This weekend I'm taking part in an online writing course sponsored by the lovely Kate. I did the same workshop last month and discovered some "hidden treasure" in my heart that I wanted to record on paper. I had a hard time though, possibly because I'm not in the habit of writing regularly, not to mention really writing from my heart. This time around I'm working on getting my emotions (mostly about growing older) coherent in my mind so I can journal them. Though I guess that's all part of journaling...the coherent and the incoherent! Goodness knows that the emotions of a woman are sometimes the farthest thing from coherent!! Haha! Also, I'm cautious about what to share here, because this is such a public forum and I tend to be a private person about what's going on in the depths of my heart. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing but it is what it is.
I'd like to share a quote by Dr. Susan Love (surgeon and proponent of breast cancer research) that has made me think deeply about this season of my life:
As women, we're lucky because we are reminded in a very physical way that this is mid-life, so we can re-evaluate what we are and where we are going...It's very healthy to view menopause as a chance to recharge and rebuild.
This pretty much sums up what I believe concerning mid-life as women. I think we have many reference-point opportunities throughout our life to evaluate and re-evaluate, but menopause has to be one of the if not the most poignant. What a wonderful opportunity! A challenge, to be sure, but an opportunity none the less.
For me, it's a time when my two of my three children have grown up and moved out on their own to pursue their own lives and destinies, and my youngest is grown, soon to be moving out as well. I've looked at myself with myriad emotions and finally come to the understanding that I am not defined by my children. I am not defined by my husband. I am not even defined by myself!
By the way, away with all women's magazines, articles, and popular thinking that declare the need for "Me time!" and "I need/must have/ have to"....fill in the blank. Today's society and culture are super duper geared toward women placing themselves first. "If I don't take care of myself I won't be able to take care of anyone else." Rubbish. Not that we let ourselves go and don't guard our hearts and minds and emotions, and take care of our bodies, but this is a big subject for another post. I do plan to explore it, but not right this minute.
I am defined by who God created me to be. That He created me, first to have relationship with Him, and then to be instrumental in helping others into relationship with Him. It has been so easy, for the twenty five years I've been raising children, to hide in my role as a mother. Motherhood is a wonderful, God-given role, specifically designed by Him for women. Mothers are vital and instrumental in the lives of our children on infinite levels, but one must continually seek first the Kingdom of God though the years of raising children and beyond. Part of this seeking first is that when one's life roles change, one needs to roll with those changes and not freak out! Menopause is a very interesting time because one's body is experiencing hormonal changes second only to puberty and in this chick it translates to a very emotional time.
So, with all that as a preface, I am taking part in this weekend workshop and discovering some truths about myself, my motherhood, my role as a wife, growing older, and my relationship with God.
I'll record as much as I can with pen and paper and share some of that here as well.