Half a Century

Today is my 50th birthday. As the day approached, I was feeling some dread, it seemed so old, but the fact is, it’s just a date. Older than some, younger than some, I don’t feel old (except when I’m tired or my back aches :)).

I’ve been dealing with some depression lately & I really did expect today to hit me hard. There are so many things I feel like I haven’t accomplished, so many goals I’ve fallen short of, and yet, I feel quite free and good today. I’m ready to let go of some things, I think. Ready to release some expectations of myself. I know that I am truly loved, appreciated and seen. I don’t have to be everyone’s hero, I don’t have to have it all together.

I’m not giving up on having goals and dreams, but I’m not going to spend my life missing the Now for the not guaranteed future or the triumphs and tragedies of the past.

I’m going to continue to work on becoming a better person – kinder, more generous, creating more, loving better, dealing with my “stuff”. All while being present, here and now, in the house that I have, with its flaws and beauty and memories. Being present in the body I have right now, with all its strengths and weaknesses and the scars and memories that it carries. Being present in my relationships with family and friends and the issues and insecurities that are present in all human interactions.

I know myself – I know how anxious I can be, how I will continue to overthink and over analyze, that I won’t feel this peace everyday, but I am determined to forge a new path of peace and presentness, and contentedness. I used to think that becoming content was a death sentence for progress and moving forward, but I don’t think that anymore. I’ve been striving for so long, never satisfied, and it’s exhausting.

One of my personality traits as an INFJ is to have a drive to achieve great things, to have a great purpose for my life, making the world a better place, but also, always struggling to figure out what my purpose is. As Loki says, “…I am burdened with glorious purpose.” This all means that I’ve spent a lot of my life striving, struggling, searching, and though I’ve been involved in lots of cool things, it’s never satisfied that itch, that dream for more.

Heroes are important to me. Some of my heroes are my Dad, my Mom, my sister, a brave mouse, a pessimistic marshwiggle, and ordinary people who live kind, generous, and quietly profound lives of service, relationship, and creativity. Those are the traits that I admire, so why do I fear to live that? That an ordinary life, lived well for others, doing what loves requires, sharing the love of Jesus, is not a legacy worth leaving? I’m not going to fear that anymore, it is truly a glorious purpose.

So, the year, my life stretches out in front of me. I purpose to keep taking lots of photos, and trying to be in more of them. I purpose to keep making art even when my perfectionism and fear threaten to overwhelm me. I purpose to love my circle well – my family, my friends, my faith community. To cheer them on, to encourage, to love unconditionally. I purpose to look for practical ways, big and small, to love my community and the world. I purpose to keep looking for adventure, to keep going on hikes, to explore, to stay curious. I purpose to continue to be angry about injustice and wrong, but I also purpose to love people more, even people I really disagree with.

Simple things, sometimes difficult things, worthy things.

Glorious purpose indeed.


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