Seriously...I am now 46 years old. Superman has been worried about me because I've been talking about how I'm closer to 50 than I am to 40. He thinks I'm freaking out about getting older, but that isn't it. I was talking to my sister via Skype this morning (I was opening the present she sent in front of her, it was super fun to do it that way) and I was still struggling to explain my thoughts at this birthday.
"46" isn't a milestone in any way. I don't feel particularly old, either. As I explained to my sister, however, I am recognizing that a season of my life is ending. My youngest child is 10 and there are no more babies coming my way. My oldest child has moved on and is on his way to be a successful adult. While I will always be "mom", the time where that is my "job" is winding down. I see this clearly and yet, I don't know what my life looks like when children aren't my focus. Especially during the past 11 years, my world has gotten smaller (deliberately, mind you) as I focused exclusively on the needs of my growing family.
Now I can see a time when they won't need or want that level attention. When, in fact, it won't be good for anyone if I devote that kind of attention to the minute details of their daily lives. But that leaves a big question mark...what will I do? Who will I become? What will my life look like?
Even as recently as three months ago, I saw us staying in this part of the country for at least 10 more years. Now, however, I'm not so certain. Superman's job situation isn't as stable as we'd thought and employment opportunities aren't terrific in this area. I'm having to revise all my future plans to take into account the possibility that Superman will be looking for a new job far from this area. Plans for the house? On hold. Instead of talking about buying land further out of the city, now I'm wondering if we'll have to pick up and move yet again. All my plans now are focused on paying down debt and giving us maneuverability should the worst happen.
I really didn't see this, but I can't say I'm surprised. Change has been in the air. I've felt it.
So, I turned 46 today and I feel like I'm on the cusp of change. I'm excited and I'm scared. I'm impatient with the not knowing and I'm exhilirated by the unknown. I feel life unfolding in front of me, even as I can't yet see the road.
So, Happy Birthday to Me...this year will be a good one.