Since this whole blog idea came from my “40 Days to 50” journey, I went back to my Facebook page and read some of those posts. When I turned 50 in 2014, I was newly divorced after nearly 25 years of marriage, my children were either in college or out on their own, and I was living alone for the first time in my life. I had spent half of my life thus far trying to be what I considered the best wife, and a good, involved parent. I have no regrets, please understand that. But I did kind of lose, forget, who I was as an individual. That journey to 50 came from counseling and realizing I needed to find me.
My quest to find Sarah was 40 days of self-examination, very painful at times, and a HUGE amount of prayer. Ripping off the scabs that had begun to form over the wounds from the divorce was not pleasant. At all. But in every relationship, both parties play a part in the good and the bad. Admitting to myself my part was ugly, but necessary. It is also necessary to forgive – everyone involved. Forgiveness is not for the other person, it’s for you. Let that sink in a minute. I read somewhere that holding on to anger is letting someone live in your head rent free. I control that. With God’s help I forgave my ex-husband, and myself. Then I was free! Wanna see some of what I learned? Here are some nuggets from a few of those posts:
April 10, 2014: I am -even in the midst of all life is throwing at me – having the time of my life! I am going to be 50 and Fabulous!!
April 25, 2014: 15 days left! So what have I learned thus far? 1- Be Still means Be Still. He’s not kidding. If you think you’re being told that, you probably are. Listen. Trust me on this. 2- Emotional health is equally, if not more, important than physical health. Talk it out, pray, go to counseling. Do whatever it takes to get yourself back to that “good place”. 3- Any exercise really is better than no exercise. Get up, go outside, walk, run, move. You’ll feel better, and you’ll feel better because you are doing SOMETHING!
May 10, 2014: So, where did my 40 Days Till 50 take me? I could write a book, but here’s the Readers Digest condensed version.
Life is choices. There are few things that we go through that we haven’t caused by our choices, good or bad. How we deal with them is a choice. Finding joy is a choice, happiness is a choice, loving and being lovable are choices. Eating better, being more active are choices. Spending more time alone with God is a choice. Not reacting to other’s actions and letting that define you is a choice. From here on out, those are my choices.
Life is – or should be – intentional. Do you intend to be happy? Most of us don’t intend to be unhappy, but we roll through life unintentionally, letting what happens to us define us. I think I posted this from my Pastor last week but it’s worth saying again: we go through life thinking we will drift into the best version of ourselves – we won’t. I’m not drifting anymore. I’m not defined by anything that’s happened to me. I am worthy. Not because of me, but because God says I am. I am not the smartest, wisest, thinnest, most beautiful or most spiritual person – even in my own group of family and friends. But no one else is or can be me either. God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and His opinion is what counts.
So, what next? I love others, I love myself, I do my best to be the best mom, sister, daughter, friend I can be. It’s all a journey and I’ll keep learning along the way. It’s a little daunting and a lot exciting!!! I’m so ready for this next chapter – life is to be lived, and that’s exactly what I INTEND to do!! I AM 50 and fabulous!!
I have read and re-read those posts as I put this together about 10 times. Being intentional with life changed my life. There is still much to be done, but I am a better me than I was before my 40 days. I am stronger, more confident, more accepting of myself. I am more compassionate toward others, trying hard to always believe the best. I like me, just like I am. I have a husband who adores me (that’s a post all by itself!), a great relationship with our kids, and that circle of family and friends I talked about before. I am blessed beyond measure and grateful beyond words. Turning 50 was daunting. That number was scary – I won’t lie! But I truly believe the best is yet to come.