Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Life in Decades

Reflecting upon my past and looking forward to my future, I am excited about life and its possibilities. It seems that my life is, or could possibly be, divided neatly into phases by decades.

My 20s: Getting Established. I found my dream guy, we got married, he settled into a career, I opened a home/garden/gift shop with my sisters and mother, Russ and I purchased our first decent vehicles, bought a house, and had our first child.

My 30s: Growing Pains. Our family increases by two more members. The house is getting too small. Pregnancy, nursing, potty training, the 'terrible two's.' Russ needs a job closer to home with better benefits. Russ gets a new job; we move. My days are full, tending to the most basic needs of three children. My nights hold little sleep. Vacations aren't much of a vacation.

But nothing is more amazing than watching three little lives develop, watching three little babies become their own person. Baby toes and baby giggles. Toothy grins. Bear hugs and 'Lub you, too, mommy,' from the two-year-old. Learning, reading, and discovering with a five-year-old who thinks the world is an amazing place.

I have quite a few years left in this decade. They will be full of more of the same. Our house will quickly feel tighter. There will be less breathing room. We'll be adding on in a few years. By the time I leave my 30s, I will be done with pregnancy, nursing, potty training, and the 'terrible two's.' I'll have three sons (aged 7, 9, and 12) that can bathe themselves, dress themselves, fix themselves a snack, participate in chores, read quietly in their beds at night, and hopefully not need 24 hour-hands-on supervision. I'll no longer be watching Thomas the Tank Engine and reading ABC books over and over and over again. I'll be able to get 8 hours of sleep a night. Am I expecting too much?

My 40s: Family Matters.

"There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second."-Logan Pearsall Smith, essayist (1865-1946)

I look forward to my 40s with excitement and anticipation. Our days will be full of learning together, reading together, and discovering together. Game nights, movie nights, music lessons, travel. Discussions about life and ideas. Cooking together. Building together. I also hope to carve out some time for myself to recharge and renew. Date nights with Russ will be high on the priority list. Hopefully we will have many of our home projects completed and be able to keep maintenance hours to a minimum. We are also working toward greater financial stability.

I fully expect to be delighted by the men my sons become. They will be 17, 19, and 22 when I leave my 40s behind.

My 50s (and beyond): The Good Life. I pray for good health for myself and Russ that we may enjoy a new sort of life with our kids on their own. We will enjoy the greater flexibility of our time and energy, filling our days with things that make us feel rich in a true sense. I want to continue to learn and think and grow. Perhaps I will enter into a new profession. I may discover a passion grow from out of our homeschool studies. Maybe college is in my future. I could spend the next 20 years on a new career! The possibilities are endless, but Russ tells me we will do a great deal of travel if nothing else. Grin.

I hope I strive, in every phase of my life, to be the person I was put here on earth to be.

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. --Ralph Waldo Emerson


Barb said...

I like how you envisioned your future, with your sons ages. It's fun to imagine/pray for their best when their 15, 20, or 25. What adventure are ahead for them. And then for you too. I also imagined such things and then in my 40s we had our 4th and my imagination had to expand and veer of my planned course.
I admire your dedication to see your boys shaped by goodness and truth. Your teaching plans are inspiring.

Mumsy said...

Loved this post, Heidi.

It made me think about my perspective on life these days...