Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Am I supposed to be having a nervous breakdown midlife crisis right about now? It is my fortieth birthday, after all. What's supposed to happen in a midlife crisis anyway - are you supposed to try to recapture your youth or something? I don't need to do that. I have a sixteen year old whose mere age takes me back there often enough, and a fourteen year old who is too much like me and reminds me that I do not need to go back to those angst-ridden years. My early twenties were spent planning a wedding, getting married, and figuring out what true commitment and responsibility meant.  I relive my mid-to-late twenties, which were mainly spent mothering very small children, often enough when wrangling friends' little ones. I don't see a need to relive any of that - I'm good, thanks.

I don't know how it's supposed to feel to be forty. I'm guessing it's not my current state of wondering if this Sunday will be the day I surpass the mobility issues of my eighty-year-old comrades in mobility devices, although the thought somehow amuses me. 

For me, it's living in gratitude for the gift of forty years of life. Several years ago, receiving diagnosis upon diagnosis, the prognosis of liver failure looming, I wasn't sure if forty was a year I'd see. This year, discussion of the possibility of brain tumor or multiple sclerosis with doctors put into sharp relief the blessing of every painful step, every breath, every hug. 

Forty, for me, is feeling tired, worn out, and having a body that doesn't match the not-so-worn out spirit that's inside it. It's needing to get my life and my house in order to clear the way for the time and space and energy to spread love and joy to all around me. It's a year of celebrating small victories and enjoying the moments and music of life. It's time to learn the unforced rhythms of grace. 


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