even if it is a mistake, do it!" The regrets come from what we didn't do because of fear, or worse the stuff we didn't do because we thought we have plenty of time. My sister once said "you don't want to look back on your life and say 'I wish I had of done__' "
The phrase "life is too short" is so true.
I fully grasp that at least half of my life is over, maybe more then half and that makes me hyperventilate sometime. There is so much I want to do, so much. I am going after it, working with Homeless youth, reaching out to prostitutes, helping Orphans. I just wish I hadn't wasted years not going after it.
But on this birthday I feel so grateful for what I have. My kids, all three of them, are wonderful gifts that I don't deserve. My husband, he's my partner, my friend, my love. I love him more today then I could have ever imagined when we got married 16 years ago.
The greatest thing is, we are all in this life together. Dean isn't supportive of what I'M doing, he is part of what I'm doing. We support each other, we are one, from midnight outreach, the Dream Center and adoption, to writing my book, he's all up in it and so are the kids. These are not my things to do in life, they are our things to do. That is a true gift.
I feel change coming again. I like change, it excites me. The older I get the less I want to play it safe.
I want to get a job writing. I realize that I will have to take my skills to the next level, stop being lazy when I write. I'm working on that. I also want to sing in a jazz band. I'm actually the perfect age for that. You expect to see an "older" lady singing that kind of music. And I want to go deeper into the dark places of the world where prostitutes, crack heads, pimps, the homeless, orphans, slaves and the discarded are. That is what I was born to do. One reason I am happy on this day is because I am blessed to serve at a church that allows and facilitates me being able to get in the pit and try to love someone (sing it like Kidd Rock).
I teach my kids, "leave it better then you found it". I tell them that applies to every place they go, every environment they enter and every person they encounter. I'd love to leave the world better then I found it. I'm half way there.
I'm entering this blog post in a contest to win a trip to Donald Millers "Living a Better Story" conference. I am a writer, and I am a story teller. My hope is that by going to this conference I will learn how to be a better story teller. I spent years studying the works of Tolkien, Lewis, Chesterton because I loved the way they wrote. I wanted to learn from them. Donald Miller is one of those writers I feel I could learn a lot from. He's patient with his reader, I'm not. If something I glean from this conference helps me write better, live a better story, well then I want to go.
Living a Better Story Seminar from All Things Converge Podcast on Vimeo.