Each birthday I bite my lip and lead the surrender charge by sharing the most vulnerable parts of my life. I reflect on what the new age looks like on me.
Well, hello, 46. What stings is for most of 2016, I was looking forward to turning 45. It hit me in March I already was that age, I was zooming to 46. That didn’t feel as fun. That’s closer to 50.
This is another transition season and whether I’m also in a place God has me battling for my destiny or if a mid life crisis is real, boy, has it been a struggle. To look at me, perhaps it’s not as visible. But battling negative mindsets and fighting off temptations that I know will set me back has been a tiresome time.
If you read here often you know earlier this year I felt God’s strong nudge to make a change with my writing and take things as an indie author and speaker. I’ve re branded what I do to include everything under Surrender Issues and Chocolate. Whatever I write will encourage audiences to find freedom through surrender. My fiction includes chocolate mentions, as do my weekly email and monthly newsletter. I’m close to unveiling the covers to my Surrendering Time series—ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present (re release,) ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past, and ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future. I’m so excited to share these characters and their surrender stories with everyone. The next step will be marketing hard on the aspect that I’m available to encourage audiences through speaking. So my to-do list is daunting.
My husband also took on a new position where he no longer develops computer programming but teaches. He’s a natural teacher and loves it, but it also means he’s able to work from home. At first he was going to go in a few days a week. It’s changed so much that he is usually here every day. The adjustment has been seemless for him. Me? I have struggled. A textbook introvert, I crave space and quiet. I need it like air. And although hue has an office and is tucked away most of the day, I’ve had to adjust to his presence. I’d love to say 46 looks mature on me, but in transparency, I’ve had to fight selfishness to want “my” house back sometimes on an hourly basis.
Our son graduates in May and what a ride it has been. In December he was accepted to Kent State and he will be commuting as he studies education. He is on a quest for his own relationship with Christ, not just tagging along with what we believe. He pressed in prayer for a job and at the 11th hour when it looked like nothing was turning up, he received an offer that gives him steady hours. We still watch Vines and Jimmy Fallon but I was surprised at the grief I’m feeling. We are kindred spirits. He “gets” me and I cherish our chats. I realize from here on in, they won’t be as often.
On the other hand, I am enjoying more girl time with our daughter. She is a daddy’s girl and that bond was so strong it was actually an issue. These days she is balancing her time more, seeking me out when she has questions. But because I manage medicines and behavior, I still get the eye rolls. Her health has had changes and surprises, taking me back to basic faith where I lean hard on Jesus and trust He has our backs.
This year brings about our 20th wedding anniversary and my step-son’s wedding. He was ten when we married, so this is so surreal to me. Wasn’t I just 26??
My body and mind say no. My back aches. My hair turns white two weeks after I color it. I forget names and what I was doing. I used to know cultural things to stay on top of what the kids might be into, but watching some teen award show, I had no idea who the acts are. My picture is from Snapchat, a social media app that teens dominate but the marketing I study says it is a great way to connect with readers. So here I am, trying to understand and be relevant. When every whisper at night says relevant is the last thing I am or do.
My 46 feels like two steps from a freefall, but I’m start enough to cling to the rock of Jesus and not the sand of the world.
Hey, 46. Let’s do this.
If you’re on social media, find me @JulieArduini. I’d love to connect
Revive—As we reach that finish line called 2015, I thought I’d take this week and summarize what I learned this year through the word God gave as the theme:
I chewed on this word a lot and I never anticipated the journey it took me on. I thought today I’d share how revive affected me physically.
I think as far as physical things and revive in my life, I think awareness is the best description.
I became VERY aware that I am middle aged. Honestly, I probably passed that mark, but I’ve always struggled with endocrine issues. Metabolism has never been my friend. I have that body type that looks like a lab created apple.
And this year I was aware I’m not losing weight. In fact, it became even easier to gain.
That’s a tough one for me. When I gain weight, it affects my confidence and makes it easier for my knees to dislocate. Not fun. I spent time Googling everything from supplements to lap band surgery. Like any other American, I love that quick fix.
- As I already know the word or words for 2016, I take with me this awareness.
I also celebrate small victories.
- Fitbit was an investment into being aware.
There were other aspects to revive and physical points.
- I returned to my roots. Brunette, that is. The red felt too washed out and brassy. When I go brown, my natural red highlights pop, anyway.
- I ditched my contacts. I am so vain. When you add the weight gain to the picture, wearing glasses was not an easy choice for me. It was another blow for my confidence. However, I ran to Zenni.com and found two sassy pairs that cost less than what one pair would have had the eye doctor. I’ve received so many compliments on them. One pair lost the nose pad but I still have no regrets. Another way I rested this year was playing with the virtual try on page with all kinds of frames. My former eye doctor insisted I didn’t need new contacts despite the dry eyes and pain I was in. It got so bad I couldn’t put contacts in. A year later, I still don’t feel ready to.
For a few years, each birthday I’ve blogged about how I’m feeling about the new age I’m in. I’m a little late on this one, but here it goes.
I’ve noticed 44 is usually the last number on surveys and paperwork before a new age bracket begins.
It’s a small step forward to being closer to 50 than 40.
But for me, 44 isn’t a bad year to embrace.
I’m looking forward to the future while contending for it.
I’m believing God for promises He sealed to be delivered long before I was born.
I’m long past the longing for a baby to hold as my own, and starting to look forward to the day when I hear I’m going to be a grandmother (from Tom’s older children, when they are both married.)
We’re looking for a home that will be our last.
The place where kids graduate and move on.
Where we retire.
Where we entertain our kids and their families.
But first, there’s the now.
Entering new writing projects filled with hope and promise.
Waiting on other writing projects but coming to terms with it.
Trying new things, including a haircut my stylist based, of all people, on Miley Cyrus.
And I wear that hair, with the same attitude I wear 44.