Monday, November 12, 2012

Adulthood

I surrender. I've fought. I've been in denial. I've looked in the mirror and seen my 25 year old self. Not any more. It is time to admit: I've reached adulthood.



It hasn't come easily.

It would be simple to say that I felt entitled to the good things in life. I was blessed to attend a very good college preparatory school. I was exposed to money. I was blessed to study abroad at a British girls school. I was exposed to money. I was talented enough to gain admission to a good liberal arts university on the east coast. I got need based loans and a work study job, but lots more folks had money. I got a job. I got a car. I got a condo.I relocated. I bought another house. I bought another car. I bought stuff. I got married. Etc. Etc. Etc. 

Turns out, I didn't really have any money. I had created a life based on an idea of what I thought I was entitled to as a person who came from a certain place with a certain education and a certain lifestyle. I was reared to know and love and give the glory to God, but I wasn't doing that. I was just existing in accordance to what society would have of me as a well educated upper-middle class white female. I arrived at 35 with all the trappings of a "successful" life. A salary. Benefits. Vacations. Cars. Houses. Clothes. Jewelry. Shoes. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.

Excuse me if I want to be more than my demographic.

I'm pretty sure that somewhere around the age of 35 you sort of stop and realize how much you've been scrambling to get up to the top of the heap --- only to realize, that perhaps this isn't the place you wanted to be after all.

And even worse, when I got here, I had no plan where to go next.

In the past two months, I think Hubs and I have come to grasp our adulthood. We've taken a good hard look at where we are. We've done really adult and boring things like budgeting, updating our estate plans, buying life insurance, paying off debt, saving money.

But more excitingly, we've dreamed about where we want to be - and we have a plan to make it reality. I can't even tell you how awesome it is to have a life plan. We have plans. We have goals. We've figured out a way to make it happen. A plan to clear ourselves of the trappings of what I thought we were entitled and to build a life, a family, a future, a legacy for us and our kids. The plan is written down and we are ready to grow into our adulthood peacefully and without any more regrets. It isn't going to be easy but it turns out adulthood isn't easy.

Who knew adulthood was going to be so rewarding? 


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Move

To say that this post has been festering and rotting ("fester fester fester, rot, rot, rot") in my brain for a while now is an understatement. I've pretty much had this blog post on the tip of my tongue for months. Sometimes the hardest, truest words, are the words we know in our hearts but seem unable to say.



One simple little word. It has become a sadness and a joy. It is both good and bad. In my mind right now, it conjures up a whole range of emotions.

The obvious: The move to Arizona was hard on me. The physical change. The climate change. The impact to the fitness goals I had set this year. All of it was overwhelming and not all bad. The move brought my family closer to my sister's family. I have kids who know and see their cousins all the time. The move changed the focus of our family. The change of our work habits, our budget, our house, our schedule. It was a juggling  that I didn't adapt to so well. I lost myself in it. I didn't feel like myself. I did know how to forgive myself when things became harder than they've been. I didn't know how to focus or what to say. So, I didn't. Say anything.

"All experience is an arch wherethrough gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades for ever and for ever when I move. " - Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

The mental move: another hard one. In very much the same way I looked in the mirror in 2010 and said: "Screw it, I'm tired of being fat.", today I say, "Screw it. I'm tired of not being myself." I've let fear creep back into my life. It isn't hard to see. It has been slapped all over Facebook for the past 3 months. Fear of what I'm seeing on the news. Fear of the safety issues that are unknown to us, fear of things I cannot control. Fear of the political battles in this country and the potential impact of those issues to me, my family and my children. Fear of losing my freedom. I can't do it anymore. It is exhausting and it is not me. I've struggled with whether to cut ties to old friends. I've struggled over whether to withdraw.  I've struggled with whether to embrace my inner hippie. I've struggled with whether to continue speak up or shut up (yes, folks, I actually do try to hold my tongue).

"All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable and those that move." - Benjamin Franklin


The spiritual move. I'm exhausted. I want peace. A couple months back, Erik & I signed up to do Financial Peace University. We've started (and not finished) the Dave Ramsey plan before. We have good intentions, and dive all in, but tend not to stay all in. We bounce from thing to thing with a fair degree of ease, neither of us wanting to prevent the other from opportunity or happiness. Both of us, (I hope), would say very quickly that we have a good marriage. We do. But, going to this class has forced us to look in the mirror. How good is our marriage, really, if we've never actually gotten real about our hopes and dreams? The legacy we want to leave our kids? The dreams we have about how and where and when to spend our working days and ultimately our retirement. How does God fit into our lives? Our marriage? Our goals?

These a big hefty questions that move you. They are the kid of questions that you stay up late mulling over in bed. They are the kinds of discussions that we didn't have before we got married but I'm so glad we are having them now. Moving together, I am addressing my fears, opening the Bible, and seeking knowledge. Together we now have a vision of what we want our lives and our family to be about. They've moved me to accept those things that I cannot change and move on to those that I can.

"If you don't like what you're doing, you can always pick up your needle and move to another groove." - Timothy Leary