In 45 days I will be 45. Many of my grandparents and great-grandparents lived into their 90s so I figure 45 will be the middle point of my life, God-willing. The last 5 years have been some of the most mentally, emotionally, and spiritually trying for me. I am ready to do something to put these years behind me and look forward more positively.
At different times in this space I have vaguely referred to something I have been struggling with. Given some of the hats I wear I still cannot go into detail about this struggle. I will say that if I had an event to mark its beginning, it would be the shared birthday party my husband and I had to celebrate our turning 50 and 40, respectively. In actuality the seeds of my struggle had been incubating before then.
The upside is all that I have learned about myself in the last 5 years. I won't say that I had to go through this struggle to have these learnings. I personally detest the phrase: Everything happens for a reason. As if we can truly know what that Reason is. That's a tad boastful to think WE know the reason. Sh*t happens. I don't believe there is a Supreme Being treating me like a puppet and causing my struggle. That just doesn't make sense to me, but I won't rule it out. And if you choose to believe there is a reason, that's fine. Just please don't use that phrase with me when I am struggling.
As human beings we are very uncomfortable with uncertainty. We want black and white. We want there to be a reason. So we choose to believe there is one. I truly don't know if there is one. What I do know is believing there is a reason can bring comfort and make us feel better. I do believe that finding meaning in one's struggle and looking for/creating an upside keeps us sane. One of the most well-known examples of this is Viktor Frankl and his experience in the concentration camp described in Man's Search for Meaning.
There are remnants of my struggle. Many, many added pounds. A hesitation to work hard without guarantee of personal reward. Painful memories. In an effort to deal with my struggle I have discovered kindreds on-line through their blogs and social media postings and have attended some fabulous events and retreats, many of which I have described in this space. I am so, so grateful for these people and these opportunities.
All of this brings me to today. I'm ready to put my struggle behind me. I'm ready to move on. There are parts of my struggle that haven't changed and may not change so I will still have reminders. Even so, it is time to stop using my struggle as an excuse to realizing my dreams. I want 2015 to be the year I put energy and focus on my dreams.
As a way to mark this transition to my birthday, a new year, the second half of my life, I am going to use my favorite form of social media (Instagram) to daily post a picture of some of my favorite words with sand tray miniatures. You can find my Instagram page here. I also hope to blog more frequently during this time, particularly as the blogposts relate to the Instagram posts.
And I love that today, November 22, is a New Moon.
Incidentally, I've seen others do birthday countdowns on-line. A recent one is a new on-line friend whom I met at the Serendipity retreat. She is creating 40 daily paintings up until she turns 40. You can find them here.