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Not getting any younger

February 20, 2012

I had my wisdom teeth out this weekend. I know, I know. The poor kid that went in before me was 17. I kept thinking, Why didn’t I do this a decade ago?

But I have to admit I’ve been looking forward with delight to this weekend. Two days in bed! To do what I want! Read, write, clean out my email inbox, get caught up on Downton Abbey. You know, the important things in life. Ah, the lengths we mothers go to to carve out a piece of downtime!

In my pre-surgery exam a few weeks back, the dentist handed me a list of side effects and recovery tips. As I looked in horror at the rules: no food for the first two days, no hard foods for a week, (and in the end you might develop dry socket anyway), I asked him, “Um, is this worth it?”

“Well,” he said, shining a light in my mouth, “you’re not getting any younger.”

His statement has haunted me ever since. I’m not getting any younger. I’m not getting any younger. I certainly don’t feel any different than I did in my twenties, but I do feel life rumbling by at an alarming pace. Snap, there goes 2011. Snap, there goes January and half of February. Snap, there go my babies, all full-fledged boys now.

Now, to be clear, I don’t mind getting older. What I mind is running out of time to do all the things on my laundry list in the sky. I have big plans.

This weekend I finally picked up a book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time: Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes. Ever paragraph has left me breathless and saying, Yes, yes! This is what I’ve been searching for the past ten years.  I want to put it into the hands of every family I know, from the mothers who wander through Target wondering, “Is this it? Is this all I have to look forward to?” to the fathers so thin on time with their families, to the children who get pulled like wooden ducks on a string from one activity to the next.

So I’ve spent much of this weekend reading, writing, and hatching my future plans. I want to slow things down. I want to create. I want to gather my family around me in meaningful moments. I want to be fearless.

Mostly, I want to act, and not be acted upon. That’s really the great secret to accomplishing our goals, isn’t it?

How about you? Are you making big goals? And are you making them happen?

  1. DLewis permalink
    February 20, 2012 7:15 am

    Janelle loves that book as well. I’m sure she’d love to talk to you about it.

    • February 20, 2012 10:15 am

      She’s the one who urged me to read it. We’ll definitely have to chat.

  2. Jill permalink
    February 20, 2012 9:25 am

    Love your posts and the way you are able to express your feelings! Jared and I have commented lately, we’re do not fit in the “young families” in the ward any more, we are more a part of the established and “eek,” the “older” group! When did everyone get younger? I sure don’t remember getting older!

    Your boys are darling!!

    • February 20, 2012 10:16 am

      Seth and I just remarked on the same thing. We’re no longer a young couple. Definitely a strange transition. I hope your family is well!

  3. Amber permalink
    February 20, 2012 9:29 am

    You’re my hero. While I cannot admit to quite as much enthusiasm and drive as you have, I do love people who THINK!

  4. Tami Guthrie permalink
    February 20, 2012 9:54 am

    Though my children remind me often that I am not, I still feel 29! And yes, as my children were young, it was much easier to control their surroundings, friends, help them make choices, etc. however, as they became older, the choices were theirs, and we became more acted upon…does that make sense….now I am crying….As you said so eloquently, time flies too fast! I am 29, and my oldest is 31; how does that work?

    • February 20, 2012 10:21 am

      That’s really it. I think our minds are always in their twenties. And I think that is a great gift. But time goes by fast. You have wonderful children.

  5. Alice-Anne permalink
    February 20, 2012 2:57 pm

    sounds like a great book…I’ll have to look into that. Love that picture at the end. that Asher is definitely growing up!

  6. Allison Harkness permalink
    February 20, 2012 8:36 pm

    You may not be getting any younger, but you look fabulous! I love those boots – I’m a little jealous. My response is . . Some things get better with age!

    • February 20, 2012 9:09 pm

      Thanks Ali! It’s been many years since our happy-to-be-me Barbie days, hasn’t it? Oh, and the boots=thrifted! Such a great find.

  7. February 21, 2012 12:18 pm

    Love this post. I’m gonna go get that book.

  8. February 22, 2012 9:16 am

    Thanks for this–and the book rec. Just put it on hold at the library. I’ve been having similar thoughts after turning 40 and having my last baby last year. I’m feeling the need to renew my creativity and energy as a homemaker but also to invest more in my creative writing life.

  9. Vivienne Lewis permalink
    February 22, 2012 10:11 am

    As always, I love your writing and the way you can look at the ordinary, and make it extra ordinary. My heart melted with that last picture of Asher! Oh my goodness, we miss those boys!

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