middle-age, neither the beginning nor end is in sight

I’ve been thinking off and on about why I don’t blog so much any more. I think it’s because I’m done processing my births, my childrearing philosophy/principles, and honestly, I feel like a broken record talking about my midlife feelings, so I mostly keep that to myself.

I’m in the long middle of my journey.

Donald Miller, in his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, explains it like this:

I think this is when most people give up on their stories. They come out of college wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and change the way people buy office supplies. But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can’t see the distant shore anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward. None of the trees behind them are getting smaller and none of the trees ahead are getting bigger.

None of my trees are getting smaller or bigger. I’m just in the middle of the journey, going with no beginning or end in sight.

And I’m too tired to keep beginning things. And my life is filled already with the responsibilities of “my story,” as Miller puts it. It’s honestly not exciting from this perspective.

And I am learning to be OK with that. To be OK with these years of repetition, paperwork, unnaturally-fitting jobs that come with the territory of my story.

Miller talks about how a lot of people bail out at this juncture. It’s crossed my mind for .02 seconds, but bailing out has absolutely no appeal to me.

I’m OK with it all, actually. It’s hard when I think that to the end of my days my life will be this way, but … my mind knows that my life will change again. Kids will grow, ministries will change.

It’s hard, not having that excitement of youth, the anticipation, the ideals, the dreams. Thankfully, God has kept me out of cynicism, which is one of the pitfalls of the long middle.

But it’s a rich time of life, too, when I open myself to accepting the fullness of life’s experiences. Giving myself out. Valuing longevity. Working smarter not harder (because energy has to be used more carefully).

One challenge is keeping my relationship with God warm and alive during this time. Keeping it personal, not routine. Because maturity changes how I read the Bible, too, and how I experience God. I’m still exploring that.

Anyway, I wish I blogged more. I am just in the long middle, not feeling like I’m learning much that’s new, doing repetitive, necessary tasks, so I feel like there’s not much to say.


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