Covering parenting and child development issues
There's a peace I've come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There's an anchor for my soul
I can say "It is well." (Chris Tomlin)
This Thanksgiving, I'm having no difficulty at all adopting an attitude of gratitude. It has been nearly a year and a half since I began this adventure called retirement, and I have so much to be thankful for.
Making this decision two years ago required a leap of faith, built on a somewhat shaky foundation of dreams and what-ifs. Now, close to two years after writing the letter that changed my life, I’m happy to report that the changes have been for the better.
Those of you who follow this blog know that I came late to both marriage and motherhood. You’ve probably also noticed that I used to post a lot more often.
A lot has changed since those first few months when I spent much of my time blogging and dreaming up new writing projects. Other opportunities have muscled their way in, demanding more than their fair share of time and leaving me just as busy now as I was when I worked full-time. Although all of the aromas and spices of my life remain important, I find myself continually readjusting the proportions.
It’s funny how the images we have of ourselves as grown-ups change over time. As a child, I played with my fair share of baby dolls, but I never really dreamed about motherhood. I did well in school, got into a good college and powered through a bachelor’s and a master’s in six years time. My first job was perfect, my second was an eye-opener and the third -- from which I retired -- was even better than the first.
But marriage and motherhood adjusted the images and having it all was more exhausting than I'd imagined. As I re-imagined myself as a grown-up, I re-imaged having it all as well.
As it turns out, having it all means different things to us at different times in our lives. The perfect job, a loving spouse, happy healthy children -- they’re all potential ingredients. But as life zips by, we adjust the recipe. For years, I lived a life that revolved around my job. Now, I plan my job around my life.
In a few years, when my daughter goes to college, I may need to adjust the recipe again. But for now, the proportions seem just about perfect. A little bit of teaching, a lot of learning. A little bit of writing, a lot of planning. The flavor that triumphs changes from day to day.
I’m not suggesting that my proportions are right for everyone. Considering how long it took me to get them just right, I’d be surprised if they were.
But this Thanksgiving, before I dig into the embarrassment of riches on my plate, I will make sure to be thankful for the embarrassment of riches in my life. That dream house on the beach may be a little further out of reach now than it was when I was working full-time, but I'm grateful for all of the delicious things that are well within my reach right now.