A Gypsy Looks at 40

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“Let me look into my crystal ball.”

OK, so I’m not really a gypsy.  I’d like to be.  The crystal ball could come in handy, maybe.

To quote Tolkien, “Not all those who wander are lost.”  I love to wander, but I am not lost.  It has taken 40 years to find myself and be comfortable in my skin.

I had my mid-life crisis years ago.  I wanted to get it out of the way quickly.  As I turn the page and begin to write Chapter 40 I do so with a content heart and clear mind. I have known loss, pain, fear and fright.  I stared my demons in the eye and told them to kiss my ass as I walked away.  I have survived more in these 40 years than some endure in a lifetime.  And I have loved every moment.

With every loss I gained strength.  Both in myself and in those around me.  Every painful memory left a scar that helps me tell my story and offers a permanent souvenir of where I have been, and a compass for where I am going.  With each fear I overcame I learned to trust myself.  That was a very hard thing to do.  I am strong.  I can handle anything that comes my way.

These last 17 years I have been blessed with a husband who should be nominated for Sainthood. He has taught me so many things.  Most importantly, he showed me love.  11 of these years have been blessed with a son that amazes me every single day.

In these 40 years I’ve learned that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by a God of love that knows no bounds.  And that I am not broken.  I might be cracked and stiff, but I am strong.  “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. ” -Phil. 4:12

I also developed a few rules along the way:

  1. Never anger a redhead (even if she is not a “natural” redhead).
  2. Do not come between a woman and her coffee.
  3. Sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.
  4. Life is too short for bullshit.
  5. Family doesn’t always mean you share DNA.
  6. Quality always beats quantity.
  7. Always choose the adventure (unless it involves taking the stairs up the Eiffel Tower).
  8. Never take anything for granted.

As I write the rest of my story I pray it is filled with 40 more years of laughter, love, chaos and adventure.  Not every adventure has to require a passport (but it helps).  Some days the adventure might be exotic, like a trip to Central America.  Other days the adventure might be maneuvering my wheelchair through the mall.  Breathing is an adventure these days, embrace it!

There are no great words of wisdom in this post.  And I really don’t want to look into the crystal ball.  I don’t want to know what is coming at me.  Surprises are part of the fun.  These are just the words of a woman/wife/mother/friend/gypsy/bohemian princess.  If 40 is the new 20, then I figure, I’m just getting started!

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

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